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Focusing on gen Z: how B2B brands can hook this new generation of customers & candidates

The Drum 28 Jun 2021 10:00

While chief marketers and talent directors at nearly every brand have been laser-focused on what makes millennials tick in recent years, it’s now time for them to shift their attention toward the new generation of buyers: gen Z. This is especially true in the business-to-business (B2B) space. LinkedIn’s vice-president of marketing solutions Penry Price shares the essential tactics for targeting these up-and-comers.

Gen Z, which was born between 1995 and the early 2010s, totals more than 25 million in the US and 12 million in the UK. What’s more, this group is now graduating college and will be entering the world on their own, representing a new crop of consumers with disposable income and technologically-savvy upstarts with career goals.

Much ink has been spilled over B2C companies trying to figure out how to court gen Z, so let’s instead look at what this generation means to B2B brands. First of all, the talent that companies attract drives the brand the public comes to know. So B2B marketing and recruiting go hand in hand – you need gen Z decision-makers to build a brand their generation will appreciate.

Lean into live video

B2B brands, such as Salesforce, Automation Anywhere and Detroit Labs, have been laying the groundwork for superb live video engagement. Each company created an episodic live series to engage their target audiences and then followed up with personalized messaging, which is what gen Z expects out of brands. The brands also provided information that helped B2B pros do their jobs better and was easily viewable on mobile devices. For that last note, consider that 55% of gen Z use their smartphones for five-plus hours a day.

Mix in audio

The audio-only phenomenon isn’t necessarily a flash in the pan with this group. In 2019, well before Clubhouse launched, 70% of gen Z members were already podcast listeners.

Own your brand values

To be clear, B2B brands do not need to be politically to the left or to the right. Of course not. But to appeal to gen Z, they do need a purpose playbook with human values that they plan to stand by. The pandemic and racial justice movements in the last year should have prepared B2B companies for the next moments that cause our nation and world to pause, think and react. By standing for certain values, a B2B brand’s marketing and recruiting will do better with gen Z.

Consequently, B2B marketers and recruiters need to evolve with the times. To appeal to gen Z, that means a lot of live video, more than a pinch of audio and standing for something.

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Penry PriceGen ZersAutomation AnywhereDetroit LabsUK
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