April 4, 2014 Greg Fawcett

5 Reasons Healthcare Marketing Strategies Should Target Baby Boomers

In a different article, we covered marketing your medical practice to Millenials, the biggest generation group in human history. What about the other generation groups? We know that they have vastly different needs and wants, but healthcare services are a must for pretty much everyone.
How does medical marketing differ from one group to the next? What can you do to make your services appeal specifically to each group? Let’s consider the Baby Boomers, for example, which is the group currently reaching retirement age.

Reason #1: Numbers Almost Equal Millenials

With roughly 79 million Baby Boomers alive in the U.S., this massive generation is second only to the millennials. Born between 1946 and 1965, the generation is much larger than the next generation, with only 66 million American births.

In 2011, the earliest Boomers started turning 65, which means they may need treatment for a range of chronic illnesses.

Reason #2: Boomers Feel Younger

Pew Research shows that the average Boomer feels 9 years younger than their actual age, and they believe old age starts at 72. They will want to maintain good health for as long as possible.

Most Boomers believe that at 70 they should still have active, healthy lifestyles that include work, leisure and sexual activity. This belief makes the Baby Boomers a primary target market for all healthcare marketing strategies.

Reason #3: Boomers Are Online

The perception remains that older people aren’t online users, but this couldn’t be more inaccurate. Forrester Research shows that Boomers between 47 and 55 years old spend over 40 hours per month online.

Compared with GenX (35 to 46 years) and millennials (18 to 34) who spent 35 and 32 hours per month online respectively, that’s a lot.

Reason #4: Boomers are Wealthier, and They Spend More

Boomers control three-quarters of the country’s wealth and outspend other generations by $400 billion annually. In addition, they spent $650 online per person over three months in 2010, compared with $581 per millennial.
This spending means they are comfortable online, which could bode well for patient portals and content marketing.

Reason #5: Boomer Marketing is Different

So, given all these statistics, how do you market differently to the baby boomers? Research shows that these are the important points:

  • They are more likely to pay attention to reviews by peers than other generation groups are.
  • Only 50% of Boomers use search engines to find products and services, compared with 60% and 70% among other groups.
  • Boomers are the group most likely to access a website from an address found on printed material.

They value the brand or patient experience more than the services themselves. Apple adapted its marketing of the iPad to highlight simple experience and the usefulness of the product. This approach has proved to be pivotal with the Boomer market compared to products that promoted “cool” devices instead of useful products.

By factoring these points into your healthcare marketing strategies, you can target Boomers during their prime. Secure them as patients now. Offer the allure of achieving future quality of life with preventive care, and you’ll have happy, healthy patients throughout their twilight years.

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