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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Be future ready: Selling to millennials and a marketplace of one

Be future ready: Selling to millennials and a marketplace of one

There is almost a deafening discussion going on about the self-centeredness of today’s young adults. Weather you call them Generation Y, millennials or twenty-somethings, the general refrain seems to be a perception that the entire lot of them only care about themselves.

Patricia Greenfield of the University of California in Los Angeles actually used the Google Ngram Viewer to study this perception. Her findings, published in Psychological Science, showed that there has indeed been a distinct rise in more individualistic words such as “choose,” “get,” “feel,” “unique,” “individual” and “self” and a decrease in community-focused words such as “obliged,” “give,” “act,” “obedience,” “authority,” “pray” and “belong.”

This shift toward “me” has been driven by society’s transition to a more urban environment. It has actually been going on for a couple of centuries and has recently been accelerated by the rise of technology and the availability of education. So is this a good or bad thing?

To #BeFutureReady the answer to this question is immaterial because this is the marketplace of the future and businesses must know how to sell to this generation. That means enterprises must learn how to identify individuals, carry on two-way relevant conversations with those individuals and learn how to sell to a marketplace of one. This is why cloud computing is such a revolution to businesses of all sizes.

Cloud services, by their very nature, are simultaneously global in scope and individual in nature. They economically enable information technology platforms that can implement parallel and individually focused sales and marketing processes. Services like Twitter, Instagram, Twitch and Facebook are ideal for selling to this younger generation because individuals can be identified, engaged, enticed and yes, sold. This is not only important to the consumer market, but it plays well in the business-to-business (B2B) market as well. Organizations make decisions by committee and the key to a successful B2B engagement today is through the use of an individualized persuasion campaign aimed at each decision maker.

Businesses must also have the agility to use multiple cloud services and must be able to rapidly change the type or volume of services being used. That is why cloud service marketplaces may be even more important in the B2B realm. The future will be a world of many clouds with numerous service choices from a variety of cloud vendors. Businesses and governments are also increasingly choosing public clouds for a variety of software services and shared content. Software and IT service aggregators are working hard to make it easy to find, purchase and consume a wide variety of cloud services from a single cloud service marketplace vendor. To keep up with this trend, future-ready enterprises will need to know how to rapidly on-board, bundle, provision and de-provision their portfolio of cloud services. If this future viewpoint proves to be true, offerings like Dell Marketplace and AppDirect could be the perfect partners for a future-ready organization.

Cloud service marketplaces provide the tools, services and expertise needed to identify, converse, connect and sell to today’s millennial, or— should I say— tomorrow’s CEO.

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. For more on these topics, visit Dell’s thought leadership site PowerMore. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

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( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

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