Using generational insights to engage with patients

by Lauren Waters

A patient’s age and stage of life impacted their vision care decisions

When CareCredit called on us to help expand its usage with ophthalmologists and refractive surgeons, we tapped into our decades of B2B marketing expertise and quickly got to work on an effective strategy. We recalled a recent study that found a patient’s age and stage of life impacted their vision care decisions.

Patients within each generation share values and behaviors that reveal what motivates them and, just as important, the media paths they’re most likely to take as they tune in, follow, engage with and search for healthcare options. We uncovered some interesting insights that can impact how providers communicate with patients of all ages – and how B2B marketers of any kind connect with their customers.

Where’d they find that? The Internet.
There’s no denying the Internet plays a significant role in our daily lives. From researching a condition to finding a provider to booking an appointment to paying for care, many of our healthcare interactions have transitioned online. And while it may seem like older generations aren’t as Internet-savvy as younger groups, everyone finds the World Wide Web useful when searching for care.

  • 81% of Millennial consumers say they use web searches for healthcare information.1
  • Gen Xers are naturally inclined to turn to online and mobile channels for information, insights and reviews.2
  • In keeping with their tendency to explore new ideas, Boomers are very likely to seek information online.2
  • 94% of seniors agree “the internet makes it much easier to find information today than in the past.”3

How they get in touch.

The phone is one way patients contact providers, and there’s a surprising group who dial up their doctor: Millennials. Despite being known as “digital natives,” 79% of Millennials use the phone to set up an appointment with their primary care doctor.1 Meanwhile, 70% of Gen X favors appointment reminders by text.4 Baby Boomers are engaging with social media, tweeting an average of 15 times a day — more than Millennials and Gen X combined.4 Even Seniors, who value personal interactions, go online for doctor advice. Providers that embrace digital communication can connect with more patients than ever before.

Bringing it all together.

We leveraged these insights (and more) to show providers how understanding generational differences can help them attract more patients. And it can help you, too. (Check out a case study for proof.) The key is making use of the statistical insights to engage in smart ways, while connecting the campaign back to the company’s benefits. An integrated campaign that includes educational materials, tradeshow support, and B2B2C tools can help B2B marketers understand how to use these insights to improve their customer interactions. By delivering information that is relevant and useful, you can position your business as not just a service for customers, but also as a partner for B2B success.

1. Generational Health and Well Being Research, 2016, Conducted by Chadwick Martin Bailey on behalf of CareCredit.
2. Healthcare Consumer: The New Reality. Understanding the Generational Differences and How Marketing Tactics Can Engage Diverse Audiences, S+J Whitepaper, 2015.
3. Older Adults and Technology Use, Pew Research Center, April 3, 2014.
4. Generational Social Media Behaviors, Research Brief, June 30, 2014.