Marketing to Millennials: A Fresh Approach for Younger Patients

The times, demographically speaking at least, they are changin’. In fact, according to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials will overtake Baby Boomers as the largest age group in the nation by the end of this year. And you don’t have to be a statistician to recognize that those 75.3 million 18-35 year olds (vs. 74.9 million Boomers) view the world through a very different lens than their forebears.

It’s a lens that’s described in great detail in a recent report from Millennial Branding and Elite Daily, which, not coincidentally, also provides insights that can help brands reach this highly engaged, highly tech-friendly cohort. Among the findings:

  • Millennials trust blogs more than traditional media: 33% selected blogs as their top media source before making a purchase vs. less than 3% for traditional sources, including TV news, magazines and books.
  • 58% of Millennials expect brands to publish content online before they make a purchase. Furthermore, when asked what mattered most about that content, authenticity topped the content itself, 43% vs. 32%.
  • Millennials want brands to engage with them on social media. 62% said that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
  • When asked about what influences them to share information about a brand online, 39% said “a quality product” and 30% said “a good customer experience.”

For aesthetic professionals, the above insights take on added significance when you consider what procedures Millennials are most interested in. Analyzing pageviews during Q4 2014 and Q1 2015, the RealSelf Trends blog reveals the following:

  • Women ages 18–24 show more interest in rhinoplasty than any other age group — in fact, the group shows 45% more interest in nose jobs compared to women just a little bit older (ages 25 to 34).
  • Rhinoplasty is also the No. 1 topic for males of this age, although interest in braces tops the charts when compared to other male age groups. Men in this age group also show 32% more interest in straightening their teeth than women of the same age.
  • For older Millennials (ages 25­–34), high-interest procedures diverge by gender diverge: Males’ interest in hair transplants goes up 27% when compared to their younger peers, while breast implants become the No. 1 topic for women.

Taken together, the findings suggest ways doctors can improve the odds that they’ll connect with this large — and big-spending — cohort. Blogging about the procedures this group is most interested in, contributing to the online conversation via social media, and demonstrating authenticity and the entire customer experience — these are the techniques that get Millennials’ attention and lay the groundwork for long-term loyalty.

As for those doctors who believe the above findings don’t apply because their clientele skews older, just wait. As RealSelf CEO Tom Seery says,

It starts with asking, ‘Where will my customers be in five, 10 or 20 years?’ A practice needs to be prepared for the future. What’s happening with 18 to 34 year olds today offers a predictive view into what you can expect seeing across the entire population.

In other words, even if Millennials aren’t a big part of your practice now, rest assured they’ll be part of somebody’s — yours or someone else’s — soon enough.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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