The past year has thrown many things in to the spotlight, and a significant takeaway we have noticed, is how different generations have interacted with pharmacies and their marketing. Specifically, if you are making broad generalizations in your marketing without consideration of how it will affect your target generation, you may be doing more harm than good. By tailoring your message to each age group individually, you set your pharmacy apart, and make people feel more comfortable interacting with your business.
To avoid making the mistake of over-generalization we are going to dive into different nuisances in marketing to each generation.
BABY BOOMERS (1946 – 1964)
According to data from the Federal Reserve, the baby boomer generation controls over 53% of the wealth in the US1, so targeting them should be a significant part of your pharmacy’s strategy. Beyond wealth baby boomers are also getting to the point where many are becoming caregivers for their parents and are looking for help. When targeting baby boomers, it is ignorant to assume they don’t utilize and appreciate technology. According to V12, a market data and technology company, baby boomers are very comfortable shopping online and 85% of research products online.2 Additionally 66% of people over 50 in the US routinely make purchases from online retailers.2 If your pharmacy has not yet adapted online refills, mobile apps, websites, or social media, it is time to step into this century or be left behind.
When it comes to social media, over 27 million users in the United States are over the age of 55 and it is growing every year. However, how they interact with social media is different compared to other generations. Baby boomers often prefer to have one-on-one interactions with retailers and will use social media to find contact information so they can call, email, or visit the business. Baby Boomers also love coupons and sales and 75% are more likely to purchase if they have a coupon or loyalty discount.2
During the pandemic, some pharmacies utilized social media to keep their community up to date on what was happening with the pharmacy and how COVID-19 was affecting their community and found an overwhelmingly positive response. People were appreciative of the information and expressed thanks to the pharmacy team for keeping them current.
Check out our blog on selling to baby boomers: https://www.grxmarketing.com/post/2015/05/20/boom-boom-baby-boomers
GEN X (1965 – 1980)
Generation X is the often-forgotten group of people between Boomers and Millennials; however, they hold 31% of total income dollars.2 This generation started their childhood without wide-spread technology, but quick adopted it as they reached middle school/high school and use it significantly to this day. Most Gen Xers (approximately 70%) will make an online purchase this year and digital marketing is the primary way to reach them.
Like Baby Boomers, Gen X respond well to loyalty cards and coupons. A study by Dailybreak Media found that 65% of Gen Xers bought items at least once a month from the stores for which they had loyalty cards.2 Beyond that, nearly half of Gen X internet users polled in North America characterized themselves as extremely or quite loyal to favorite brands.2
As an independent pharmacy, now is the time to start targeting Gen X. Before long they will be the primary caregivers of their Baby Boomer parents and by setting your pharmacy apart today, you will earn a loyal customer for life.
Check out our blog on selling to generation x: https://www.grxmarketing.com/post/2015/06/20/gen-x-marks-the-spot
MILLENNIALS (1981 – 1995)
While oftentimes Millennials are blamed for market disruption (Millennials are killing the ‘Insert Specialty’ industry) – they account for more than $1 trillion in US consumer spending.3 Beyond that Millennials now make up a significantly larger population than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.
A large majority of Millennials came into the workforce in the early 2000’s and shortly after experienced the Dot-com recession, followed a few years later by The Great Recession, and now the 2020 recession; which have all helped shape how they interact with and respond to advertising tactics. Millennials are skeptical and prefer to do their research before making a purchase or working with a company. More than any other generation, Millennials discuss major decisions with friends and family before proceeding, so gaining their loyalty will go a long way with improving referrals to your pharmacy.
Finally, Millennials are focused on innovation and respond well to digital solutions to ease their decision making. Online stores, positive online reviews, and an engaging social media strategy are all significant ways to gain the attention of most Millennials.
Check out our blog on selling to millennials: https://www.grxmarketing.com/post/2015/07/20/millions-of-millennials
GEN Z (1995 – 2010)
While Generation Z might not be your typical pharmacy demographic, we felt it was important to include them in this blog because these digital natives are the driving force behind some of massive behavior and cultural shifts that are currently happening and will be for decades into the future. Gen Z has grown up with smart phones, internet, and social media and are already forming a strong connection with brands that have an inclusive and established online community. This generation is incredibly tech and information savvy and aren’t afraid to dive deep into a brand’s online presence to determine if they want to spend their money with them prior to making a purchase. It will be important to keep an eye on how this generation grows and changes over the next 10-20 years and ensure your pharmacy makes the changes needed to reach them.
While trying to figure out the best way to position your pharmacy may seem overwhelming, we recommend starting small with a simple patient survey. Find out what your patients like and don’t like about your pharmacy, what healthcare pieces they wish you would help them with, and what avenue(s) of communication they prefer. From there, you can build out a strategy to implement the things that are missing and show your patients that you care about their input.