After years of being told they need to go online to attract millennial buyers, B2B marketing teams may be surprised to hear in-person meetings are the most effective lead conversion tool for young audiences.
A recent study published by IBM found millennial B2B buyers prefer to talk to product representatives in person than read content marketing materials (1). Conversations with vendor representatives, tradeshows and seeking the opinions of colleagues were the three most popular methods of B2B product and service research reported by the survey respondents.
These findings are in line with Gartner research that concluded direct interaction with businesses was the most persuasive inbound marketing technique for millennials, according to the Harvard Business Review (2).
The conclusions of these studies may not be as counterintuitive to the belief millennials prefer digital solutions as they seem. While millennials see online research as more of a necessary step in decision-making as opposed to a conversion tactic, personalized content can help with initial steps like B2B lead generation.
The Harvard Business Review said B2B marketing teams should be aware of what personalization tactics modern business professionals want in their lead nurturing materials. Email marketing, social media posts and other content should utilize digital audience data to provide the type of experience often associated with face-to-face interactions.