How Healthcare Marketers Can Prepare for Gen Z

Generation Z is between 10-24 years old and comprises 33% of the world’s population. They are the next generation of consumers, patients, patient advocates, and industry leaders for the healthcare industry. Gen Z should be a focal point for how healthcare marketing leaders adapt their strategies and adhere to the industry’s transforming needs.   

Here are four things healthcare marketing leaders should have top-of-mind as they prepare for Gen Z to take over the healthcare system:  

Gen Z demands effective technology 

Gen Z spends exponentially more time online than any other population. Online conversations and interactions with brands greatly influence their decisions. They are also more likely to share their health journey, mental health challenges, and social views with their online community.  

What does this mean for healthcare marketers?

  • Mobile-first is critical: Communicating with Gen Z on their mobile device in two-way dialogue, online reviews, and responses is a crucial trust-building exercise in healthcare.    
  • Get to the point: Research says you have 8 seconds to engage Gen Z’s attention compared to the 12-second attention span with millennials. Prioritizing simple, highly visual communications and quick calls-to-action will help to keep Gen Z’s interest. 
  • Prioritize video: Video tutorials and online learning are influential and highly effective, with YouTube being the single most popular website for Gen Z.  

Authentic relationships matter to Gen Z 

Gen Z wants to feel like they are friends with companies they buy from, their doctors and therapists, personal trainers, and the like. They need to know they have a human connection and trust the services and the people behind the brand. 

What does this mean for healthcare marketers? 

  • Live your values: Your brand must demonstrate real, deep-rooted values that cascade to your brand experience and marketing materials. Establishing a values-based messaging strategy in your marketing communications and extending it to your workplace culture will drive meaningful connections with Gen Z. 
  • Feedback and responsiveness: 76% of Gen Z reported they want brands to respond quickly to their online requests via email and social media. Your online marketing strategy is as essential as your in-clinic support strategy when it comes to Gen Z.  

Gen Z is practical, frugal, and risk-averse 

We know Gen Z is far more practical, frugal, and risk-averse than their millennial siblings through survey research. Their life goals will focus more on purchasing a home, saving for retirement, and avoiding debt accumulation instead of experiences and vacations. 

What does this mean for healthcare marketers? 

  • Data security is critical: The ability to secure personal data is essential to Gen Z and something healthcare marketers should prioritize in messaging. 
  • Price is king: The generation is predisposed to saving and comparison shopping. This habit extends to their healthcare decisions, where they will be looking for clear pricing disclosures before engaging services and choosing health plans. 

Gen Z is our most health-conscious generation 

Gen Z’s definition of health extends to physical, mental, and spiritual health, with 72% of Gen Z saying that managing stress and mental health is their most important health concern. 

What does this mean for healthcare marketers? 

  • Appealing to the healthcare consumer vs. the patient: For the healthcare industry, it’s critically important to think about appealing to all of the ways you can support every aspect of their health journey—physical, mental, and spiritual health. 
  • Showcase new care delivery models: Gen Z is dissatisfied with the healthcare status quo and very open to new care delivery models. There is an opportunity to market new ways of receiving online care, care at home, and mobile care. 

Gen Z accounts for 40% of all consumers, and even more critical, Gen Z is one of the most powerful consumer forces in the market today. As healthcare marketers, we have an opportunity to reimagine our strategies as the industry embarks upon large-scale transformation.