Marketing to Millennials

Dear House Rules,

My new marketing manager is 26, and convinced that we’re leaving money on the table by not marketing to millennials. Our company’s always reached out to the Baby Boom generation—after all, they’re the biggest healthcare consumers, right? Should I change our strategy to include a younger audience? And if so, how?



Dear Fortysomething:

Many pharma companies have similar concerns. Firstly, yes, you should be marketing to millennials. They are the largest generation in the United States, at 75.4 million people, and make up the majority of the workforce. In addition, they are aging into positions of healthcare decisions makers—as moms in charge of households, as caregivers to an aging population—and represent key stakeholders in healthcare.

However, influencing millennial behavior is complicated. They aren’t like any other generation before. They are digital natives, but are open to being reached via multiple channels. They are not brand loyal and expect a lot for their time and attention. Many older people may see them as entitled or self-absorbed, but millennials are moved to action through causes they believe in. Most important: Millennials crave a sense of community and desire both connection and convenience. This is a critical fact and the key for pharma to engage this coveted audience.

The optimal way to reach this population is through social media. Millennials are social media power users, and 40% of them go there for health-related information as it is. Social media satisfies millennials’ desire for community and convenience, quick, on-demand access across their devices, and control over how often to engage and with whom. They’re drawn to social media because it gives them a platform to reach their peers and a voice across their network.

Where to begin? One option is an unbranded community page to bring similar individuals together and begin a conversation. Live events and paid media (sponsored posts) can drive awareness and create engagement without geographical limitations. From the unbranded page, link to a branded page, which can provide information regarding your brand, and continue engagement with your audience.

Adverse events, customer service, and triaging can be managed through evolving technology such as artificial intelligence (AI). Search functionality is constantly being refined to aid with consumer discovery. And don’t worry: there are plenty of controls available to satisfy legal and regulatory concerns, such as the ability to moderate comments and access to pages and events.

Many of our clients are millennials, and are actively marketing to their peers. With this experience, we at Xavier Creative House are well-positioned to help craft both marketing strategies and specific tactics aimed at a younger audience than traditional pharma communications.

About Xavier Creative House

Founded in 2013, Xavier Creative House (XCH) is an award-winning healthcare creative agency specializing in pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device. XCH’s global team of brand builders and healthcare marketers, tech-savvy go-getters, and innovative dream-vetters are passionate about the big idea that changes behavior in the healthcare marketplace. They believe life is about connections and that healthcare is about life. That is why XCH delivers bold and evocative creative solutions, amplified by meaningful technology, to energize brands and authentically connect with patients and HCPs.

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For more information, contact

Sunny White
Founder & CEO of Xavier Creative House