Healthcare marketers looking to target 20- to 30-year-olds may need to use different strategies than when targeting older generations. Surveys have shown that a number of different marketing strategies can help companies reach young adults, and they are not all reliant on digital platforms.
Individuals born between 1980 and 2000 are often referred to as generations X and Y or Millennials. The general perception of these consumers is that they are best reached via electronic mediums, but surveys have shown this might not be the case.
Millennials wary of social media marketing
A study from DTC Marketing found that young adults do not solely rely on social media to collect information about health problems. The data was collected over four weeks by surveying visitors to popular healthcare websites.
The results showed that these adults tend to collect information on medical issues from a variety of sources, not just social media. They may use social sites as an initial resource for information, but they will verify the information elsewhere. Young adults spent the most time researching how the side effects of medications would affect their lifestyle and how much certain drugs would cost.
When asked about the effectiveness of healthcare websites, many respondents said that the sites do a poor job tailoring information to their particular needs and they would like to see more monitored forums on the sites.
Government Technology explained that New Mexico's government has been targeting young adults through a variety of marketing strategies. In an attempt to get this target market to sign up for health insurance, officials are using social media, online videos and celebrity endorsements.
"Things take time and move slowly," Martin Hickey, a member of New Mexico's Health Exchange, told Government Technology. "We have to figure out how to sell this idea that single, healthy, young people should get covered. We have to explain that this is peace of mind, that the trade offs of cost are worth it."
The initial marketing campaign fell flat, as it was relying too heavily on social media. However, since the strategy has been adjusted to encompass more outlets, the state has seen an increase in enrollment.
Young adults respond to direct marketing
Marketers may think that young adults would perceive direct mailing efforts as too old fashioned, but Business 2 Community explained it is a viable method to reach this target market. More than 60 percent of consumers in "generation X" report purchasing a product as a result of direct mail.
However, the same type of direct mail used for older consumers may not garner the same response with younger generations. Consumers in their 20s and 30s are less trusting and more likely to do supplementary research than their parents.
"Generation X is a very skeptical consumer," noted Cam Marston, a trend analyst for Generational Insights.
Companies targeting this generation with direct mail should place emphasis on the security of their product. Free trials or money-back guarantees are both good ways to build trust in the minds of young adults. Healthcare companies should also be aware that young consumers will do further research on the product, so having a positive online presence is crucial.
Another effective marketing strategy is to include supplementary digital resources on direct mail pieces. A QR code to the company website or the URL of a medical forum will encourage consumers to do more research on the product. Since this generation is technologically savvy, these methods will be better received than with older consumers.