How Are You Speaking to Your Buyers?

Up-level Your Messaging for a New Generation

By Renee Yeager

Last year the oldest of the millennial generation turns 40. We’ve written about the changing buyer and have noticed that many B2B tech companies haven’t fully embraced this fact when it comes to marketing and messaging. The reality is that the IT decision-making torch has already been passed.

According to HBR, 73% of Millennials are involved in product or service purchase decision-making at their companies with one-third reporting that they are the sole decision-maker for their department. On top of that, these digital natives make up about half of all B2B product researchers. These buyers grew up on the web and have very clear preferences for how they want to be communicated to, including:

Type Over Talk:
Prefer text messaging over phone calls

Socially Inclined:
Prefer social media over email

Quick Response:
Expect highly responsive, instant communication

Visual First:
Want visual communications over all other forms of media

Get Personal:
Expect personalized communications if they share their data

This penchant for quick, engaging, and to the point communications that are delivered through text or social media and in visuals and video should have marketers revisiting their messaging. How in tune is your messaging to a new generation of buyers? And are you communicating with them in a way that will capture their attention?

Here’s a quick 5-point check to see if your messaging is ready for a refresh to appeal to the new generation of buyers:

1. Is it authentic and relatable?

Messaging that is stodgy, wordy, boring, or lacking creativity will not resonate with today’s millennial B2B buyers. Your buyers are people, write in a way that they can relate to.

2. Are you speaking like a human?

Yes, you may be selling tech products, but that doesn’t mean that your messaging should be full of buzzwords and technobabble. Get to the heart of your value in understandable terms.

3. Is your value proposition clear and concise?

Long, drawn-out messaging will take you nowhere – especially with this audience. Clarify your value simply and in soundbite style with fewer words.

4. Can you entertain and excite?

Look for opportunities to create interesting alignments, wit, or humor with your messaging that will surprise and delight. Brands that are smart and communicate in interesting ways are attractive.

5. Are you writing to communicate socially?

This generation builds relationships with brands online, including social media. Consider how your messaging can be used to spark dialogue and interaction.

If you find that your messaging is ready for a redo, here are some examples of B2B tech companies that are doing it right.

Modernize Your Tone of Voice

Commvault has done a great job of creating a smart, fresh voice for their brand. Short, snappy headlines using less common phrasing gives their brand a unique style and voice. Statements like Data Management Done Remarkably, and their play on readiness – Be Ready, Cloud Ready, Recovery Ready – is clever and engaging.

Leverage the Unexpected

NetApp is rolling out a rebrand with language that humanizes their voice with fun, unexpected alignments. For example, headlines such as “Data fabric … more than just a cool metaphor” and “NetApp shoots, scores, the crowd goes wild” are relatable and friendly. In a recent Tweet, a headline reads, “We can’t help you get a sweet bod. We can help you get sweet performing cloud storage.”

Be Clear and Different

At the core of NetApp’s updated messaging, they have positioned themselves as specialists in a world of generalists. It’s a powerful, differentiating value that leaves the reader wanting to know more.

Are you ready to get started?

If your messaging is ready for a refresh, now is the time to get moving. Your competitors getting ahead of you on this will matter to your business performance and it will not serve your brand to wait. If you’d like some guidance, we’d love to help! Reach out here.