This is not your father’s healthcare plan. In fact, baby boomers – people born approximately between 1946 and 1964 – at this point in time consume more healthcare resources than any other generation. While this demographic continues to be the driving force of the healthcare industry, millennials have been causing healthcare companies to re-evaluate their marketing strategies going forward. People born approximately between the early 1980s and early 2000s, are in the position to drastically change how healthcare is delivered to the consumer. In fact, millennials now outnumber baby boomers by about 7.7 million.
Millennials are not always easy to understand, especially for brands that are beginning to become more dependent on the type relationship they form with them. For healthcare marketers to have success in the future, they will need to understand the key characteristics that separate millennials from older generations. Here are some of the qualities of those millennial qualities that should be considered when developing a new healthcare marketing strategy:
1. Technology and Millennials Go Hand in Hand
This is clear in any industry. For example, 85% of millennials are now using smartphones. Marketing has always been influenced by the latest technology that will best facilitate connection between people and companies. As a result, we are seeing more healthcare companies implementing digital marketing campaigns, especially via social media and mobile apps that will help engage millennials on mobile devices. For example, United Healthcare began introducing monthly “dares” and quizzes on their website for followers to document on social media. The campaign has been extremely successful in bringing brand loyalists to interact online.
2. Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Millennials are very social with one another. According to Becker’s Hospital Review, about 70% of millennials chose their primary physician based on recommendations from family and friends, while this applies to only 41% of baby boomers. Millennials are very perceptive. They prefer to do their own research than follow marketing campaigns. Many healthcare brands have recognized this trend by putting more emphasis on providing easy to access health information on their websites and mobile apps.
Millennials take their personal values very seriously. It is also important to note that their type of values are very different than those of older generations. Millennials are more globally conscious. They are much more apt to do business with brands that share similar values. Millennials prefer content that resonates well with them and gives them a comforting feeling before making a purchase decision. Having an effective content marketing strategy based on offering clear and concise information, especially on a complex topic such as healthcare, will be very effective in engaging millennials. A great example is the HealthBeat blog, published by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, which offers popular content for readers seeking tips on improving their well-being.
Most industries up to this point have become well acquainted with millennials. Technology has helped healthcare brands discover new ways to connect with current and prospective patients. But the main issue will come from whether or not healthcare marketers can understand what makes millennials tick.