Marketing to millennials is challenging enough. But how do you get young people who enjoy good health to care about healthcare?
Depending on your source, there are approximately 100 million millennials in the U.S. alone. It's a big number, but not nearly as big as the nearly $3 trillion that this group of whippersnappers represents in potential spending power. Yes, you read that correctly: The amount of money in these young people's pockets is collectively and substantially more than the GDP of France.
If you couldn't tell by our diverse, energetic faces, we've got a lot of money to spend.
It's this glittery, diamond-encrusted purse of opportunity that has marketers in a tizzy, resulting in everything from magazine cover stories to inboxed listicles explaining the whats, hows, and whys of millennial engagement. Phrases like “authenticity” and “value” play on loop in the marketing machines of every agency expert and thought leader — it's enough to frustrate even the most creative of creatives. (Seriously, have you ever tried to make feta cheese more authentic?) And after all this, add in the complexities of marketing in the regulated spaces of healthcare — “please provide a reference regarding the crumbliness of this feta relative to other fetas” — and the frustration devolves into madness. If marketing to millennials is challenging — and healthcare marketing is one of the most challenging forms of marketing — how the hell do you market healthcare to millennials?
There's a funny thing about healthcare marketing: We industry marketers and brand managers often dream of the day we'll be free of regulation and legal review. “Imagine what we could do if we were Nike,” we say to ourselves. “Think of the amazingness we could create if we had Apple's freedom.” The other side's grass may always seem greener, but in the case of millennial marketing, it's healthcare that has the edge.
Stop laughing. We're serious.
At 2e Creative, we've watched the millennial marketing trends. Yes, we've seen the study saying millennials want access over ownership. Of course, we read about the millennial blowback when Company X did Y, causing its credibility (and stock price) to plummet. Value and authenticity, right?
And as the best healthcare agency in the country (for sure, we have proof), we know healthcare — more specifically, we know healthcare marketing and how to successfully engage with regulatory and legal reviews. You know what regulatory and legal teams like? Data, proof, and facts.
What's more authentic than facts?
I crave adventure, authenticity, and being engaged by your healthcare brand. Maybe not in that order.
The truth is that healthcare marketing has unknowingly designed itself for the millennial audience. Every awareness spot must have evidence to back up its claims; every piece of sales collateral must contain features and specs to answer the questions of its audience. For those of us in this space, we're working with authenticity and value every single day in our efforts to build engagement. It doesn't matter if we're creating for pharma or med device, a diagnosis or a disease state: Everything we say and do had better have a study or a figure or a footnote — you know, value and authenticity — to support it.
So millennials, those great white whales of modern marketing, are primed for us (and they'll continue to be as their age and general rate of investment in healthcare rise). To today's healthcare marketer, that means go forth and be brave. Take the leap and interact with your young audience, even though yesterday you thought it was a risk. Yes, it's still a risk, but no more so than in any other audience or channel. When it comes to preternatural ability to engage with millennials, you are the Nikes, Apples, and (insert whatever cool, big-budget consumer company you want to here).
It may not hurt to hug your regulatory person, too.