Millennial Speak- Reaching the Next Generation of Healthcare Consumers

Millennial Speak: Reaching the Next Generation of Healthcare Consumers

He’s been called the first millennial CEO. And Mark Zuckerberg and his twenty- and thirty-something cohorts may very well be the next big thing in healthcare.

The new boom in healthcare involves those born between roughly 1982 and 2003. Not only are their numbers on the rise, but so is their purchasing power. Their lifetime value as healthcare consumers cannot be ignored.

“We’re Too Young to Be Sick”

That said, millennials pose some marketing challenges. They insist they’re too young and healthy to worry about health insurance. They don’t utilize a lot of inpatient/outpatient services, choosing instead to get their care from primary care providers, urgent care centers or through an OB/GYN provider. And having grown up bombarded with advertising, millennials can smell a pitch coming from a mile away.

Yet, for all the things they are not, millennials do exhibit some intriguing traits for health care marketers. In particular, they are:

  1. Practical: Despite starting out as invincibles, millennials’ perspectives become more practical as they age — especially once they have kids.
  1. Value-driven: Even though cost is a concern, millennials will buy when they perceive the value is there or when they see it will benefit their children.
  1. Open to change: When it comes to healthcare, most millennials don’t have a strong brand affinity yet. Even if they do, they’re likely to change if given a compelling reason.

Paging Dr. Google

This is the totally online, totally on-demand generation. They’ve probably consulted with “Dr. Google” long before they are ready to reach out to you. So, any millennial marketing strategy has to be a digital strategy. But, if you truly care about reaching them, you’ll need to answer some questions first:

Is your brand relevant? Think young families in transition and what that means. Millennials are always moving — whether they’re relocating to a new city, getting new jobs, deciding where to give birth or where to bring children for pediatric care. They are also looking for providers who focus on promoting health and wellness, not just treating people when they are sick.

Is your message authentic? They don’t want to be “talked at,” or given a polished marketing pitch. They want to be heard. So listen, and start a conversation. Find out what they want and, when possible, tailor your offerings to them.

Are you thinking multiculturally? About 40 percent of this group is African-American, Latino, Asian, or a racially mixed background, and about 20 percent have at least one immigrant parent.

Are you using millennial-approved channels? In-tune marketers offer live and on-demand webinars on health topics, and are using Twitter hashtags in social media ad campaigns. They provide value-added content for their websites and have an interactive presence on social media.

Are you living up to your reputation? Finally, millennials are heavily influenced by reputation — especially what patients are saying about their experiences with you. They’ll check you out using a variety of sources, including online search, reviews and rating sites, their large social networks and word-of-mouth referrals.

Not sure of your millennial-speak abilities? The marketing polyglots at Wax Custom Communications can help. Just call us at 305-350-5700 or visit to start the conversation.