Marketing healthcare to millennials and Gen Z

The youngest adults among us present a marketing challenge for those in the healthcare space because they don’t follow the commonly accepted “rules” of the healthcare system. As an example, according to the Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey, only 55 percent of people in Generation Z, born in 1997 and onward; and 67 percent of millennials, born in 1981 to 1996, have a primary care physician (PCP). In comparison, 84 percent of Baby Boomers have a PCP.

But younger adults are key for healthcare marketers because they have a lifetime of potential brand loyalty ahead of them. And they’re powerful, using their voices and spending power to support what matters to them. According to Pew, young adult households earn more than most older Americans did at the same age; they’re better educated than their grandparents; and Gen Z, millennials, and Gen X outvoted older generations in the 2018 midterm elections.

Here are three things to keep in mind when marketing healthcare to millennials and Gen Z.

They don’t care about your TV ad
Though 44 percent of millennials do watch their favorite shows on broadcast or cable, the youngest adults were raised on digital. That’s why display advertising, search engine marketing, social media advertising, native advertising, pay per click and other types of digital ads should take up a large piece of the pie when targeting this demographic. And make sure your website is mobile friendly—92 percent of millennials use smartphones and, since smartphones were introduced in 1992, Gen Zers have never lived in a world without them.

They’re staying single longer—or for good
Don’t assume that since the oldest millennials are in their mid-to-late 30s, they’re focused on family healthcare. According to Pew, 46 percent of millennials ages 25 to 37 are married, compared to 83 percent of those in the Silent generation who were married in 1968. And they may never marry. “The share of adults who have never married is increasing with each successive generation. If current patterns continue, an estimated one-in-four of today’s young adults will have never married by the time they reach their mid-40s to early 50s—a record high share.” Focus on marketing care for the individual, not the family, to reach a wider swath of this audience.

They’re an excellent source of feedback
Younger adults seek online reviews before they make a decision about a purchase—or a doctor. In fact, 97 percent of consumers aged 18—34 read local business reviews online. (Source: Search Engine Land) That means that it’s important to ensure that your reviews are enabled on social media and solicit positive feedback from current patients—and respond to negative feedback instead of burying your head in the sand. And because younger adults also provide reviews, they’re a great source of feedback. Monitor ratings and review sites, health apps, and online communities for useful insights into how your patients feel about your practice or organization, so you know what’s working and what isn’t.

Market to patients like customers