According to the US Census Bureau, Millennials (ages 18-34) are now the nation’s largest generation, having surpassed the baby boomers (51-69). This so-called “drive-thru” generation has grown up using smartphones, going to Starbucks, and ordering Netflix from their Ipads. It is the age of on-demand, and there is the expectation that service should be quick and efficient. Healthcare is no exception.
Whether this group is booking a doctor’s appointment online, researching symptoms and treatment options, or searching the latest physician reviews, Millennials do their homework, and they typically turn to the internet for answers. As this generation’s purchasing power and influence continue to rise, they are redefining the meaning of consumerism. Those healthcare organizations who do not pay attention to this group’s needs may find themselves left behind. The following are just a few examples of what Millennials are expecting from their healthcare:
- Fast and Efficient Care– Millennials expect easy, quick, and convenient care, in fact over half of these consumers prefer going to retail or acute care clinics. This group would also rather book an appointment online than pick up the telephone and they use text message whenever possible.
- Technology – It is no surprise, that Millennials love their technology. One survey found 71 percent of Millennial patients would prefer doctors that used mobile apps to book appointments, share health data, and manage preventive care. In addition, 60 percent of Millennials would utilize telehealth to eliminate in-person visits if this option was available. These trends will only continue to grow as more healthcare organizations provide these options attempting to cater to this particular segment.
- Price Transparency– Believe it or not, Millennials may be even more price conscious than their baby boomer parents. As healthcare, out-of-pocket costs continue to rise; many millennials are requesting upfront estimates before undergoing medical treatment. Clear pricing and transparency are important to Millennials and yet another reason they prefer retail and acute care facilities. This group is also more likely to request a less expensive treatment option, ask for a discount, or forgo care altogether because of the price.
- Online Reviews Matter- Although, a lot of organizations and healthcare providers discredit online reviews more than half of Millennials use online reviews to select their doctors. Clearly, Millennials feel comfortable using the internet, and they are more trusting of the information they find. Therefore, online reviews are another quick and easy way to compare and choose providers and organizations.
So, what does any of this have to do with healthcare marketing? A lot, actually. Millennials are now the largest generation, and it is imperative that healthcare organizations are paying special attention to the expectations of this consumer group. In order to engage Millennials, providers and healthcare organizations must be able to provide quick, efficient, and convenient care that is transparent and makes technology a priority. Healthcare marketers who are able to adapt their brands to meet the expectations of the Millennial patient will earn their trust and their business.