Meet Your Future B2B Customers

Last week I read through a recent study by The Kaiser Family Foundation on media habits of 8 to 18-year olds. You can read a great summary of the study over at Wall St. Cheat Sheet.  The study is clearly aimed at parents (me) and how kids are interacting with various media (my kids — all under the age of 8 — clearly prefer the iPhone, Leapster and Internet over TV).  However, there are some very salient points here from a marketing perspective to examine, which I did make and sent to our web, research and product marketing directors.

So let me give you some thoughts on this study and why this matters to B2B communicators. Here are my three key takeaways:

  1. Total consumption of TV is growing, but it’s all growing online — iPod (soon the iPad), Internet and mobile devices. As communicators we need to be able to consider developing the strategy and tactics to reach this audience in the near future. Will you outsource video? Do you bring it in-house and hire a team? How will you share video content or better yet, how will you let others take and share your content?
  2. Nearly 60% of their time on the Internet is spent on social networking sites (25%), playing games (19%) or using instant messenger (13%). This next generation of customers already is well adapted to interacting, sharing and having very active conversations online. They will expect this from you as well so is your business ready to make the shift to having B2B conversations? Is your web site ready for the future?
  3. Reading is on the decline. In fact, the drop in newspaper readership among this age group is enormous — from 42% saying they read a newspaper in 1999 to 24% in 2009. Magazine readership is maybe “less worse” dropping from 55% to 35%. This is yet another indication that we will need to reach future generations by less traditional methods, not through print ad campaigns or media relations.

You can also watch the video “Profiles of Generation M2″ here:

That’s my perspective, but I’d like to hear from you. What is your organization doing to prepare for your next generation of customers? Was this helpful or is it still too focused on B2C communication?

3 thoughts on “Meet Your Future B2B Customers

  1. Richard, thanks for the clarification on this! I’m going to pass this along to my brother for certain. He’s usually very good about this sort of thing.

  2. Rachel – I suppose you’re right. It would have been better for me to say something like “I’m not what you might *think of* as a cliche feminist” or “I’m not a feminist in oft-thought angry sense of the word”…. or all together, I could have said that I disagree with some of the feminist sentiments that highlight the negative parts of women’s positions in the world, and in general, I’m not a fist-pumper or a soap-boxer…. I’m a doer and hopefully in the process I’m an empowerer.

    Which is precisely in your definition of feminism, and I respect that. I absolutely agree with equality. I hope my wording didn’t turn you off too much, I will think about that in the future. Thank you.

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