Written by Richard Marcil on May 13, 2014
in Brand Strategy, Healthcare Marketing

On recent travels, I was catching up on some reading, and more specifically Adroit Digital’s report on Millenials: The New Age of Brand Loyalty. It’s an excellent piece and is worth a scan.

You probably think like I did “Millenials are just a bunch of kids, and they don’t really impact us in the Pharma world”. Well, they are not. Millennials (also known as Gen Y), are the demographic cohort following Gen X, born between 1980 and 2000.

That makes them today’s consumers, patients and physicians. In 2014, Digital Natives will outnumber Digital Immigrants for the first time. That means that there will be more people who grew up with the Internet, computers and video games, than those who adopted them later. And it doesn’t stop there. In 2014, the majority of physicians will have started practicing medicine after the Internet went mainstream, which means they’ve meaningfully relied on digital interaction and consumption their entire career.

Let’s double click on that. More Digital Natives than Digital Immigrants, whether they are consumers, patients or physicians. A generation that is larger than the Baby Boomers and outnumbers Gen X’ers 3 to 1. This is arguably the most important brand audience in the last century, and their attitudes, expectations and behaviours are all significantly different from previous ones.

So what does it mean for Pharma? Talk about needing to play by a new set of rules. But that’s easier said than done too. We live in a world of rapid, rapid change but we don’t have the ready ability to keep up with it. Just think about Med-Reg-Legal approval processes! In many respects, these processes are meant to minimize risk versus innovating the brand experience.

That doesn’t mean we can’t do better… we just need to do so smartly. With 2015 plans right around the corner, the second half of 2014 may be the right time to pursue a number of test-and-learns. Are you leveraging short- and long-tail search for symptoms and conditions? Have you digitally activated along the PatientConsumer™ journey? Are point-of-care tools sufficiently digital for Millenial HCP’s and patients? Can HCP’s curate your content for their patients? Have you developed patient health trackers? Etc.

Food for thought…


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