Millennials comprise one-fourth of all Americans. What does this mean as the generation that grew up with the Internet not just expects – but demands – a different healthcare experience?
You can be sure that this generation expects a digital healthcare experience and will not settle for a slow, cumbersome, non-convenient health delivery system. As millennials are making healthcare decisions for themselves, their young families, and even their aging parents, they are leading the revolution that is occurring in healthcare. And I don’t see a slowdown in the transformation anytime soon.
So, what do millennials want, and how can telehealth play an integral part in satisfying their needs?
Millennials want to access their healthcare digitally. Pew Research indicates that 92% of millennials own smartphones, half own tablets, and nearly all of them access the Internet, mostly on their phones.
This group is among the most technically savvy of all generations, incredibly active on social media and more than open to having connected wearables that share information with their doctors.
This group wants to be able to book online appointments, manage preventative care, and have their health care records at their fingertips all via a patient portal that they can access from their phone.
Marketing Telehealth to Millennials: Understanding Their Expectations
In a study conducted by MediaPost, 74% of millennials would choose a virtual telemedicine visit rather than an in-person visit. Telemedicine provides a solution that fits into the on the go, digital lifestyle of millennials while delivering a solution that’s fast, affordable, and helpful. For healthcare systems, power lies within the consumers. Thus, if one practice does not implement strategies that provide telemedicine solutions, this generation will move on. Millennials want options – virtual visits, appointment booking, mobile apps– to name a few.
Why Marketing Telehealth to Millennials Matters
The first digitally native generation, millennials, have shattered the status quo when it comes to marketing. Unlike previous generations, millennials can unlock endless amounts of information at the touch of a fingertip. As these digital natives are increasingly tech-savvy, their lifestyle consists of constant connectivity across multiple platforms and devices. Millennials require interactions to be convenient, quick, easy, and exciting. Healthcare is no exception. In this era of ubiquitous connection, easily accessing information via a smartphone enables millennials to do their own research.
The MediaPost study shows that 54% of Millennials have consulted as many as seven sources for self-diagnosis before seeking a healthcare professional. Millennials’ communication requires a more modernized, accessible version of healthcare. Nearly half of all Millennials want their healthcare experience to feel more accessible and engaging. Millennials are selective about seeking like-minded community-driven individuals vs. “the traditional system.”
How to Message to Millennials Effectively
Google something about millennials “killing” an industry – from Applebees to a myriad of seemingly entrenched institutions, nothing is truly sacred. This is an overstatement, but do not ignore the writing on the wall.
Millennials dismiss brands they feel have an alternative motive in gaining their business. Authenticity and personalization go a long way, bridging the generational gap. In contrast to authority-driven customer communication models, millennials are seeking out services that view them as part of the experience. They want to be a part of the conversation and have some control in the process.
In 2016, Salesforce reported that 52% of millennials would choose a doctor that offers virtual care as opposed to one that did not.
Millennials and the Rise of Virtual Care
Why are millennials exhibiting such a strong preference for virtual care? Convenience accommodates for a busy schedule and minimizes the risk of getting sick. Additionally, millennials are four times more likely to switch doctors based on virtual care options than later generations.
Millennials are practically begging for telemedicine, and soon telehealth solutions will become the norm – maybe much sooner than you think.
For generations to come, successful healthcare systems and practices will have to master the art of continuous innovation and strategic operational improvement to reach the empowered digital health consumer.
When it comes to effectively targeting and communicating value to millennial health consumers, you’re going to need an effective omnichannel strategy. You can’t afford to overlook marketing channels that may, on the surface, seem irrelevant to you or other stakeholders in your organization. Social media, streaming audio like Pandora, and paid ads are an absolute non-negotiable. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Need some help crafting your Millennial user personas and media strategy? Let me know how I can help you with that.