A few months ago, we started a discussion about how children’s hospitals needed to sharpen the definition of their target audience. Eighty-three percent of moms are Millennials who expect a different brand experience, which means not all moms consume information the same way. To target the entire mommy population, you need a more focused strategy.
So what’s the best starting point for this strategy? Your approach to internal communications.
At Capstrat, we’ve helped many providers with their internal communications. Though their goals and audiences differ, each strategy we develop focuses on meeting employees’ basic needs. These include understanding how each person’s role fits into your organization’s broader mission, building relationships among colleagues and relating to the organization’s higher purpose
Your strategy for communicating with millennial moms needs to answer similar questions.
How does your offering fit into their lives?
Towers Watson’s 2012 Global Workforce Study noted that 88 percent of highly engaged employees understand how their jobs contribute to the achievement of business goals. They need to understand how they fit in.
Millennial moms will be asking how your value proposition fits in to their daily lives. They are spending more of their time parenting and less time sleeping, working and exercising. In fact, they are almost twice as likely as the average mom to hire someone to help manage their busy lives.
To help manage their more frenetic pace, they consume information differently. They have more social media accounts than the average mom and spend four more hours each week using them. They are also more mobile. They spend a half-hour more each day on their smart phones than Gen X moms.
What do they expect from the information brands send them? Two-thirds say they want products that simplify their lives. Sixty-one percent say a brand needs to match their lifestyle.
For providers that want to connect with millennial moms, this means content must operate at the intersection of social and mobile. Remember, brains process images 60,000 times more quickly than they do text, so put pictures at the center of your content. Be strategic with your calls to action, especially as you get started. Driving traffic to your website and collecting emails won’t cut it. Instead, take advantage of another unique characteristic of millennial moms: their penchant for sharing.
Are you helping millennial moms build relationships?
Gallup’s employee engagement survey always asks respondents if they have a best friend at work. The reason is straightforward: If you have tight-knit relationships at work, you’re more likely to stay.
Millennial moms are the consummate tight-knit group. They are 50 percent more likely than other moms to be asked for their opinions on purchasing decisions. They are also more likely to provide unsolicited recommendations. In a given month, they “like” or recommend products 35 percent more than the average mom. They retweet 44 percent more. Millennials are 17 percent more likely than Gen X moms to agree that recommendations from other parents are important to their view of a brand.
Developing content that fits their lifestyles is just step one. Make sure that content is easy to share, and make this action your primary call to action. You want other millennial moms to hear about your brand from a trusted source. As your following increases, you can use analytics to determine who may be willing to do more – like providing an email address, telling their stories or participating in online chat sessions.
It also pays to watch the growing conversation around tracking dark social activity. When you can account for the sharing millennial moms do via email, instant messaging apps, mobile applications and other previously untrackable sources, you have a chance to create an extremely valuable targeting opportunity.
What’s your organization’s higher purpose?
Employees always need to know how their roles contribute to something bigger or more important than themselves. Millennial moms require the same thing of brands. What vision can you offer that will help them understand where healthcare is going and how you’ll make it better?
Most studies confirm it’s critical to share your mission, values and vision for the future with Millennials. They are 29 percent more likely than their Gen X counterparts to say that it’s important that a brand share their values. They are a whopping 67 percent more likely to say that social responsibility and giving back to the community is an important brand characteristic .
Be sure to lay out your vision clearly. As often as you can, add message points to your content that address that vision. That can help turn your message into a narrative. Just remember it’s just as important to be transparent and admit when your actions don’t measure up to those values.
Edelman’s most recent brandshare study highlighted the impact of actively sharing your higher purpose. When brands provide this information in addition to meeting rational needs (the need to fit into a busy lifestyle) and emotional needs (the need to share with and influence peers), consumers are 12 percent more likely to both recommend the brand and share branded content.
Most organizations, both in and out of the healthcare world, draw sharp lines between their internal and external relationship-building strategies. But the healthcare providers that successfully persuade millennial moms to engage and take action will be the ones who are willing to blur those lines – or to leap right past them.
Mike Kondratick is VP, account director at Capstrat