Recently we covered the issue of marketing your medical practice to Millenials, the biggest generation group in human history. That got us thinking – what about the other generation groups? We know that they have vastly different needs and wants, but healthcare services are a must for pretty much everyone.
How does medical marketing differ from one group to the next, and what can you do to make your services appeal specifically to each group? Let’s consider the Baby Boomers, for example, which is the group currently reaching retirement age.
Reason #1: Numbers Almost Equal Millenials
With roughly 79 million Baby Boomers currently alive in the U.S., this massive generation is second only to the Millenials. Born between 1946 and 1965, they are far more in number than the generation that followed them, which saw only 66 million American births.
Since 2011, the earliest Boomers have begun reaching the age of 65, which means they are likely starting to need treatment for a range of chronic illnesses.
Reason #2: They Feel Younger
Pew Research indicates that the average Boomer feels 9 years younger than their actual age, and that they believe old age only arrives after 72 years. This means there’s a strong possibility that they will want to maintain good health for as long as possible.
Most Boomers believe that at 70 they should still have active, healthy lifestyles that include work, leisure and sexual activity. This makes the Baby Boomers a primary target market for all healthcare marketing strategies.
Reason #3: Boomers Are Online
The perception remains that older people aren’t online users, but this couldn’t be more inaccurate. Forrester Research shows that Boomers between 47 and 55 years old spend more than 40 hours per month online.
Compared with Gen X’ers (35 to 46 years) and Gen Y’ers or Millennials (18 to 34) who spent 35 and 32 hours per month online respectively, that’s a significant number of hours.
Reason #4: They’re Wealther, and They Spend More
Boomers control three-quarters of the country’s wealth and outspend other generations by $400 billion annually. In addition, they spent $650 online per person over a three-month period in 2010, compared with $581 per Millenial during the same period.
This means they are comfortable using online shopping carts and databases, which could bode well for patient portals and content marketing.
Reason #5: Boomer Marketing is Different
So, given all these statistics, how do you market differently to the baby boomers? Research shows that these are the important points:
- They are more likely to pay attention to reviews by peers than other generation groups are.
- Only 50% of Boomers use search engines to find products and services, compared with 60% and 70% among other groups.
- Boomers are the group most likely to access a website from an address found on printed material.
- They value the brand or patient experience more than the services themselves. Apple found this out recently and adapted its marketing of the iPad to point out the simplicity of the experience and the usefulness of the product. This has proved to be a pivotal point with the Boomer market compared with other products that promoted how “cool” devices were instead of how useful they are to everyday life.
By factoring these points into your healthcare marketing strategies, you can target Boomers during what they consider to be their prime of life. Secure them as patients now with the allure of achieving future quality of life with preventive care, and you’ll have happy, healthy patients throughout their twilight years.
About the Author: Greg Fawcett is President of leading North Carolina medical marketing firm Precision Marketing Partners. In this capacity Greg helps healthcare service entities to research their target markets, build their brands and develop creative strategies to reach patients.