Reaching millennials: ‘The next America’

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ATLANTA – As baby boomers shift from being the decision makers for their parents to the end user, HME providers need to start developing marketing strategies aimed at millennials, says Shahar Boyayan co-owner of Salt Lake City-based Buzzbooster Marketing.

“In five more years, they will be buying for their parents,” said Boyayan, who presented “The Next America: Boomers and Millennials as the Most Powerful Buyers in the HME Industry” at Medtrade in November with her daughter and co-owner, Nashlah Boyayan. “So the industry needs to start paying attention on how to market to them because they have a very different approach than what the industry is used to.”

Out of 75.4 million millennials born between 1980 and 2000, 9.5 million are already caregivers, according to a study conducted by the National Alliance of Caregivers and AARP.

Unlike baby boomers, 41% of millennials want upfront estimates for out-of-pocket costs before they receive medical treatment, says Shahar Boyayan, compared to 21% of baby boomers and 18% of seniors.

“If I’m marketing to them, I have to address price more than I have to (with) the baby boomers,” she said. “The millennials like to save, whereas the baby boomers like the thrill of finding a bargain.”

Millennials are also more likely to turn to Google for healthcare information and buy products online first, before going to a doctor, says Nashlah Boyayan.

“For companies who have solutions to many of these health problems, it’s imperative to have a presence online if you want to reach a millennial audience,” she said.

While social media plays an important role, it’s not a magic bullet.

“Are they on Facebook?” said Shahar Boyayan. “Not really. The average user is 40, so it’s not a millennial network anymore.”

Rather, the story is more important than the tool—and that goes for both millennials and baby boomers.

“Testimonials and online reviews are key,” said Nashlah Boyayan. “They’re based on stories. As humans we’re wired for narrative and so it’s important to use it in your marketing and your message."