With more millennials turning 26 every day—myself included—marketing healthcare and pharmaceuticals to this age group is more important than before. I mean, hey, we have $200 billion in annual buying power, equaling about a quarter of the population! No wonder healthcare marketing to millennials is gaining more attention than ever and is the subject of a recently published study by MM&M.
- How important is marketing to millennials? Well, 47% of the healthcare marketers surveyed agree it is urgent/very important. However, very few funds are allocated toward targeting this demographic. Pharmaceutical companies reported allocating just 12% of their marketing budget to millennials, and ad agencies reported a mere 9%.
- Millennials’ attitudes toward health are one of marketers’ biggest challenges. Millennials have a tendency toward self-treatment, are highly social, distrustful of authority, and purpose-driven. Since millennials are tomorrow’s patients, advertisers need to find a way to overcome these challenges and engage this target market.
- It’s important to millennials that their products are connected, accessible, and social. This is something that pharma companies are struggling with—81% of those surveyed say mobile integration is their biggest challenge. Despite this, healthcare marketers are recognizing the value of this connection. About 91% report social media has the greatest reach, and 82% are beginning to use mobile/tablet apps.
- Looking ahead, 79% of healthcare marketers are beginning to change their marketing mix to include more digital efforts. Another 36% say they plan to involve millennials in product development.
While marketing to millennials is not without its challenges for healthcare (and other industries), millennials are fiercely loyal, and it’s worth it to connect with them on their level through the vehicles they trust—not just ads, but with relevant, engaging content. This will help healthcare companies build and maintain deeper relationships and turn millennials into tomorrow’s loyal patients.