The healthcare industry is transforming, and so are its decision-makers. By 2025, studies estimate that 44% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials, and 73% of them will be involved in B2B purchase decisions. In many industries including healthcare, they’re already filling senior executive positions, and are influencing major buying decisions.
So it’s especially important for health tech companies to understand this generation – and align marketing efforts to their very specific needs. Millennials are the first generation to grow up immersed in technology. Their approach to evaluating health tech products and services is different from their predecessors. Marketers who recognize the differences and adapt will be at a real advantage.
Millennials search for and consume information differently than previous generations. They have different priorities and values, and different ideas about decision-making (hint: committees are back!). You’ll have to align your marketing strategy with their preferences if you want to reach this increasingly influential and powerful B2B customer segment. Content may be your best salesperson for the research-focused millennial buyer, but you’ll have to adapt formats, channels, and overall experience to support the millennial B2B buyer’s preferences.
10 ways millennial health tech buyers differ
A lot of research has been done on this burgeoning consumer segment on how they differ from preceding generations. Here are 10 critical differences about millennials when it comes to marketing your products and services:
- They don’t trust traditional advertising on TV, billboards, or print marketing.
- They respond only to brands they trust.
- They seek authenticity and transparency from companies.
- They make decisions based on peer and expert recommendations.
- They expect to see data and concrete facts along with structured analysis.
- They respond best to brands that offer social proof of benefits.
- They use multiple channels to communicate and consume information.
- They do not want to speak to salespeople, preferring to do self-service research first.
- They value group decisions that reflect teamwork, inclusivity, and a group mission.
- They believe that success is defined by more than performance or the bottom line.
With millennials increasingly shaping workplace decisions and strategy, these differences need to influence your content marketing strategy.
Techniques for marketing your healthcare product to millennials
Millennials’ views on healthcare have shifted. Bypassing the need for a primary care physician, this self-service generation prefers healthcare to be seamlessly delivered on-demand, through innovations such as retail walk-in care and pay-for-service clinics. They also see fitness, eating healthy, and self-monitoring as essential elements of their overall health.
The fact that millennials are open to solutions that support this evolving view of healthcare is a potential opportunity for many health tech organizations.
So what are millennials looking for from a health tech partner? How can you be seen, deliver content that educates, and influence their purchasing decisions? Use these tips to maximize your opportunities with millennial healthcare executives.
Develop a strong, consistent online and social media presence
It sounds pretty basic, but if it is difficult to find your company at online touchpoints, then you will never make it into this generation’s consideration set. Millennials are far bigger online researchers than any preceding generation, and if they don’t find information on your company in the formats they need, you will likely be eliminated before they ever speak to your salesperson.
In addition, 80% of millennials are influenced by “social selling,” so social proof and influencer marketing (e.g., on LinkedIn) should be part of your content strategy. Finally, make sure that your messaging and brand is consistent across digital channels, or you risk losing millennial trust. Which brings us to the next recommendation.
Demonstrate trustworthiness and integrity
Millennials distrust impersonal sales talk, traditional sales pitches, and sweeping claims and gimmicks. It’s important to present your products and services in a very transparent and authentic way that is respectful of this generation’s need for organized thinking, data, concrete facts, and risk mitigation. Avoid the content equivalent of “small talk” and seek to develop personal and emotional relationships with millennial B2B buyers. Engage them with stories and experiences that demonstrate and inspire and that convey your brand’s ethics and integrity. Finally, use your content marketing strategy to help establish your brand as an industry thought leader. All of the above will help foster trust.
Create clear, concise, relevant, and engaging content
Forrester found that 57% of millennials say the majority of marketing materials they read are useless. They are short on time and wary of buzzwords, so make sure your value proposition is short, clear, and front and center on every piece of content you publish. It’s also important to understand the millennial buyers’ information needs, as they travel along their buyer’s journey. They seek data and facts, social proof (think case studies, online reviews, testimonial videos, podcast interviews), and authenticity of messages. And your content should be succinct but informative – the long white paper probably isn’t a fit for this group. Make sure videos, and other millennial-friendly formats, make up a healthy part of your overall content mix.
Millennials grew up with a strong emphasis on teamwork, a focus on group success, and accomplishing missions as a group. They prefer to make purchasing decisions in committees and will be more likely than older generations to exert their influence on important workplace decision-making – even when they’re not in a senior position.
Your content marketing strategy will need to address these millennial preferences, while also appealing to older influencers and stakeholders. One approach to accomplish all that is to align your content, messaging, and value proposition with the group’s overall mission – which may extend beyond the four walls of their health institution. Highlighting your company’s socially conscious or charitable side in an authentic manner can also help appeal across generations.
Focus on the millennial definition of success
Ninety percent of millennials believe the success of a business is measured by more than just performance. They often balk at “bottom line” talk. In addition to benefits like cost reduction, HIPAA compliance, or integration, this socially oriented generation needs to understand how your product fits into a bigger mission and definition of success. Content that explains how your product can improve employee satisfaction or increase healthcare equity and access can go a long way to helping your company stand out with millennial decision-makers.
Take what you know about how millennials are thinking about and making health tech purchasing decisions and turn it into a solid strategy and successful execution. Make sure to develop buyer personas that account for the millennials you’re marketing to. Then, download our Health Tech Marketer’s Guide to Building a Content Marketing Plan to develop a content marketing strategy and plan that will meet your buyer’s right where they are with the content they’re searching for.