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B2B decision-makers under age 40, often tech natives, tend to blur work-life boundaries, seek continual self-evolution, and expect brands to address social issues, according to recent research from The B2B Institute at LinkedIn, Light Years, and GWI.

The report was based on data from a survey of 17,000 knowledge workers age 21-40 in 10 global markets.

The researchers identified four key characteristics of younger B2B decision makers, whom they dubbed "BETAs": blurred boundaries (B), evolving (E), tech native (T), and activist (A).

Below are highlights from the survey addressing each characteristic. Check out the full report for an in-depth exploration of the research.

Blurred Boundaries

Work and home life often overlap for BETAs: 81% say they often work late and 89% say they check email/messages outside of work.

B2B decision-makers under age 40 are significantly more likely to say they use business services such as Zoom for both personal and professional reasons, compared with decision-makers over the age of 40.

Evolving

BETAs often seek to self-improve online, with a significantly higher share of B2B decision-makers under age 40 saying they engage in professional online learning, compared with decision makers over age 40.

Being at the forefront is also more important for BETAs. A greater share of younger decision-makers say they always like to stand out in a crowd, try new products, and regularly inform friends and family about new products/services.

Tech Natives

BETAs are tech and mobile natives. Fully 71% say they use their smartphone for work.

Although email is their most used communication channel, B2B decision-makers under age 40 are much more likely than decision-makers over age 40 to use collaboration tools, such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.

Activist

BETAs care strongly about workplace diversity (76% say they like to be surrounded by diversity) and sustainability (67% say they would pay more for sustainable/eco-friendly products).

Some 48% of US B2B decision-makers under age 40 say they expect brands/companies to review hiring policies to support the Black Lives Matter Movement, and 47%say they expect brands/companies to ensure diversity in their leadership/management teams.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 17,000 B2B knowledge workers age 21-40 in 10 global markets.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji


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