April 19, 2024

Demographic Shifts: Adapting B2B Marketing Strategies for New Generations

by Melissa Caffrey

Millennials and Gen-Zers now outnumber Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers in management roles, heralding a significant shift in the B2B buying landscape. As key decision-makers, their distinct preferences and buying behaviors differ markedly from their predecessors, and marketing must adapt accordingly. 

To help you adapt to this demographic shift, here are 5 key insights from Forrester’s VP and Research Director, Matt Selheimer, as discussed in a CMO Huddles Bonus Huddle and subsequently re-aired on Renegade Marketers Unite. 

  1. Preference for Digital and Self-Serve Channels

Observation: Younger buyers favor digital interactions over traditional face-to-face interactions with sales representatives. They are more likely to seek product/service info from websites, industry experts like Forrester and Gartner, and online forums, moving away from direct sales pitches or established brand relationships. 


  • Invest in optimizing your website to be highly informative, interactive, and user-friendly
  • Include comprehensive product info, FAQs, user guides, and video tutorials
  • Collaborate with industry experts to create content
  • Host webinars and participate in online forums to establish your brand as a thought leader
  1. Challenges Building Internal Consensus

Observation: Younger buyers often encounter more difficulty building internal consensus. This is a great opportunity for vendors to influence the business case more—it’s all about helping them articulate the ROI of their purchases.


  • Provide detailed ROI calculators, case studies, and testimonials that they can use to persuade other stakeholders within the org
  • Develop interactive tools or simulated proof-of-concepts so they can see personalized projected results
  1. High Expectations in the Purchase Process 

Observation: Younger buyers have high expectations for customer experience and are more vocal about their dissatisfaction if those expectations are not met. They also prefer trying products before committing to a full purchase.


  • Offer trial versions or pilot programs allowing buyers to test products before investing
  • Ensure these trials are easy to start and well-supported with customer service
  • Map out and optimize the customer journey to ensure it includes clear communication, timely updates, and proactive customer support. 
  1. Openness to New Market Players

Observation: Unlike older generations who may prefer well-established brands, younger buyers are more open to newer, less traditional market players.


  • Highlight innovation and flexibility by positioning your brand as innovative and adaptable.
  • Showcase how your solutions are cutting-edge and tailored for modern business challenges.
  • Use content marketing to tell your brand story, focusing on your unique value propositions and how you’re different from traditional, established competitors.

By embracing these strategies, B2B marketers can effectively connect with and engage this emerging cohort of decision-makers, ensuring their marketing efforts resonate with the evolving preferences of Millennials and Gen-Zers and future-proofing businesses.

To get more insights like this, and ask guests like Matt Selheimer your own questions, we highly recommend checking out CMO Huddles, a community of 300+ B2B CMOs dedicated to B2B greatness.