Ken MakovskyMonday, June 8, 2015
Millennials, perhaps more than any preceding generation have been labeled and stigmatized. There’s the common refrain that we’re lazy, entitled narcissists who choose to live our lives for today, without regard for the future.
If that were true, it would only stand to reason that ‘my’ generation would take a lax, if not irresponsible approach to our healthcare. Fortunately these generalizations are just that — and healthcare marketers seek to increasingly understand the unique needs and wants of the Millennials.
Working in the pharma marketing industry, I’ve always had an interest in how different generations approach healthcare. And as a 28 year-old who has a patient history more reflective of someone twice his age, I find the number of treatment options and ideologies behind them fascinating. So, when a coworker shared an article published on FiercePharmaMarketing, that concluded Millennials, aged 18-32 worry about health issues (getting sick, affordable healthcare, proper treatment) just as much as Baby Boomers do, I wasn’t surprised.
The InVentiv Health and Harris Poll study highlighted what Millennials and Baby Boomers have in common – the desire for health and happiness. More interesting, findings led researchers to develop a few maxims as they relate to Millennials and their view on healthcare and the industry marketing that targets them directly.
The seven Millennial maxims for healthcare/healthcare marketing:
* We’re different. You should be too.
* We’ll pass on the sick care, thank you.
* Happiness and healthiness are intertwined.
* Do good with us.
* Be there when we need you – and don’t freak us out.
* Help us find balance.
* Show your sources.
Although some of the above statements may seem obvious, they do reinforce how Millennials want to engage around healthcare – and that they consider trust, reliability and personalization paramount. For example, being part of a generation that is never more than a ‘google search’ away from securing an answer, we expect accurate information not only from our healthcare providers, but the companies representing them.
The article further highlights J&J, Sanofi and UCB as organizations that have been successful at reaching Millennials through innovative and generation-specific initiatives — yet another reminder about the importance of targeted marketing and public relations efforts. There is no ‘one size fits all’ marketing plan. As communication professionals it is incumbent upon us that we deliver effective communications to consumers who may have the similar concerns but different perspectives. It’s a challenge that this Millennial is eager to take on.
-Bryan Gibbs, Account Supervisor, Makovsky Health Practice