Millennial tech buyers need to trust brands before purchasing IT

Millennials are influenced by a mix of brand and product attributes, so brands need to use different tactics to reach and engage them.

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Each generation of tech buyers has different motivations that drive their purchase decisions, whether in or outside the workplace. Now, as millennials rise up the ranks in the enterprise, they are influencing more and more technology decisions across businesses.

Austin, Texas-based online IT community Spiceworks reached out to almost 700 IT buyers in organizations across North America and Europe during March 2018 to examine different generations of IT buyers.

It wanted to understand what influences their business and personal technology purchases.

The results show that a different mix of brand and product attributes influence millennials who will respond to different tactics to engage them.

Around 85 percent of respondents said that they need to trust a tech brand before making a purchase. Over half (57 percent) of IT buyers prefer to purchase from tech brands that focus on building a relationship compared to those looking for a quick sale.

This is reinforced amongst millennial IT buyers (born 1981 to 1997), where 34 percent said they need to have a personal experience with a brand, such as an email exchange or in-person encounter, before making a purchase.

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Only 17 percent of baby boomers (born 1946 to 1964) and 25 percent of Generation X respondents (born 1965 to 1980) felt the same way.

Millennials seem to be less responsive to impersonal marketing tactics such as cold calls, direct mail, and mass emails.

Meaningful brand relationships and personal brand experiences are also more important to millennials than older Generations.

Millennials are more likely to be influenced by their personal tech preferences -- 65 percent believe the technologies they purchase for personal use influences the technologies they purchase for their organization, compared to 55 percent of Generation X and 57 percent of baby boomers.

IT buyers on the whole tend to be influenced by the industry buzz around new devices, but millennials are more influenced by the buzz around a new device -- especially when it is their personal tech devices.

Industry buzz will prompt 17 percent of millennials to purchase a new personal device compared to 10 percent of Generation X and only 8 percent of baby boomers.

Almost one-third of respondents said they need to have a personal experience with a tech brand, before making a purchase. For millennials, 34 percent need to have a personal experience with a brand, compared to 25 percent of Generation X and 17 percent of baby boomers.

Brands will need to adjust their social conversations to reach different Generations of IT buyers. What will resonate with baby boomers will not work so well with millennials.

Creating industry buzz -- and fostering a good personal experience -- would be a great starting point for effective connections.

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