Part 1: Where are Millennials in B2B Trades?

Where are Millennials in B2B Trades?

As a B2B Market Research insights provider for decision makers, we are often tasked with researching Millennials in Trades (as defined here by Pew Research). One of the common themes is how to reach the limited number of Millennials in specific trades (such as electricians, flooring installers, HVAC technicians, plumbers, and many others).

Our strategic research over the years has focused on solutions; uncovering where to find Millennials in trades, how to recruit them, how to retain them, and then how to market to them. One recent WSJ article uncovered many of the same findings we have discovered in our own research. Understanding how to sell to B2B Millennials requires a knowledge of the reasons behind their labor participation rate declines.

We have identified four reasons new generations have not pursued a trade:

  1. No training
    • High schools cut vocational training programs during the recession. Trade union participation in training sponsorship declined as well.

  2. Parental Guidance
    • Parents’ push their children to get a college degree and not into a trade.

  3. On-the-job training costs
    • Rising material costs and wages, industry trades don’t want to waste time and money on workers who aren’t already trained.

  4. Low wages
    • Wages must be raised to further to better compete with other industries.

While many reasons have led to the decline in Millennials trade participation decline, several trade unions, trade associations, and especially B2B brands have executed on strategies to expand their exposure to these lucrative generations. Understanding the genesis of the trade participation decline has helped some amazing B2B brands develop marketing strategies that have expanded their customer base to include this lucrative generation. In Part 2 we will uncover the plans that the best B2B brands are using to recruit Millennials to their trade, and in part 3 we will discover how to market to B2B Millennials effectively.