3 Key Insights: Healthcare Marketing to Millennials

millennialsMillennials. A term that often ignites a few eye rolls, but for what it’s worth, Millennials are the perfect target for life sciences companies. Or, at least that’s how they should be viewed.

While chronically ill patients and the aging population often dominate the healthcare spotlight, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that Millennials now outnumber baby boomers. Since this population doesn’t typically fall into the healthcare cost buckets that older generations do, they’re often forgotten about.

However, with Millennials serving as tomorrow’s patients and with a purchasing power of over $200 billion annually, life sciences companies need to engage with them now to create loyal consumers long-term.

To help you navigate your marketing efforts to this target group, here are 3 key insights:

Millennials and Technology Go Hand in Hand

Utilizing technology to foster meaningful communications between brands and consumers is nothing new. However, it’s imperative to utilize technology to engage with Millennials.

Millennials are often viewed as the first generation of digital natives, with a distinct openness to receiving information on multiple channels. They are so accustomed to having instant access to an abundance of information, it’s no wonder driving engagement with a consumer segment that’s so disconnected from the traditional definition of healthcare is challenging.

With 97 percent of this generation owning smartphones, life sciences companies need to implement strategic digital marketing campaigns, especially via social media channels and mobile apps that will help engage Millennials and meet them where they digest information the most.

Millennials’ Primary Care Physician: The Internet

Since Millennials are more trusting of technology and many don’t have access to a primary care physician, they typically turn to the Internet for healthcare information.

Be honest, how many times have you googled your symptoms or visited WebMD rather than consulted with a physician? Don’t be shy, everyone has done it at one point.

However, for Millennials, consulting the Internet to self-diagnose, is usually their first step. They look to providers much less often for medical advice than previous generations, preferring to do their own research rather than follow marketing campaigns.

According to a recent study:

  • 56 percent of Millennials visited a primary care physician in the last year, compared to 74 percent of non-Millennials.
  • Half of Millennials research symptoms and treatments online before consulting a doctor, and of those, 27 percent will self-treat at home and never step foot in a physician’s office.

Knowing that, life sciences companies need to put more emphasis on providing easy to access health information on their websites and mobile apps with content that is helpful or entertaining, rather than a straight sell to properly engage with this generation.

Millennials Value, Value and Authenticity

One of the most important aspects of healthcare marketing to Millennials is to understand what matters most to them because identifying the nuances of this audience are key to crafting messages and developing a marketing mix that gains traction.

This generation has come to age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption that has given them a distinct set of behaviors, experiences, and values. They represent a population that is savvy, connected and more diverse than any previous generation.

Having grown up with personalized experiences from brands, they expect solutions that are “right-sized” for individuals, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. This individualistic approach also needs to be tied into a strong sense of community. With 43 percent of Millennials ranking authenticity over content when consuming information, they are also more likely to be receptive if the messaging aligns with their values as well.

Ultimately, Millennials want to be a part of a larger conversation – to make individual contributions, but to also be connected and woven into a larger discussion. They care more about the reasons than the features. They want experience. Life sciences companies who realize this will undoubtedly capture a larger share of the market, while also promoting a sense of community, encouraging the proactive engagement of Millennials in their own healthcare and well-being.


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