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Colman Brohan Davis CEO Urges Companies to Re-tool Marketing Strategies to Engage Gen Y Business Buyers

Colman Brohan Davis (Business Wire) - 29 October 2009

Colman Brohan Davis CEO Urges Companies to Re-tool Marketing Strategies to Engage Gen Y Business Buyers

Colman Brohan Davis logoCHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gen Y, the tech-savvy children of baby boomers, are fast becoming decision-making managers who use a blend of online, offline and word-of-mouth channels when making business purchase decisions. Yet most companies have not developed marketing strategies that resonate with these buyers, even though 75 percent believe Gen Y will impact their sales in the next two years.

These findings were presented late last week by Liz Brohan, CEO of integrated marketing agency Colman Brohan Davis, at the global DMA09 conference. Colman Brohan Davis co-sponsored a survey of over 300 Gen Y managers, all under age 30. The survey mapped their buying process and ranked the media tools they use when making business purchase decisions.

Gen Y is Online Early and Often

“Gen Y managers are serious, independent information seekers who expect to interact with products and companies online as a matter of course,” said Brohan. “Their decision process begins and ends online, where they seek information, recommendations and validation.” She also noted that Gen Y managers go online earlier and more often in their purchase process than Gen X or Boomer business buyers.

Collaboration is another Gen Y trait. As part of their consideration process, they seek recommendations and validation. Favorite tools include social networking, peer marketing, online support networks, text messaging and blogging.

“Even though most marketers have an understanding of these technologies, they are not connecting the dots to appeal to this buyer,” noted Brohan. “Companies must change their customer engagement model dramatically to have an impact.”

How to Sell to a Gen Y Manager

Some of the ways Gen Y researches a business purchase:

  • 84 percent talk with others
  • 84 percent employ search engines
  • 83 percent use email to colleagues and associates
  • 79 percent browse websites
  • Talking to others is as important as using electronic media
  • Traditional media like television, print and directories are in the decision mix and cannot be eliminated from an integrated marketing approach

The survey was conducted with E-RM Research and PeanutLabs. Read the white paper at Colman Brohan Davis is an award-winning Chicago-based integrated marketing agency with clients in diverse industry sectors.


Colman Brohan Davis


Jean Ban

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