January 31, 2012

Who cares about the Breakfast Club?

Don't forget about Gen X when you're planning your next hospital marketing campaign.

What about the Xers? So much of the healthcare marketing we see now is geared towards the Boomers. Boomer this, Boomer that—Boomers even have their own health conditions named for them, like “Boomeritis.”  How old do the members of the Breakfast Club have to be before they become a target audience for your hospital service lines?

Here’s a tip if you are going to start messaging to Generation X, leave the Boomer-speak at the door, a whole other language is required. And those services you were hoping the Boomers would use? Guess what? Xers are already using them.

According to research conducted by Thomson Reuters Healthcare, Generation X is the “Educate Me” generation. While other generations seek engagement or connection, the Xer wants to be sure you know what you are talking about.  Here are some highlights from their study:

  • An interest in being engaged and educated characterizes Generation X.
  • Relatively healthy as compared to older generations, they are notably curious and actively seek information.
  • They assume physicians and staff are knowledgeable and have a strong interest in amenities.
  • Consumers in this generation are more likely to switch physicians and hospitals based on their most recent experience, rather than their overall past experience.
  • This group has more in common with the Millennial adults than with the Boomers.
  • When Generation X thinks about medical professionals, their definition is broad and includes nurse practitioners, physician assistants, insurance companies, and pharmacies.

Generation X comprised the highest volume of callers to hospital call centers. Although they initially seek information online, they follow-up with call centers to determine expertise and seek additional information. Consider your services. What are you offering that speak to this generation?