How can pharma marketers cater to millennial consumers?

How can pharma marketers cater to the millennial generation?
How can pharma marketers cater to the millennial generation?

When it comes to meeting the marketing needs of millennials, pharma marketers should keep in mind that this generation – currently people aged 18 to 34, according to PEW Research Center - responds to specific values and ideas.

According to an online study conducted by Allidura Consumer, GSW and Harris Poll in May and June of 2014, millennials place importance on happiness and health above all else. The online study's goal was to grasp a better understanding of what current health consumers are looking for in order to enhance brand interaction and marketing strategies.

How does the millennial generation see health?
PM360 noted that recent tragedies over the years, such as terrorists threats and attacks and  have made the millennial generation particularly concerned with achieving happiness and maintaining good health. The research asked 3,530 teens and adults, including 2,015 adult millennials, what they value most, uncovering their behaviors and attitudes about health.

The results found that close to all of the millennials – approximately 97 percent – found happiness to be paramount, while 95 percent also put a premium on health. Therefore, it's clear that most health consumers place a mind-body connection on good well-being

In addition to showing the generation's focus on health and happiness, the findings also showed that 69 percent of millennials are stressed about their personal health and consider mental well-being to be essential to physical fitness. In fact, 35 percent of the respondents reported going to therapy on a regular basis to maintain their well-being. 

How can pharma marketing cater to these values?
Despite the emphasis that millennial consumers place on their health, the study found that only 42 percent of responders consider themselves to be healthy. The study also found that 37 percent of millennials are so worried over their well-being that they even make self-diagnoses with physical and mental problems that they don't actually have.

How can pharma marketing meet the needs of this worrying generation of consumers? The Allidura study suggested that marketers build their strategies around trust. While consumers are starting to take more responsibility for their own health, this doesn't mean that the companies selling them products are off the hook. Consumers are still expecting a lot from brands. 

Marketers must realize that consumers have a variety of options available to them online and in stores on a local, national and international level. This means that achieving brand loyalty is becoming increasingly difficult, and the way to attract loyal customers is with trust. However, as the survey makes clear, in addition to trust, marketers must also place importance on showing consumers that they support and share their idea of what being healthy means. This is accomplished by creating marketing strategies that emphasize the importance of mental health on physical health and overall well-being.

"For millennials, the question isn't who can help them be healthy, but rather what can help them," said Leigh Householder, chief innovation officer at GSW​, in the study's press release. "To millennials, physical health is intricately connected with mental health. So, for brand marketers to be successful in reaching this audience, they must think about health and wellness the same way, and create solutions that inspire millennials to experience health at any given moment and throughout all aspects of their lives." 

Consumers should be able to clearly see what the brand stands for and easily identify whether it has a strong connection to economic trends and social values. Brand messages should also remain unbiased toward its consumers' economic status. Of course, this must be done using social media platforms and mobile applications in addition to traditional marketing procedures to ensure advertisement strategies stay in tune with consumer expectations.