Posted: December 20, 2017

Authors: Maggie Waid, Ryleigh Chase, and Colin Roberts

Take even the smallest look around, and you’ll see the digital world is taking over marketing in almost every single way. It’s simple to get started, faster to see results, and in many cases cheaper – all with limited drawbacks. Which means traditional tactics like print are dying out, right? Surprisingly, no.

What’s even more surprising is that Millennials are making print hip again. They want their actual healthcare services to be faster and more convenient – like digital – but they want their healthcare advertising to be more personal, which means print is a great way to reach them.

Don’t believe us? Just ask Millennials.

• 77% pay attention to direct mail advertising
• 90% consider direct mail more reliable
• 57% have made purchases because of direct mail offers. Source

So why would a younger generation respond so enthusiastically to a channel that’s considered old school? Maybe it’s scientific. A physical ad can actually trigger activity in the brain that creates an emotional response and gives the ad more value. When you receive a postcard with your name on it, geared toward relevant issues you may be facing in your life, there’s a much higher chance that it will capture your attention due to the personalization – rather than if you see a banner ad on the side of your computer screen with content about the same subject. If you’re seeing up to 5,000 ads a day, it can be difficult at times to stand out from all the digital noise. Direct Mail can be a breath of fresh air.

Print’s lasting power can be especially effective with Millennials because it can take a long time for them to decide to engage with a healthcare organization. They want to stay in good health so they can avoid having to see their doctor as much as possible. And their need for “instant gratification” means they often prefer to stay at home, research their symptoms, or try different remedies until they absolutely need medical help. So finding the right mix of channels to engage them for when they decide to see a doctor is especially important.

The key to using print effectively for Millennials is understanding what will resonate with them, whether it’s an ad for new sports injury treatment options or an educational flyer about symptoms that mean it’s essential to see a doctor. On the digital side, you need data and support from a healthcare CRM system to drive relevancy and ensure your content delivers the right message, to the right person, at the right time. When you can personalize those messages in this way, Millennials will take note and keep your organization top of mind when it comes time for them to make a healthcare decision.

For all generations, print ads can offer more inherent trustworthiness because they aren’t attached to the stigma of spam emails or computer hacks. While millennials see this channel as informative and unique, it’s important to remember they also expect a multi-channel experience and most often prefer to respond to a print campaign through a digital medium. This means landing pages, unique URLs, online forms, and lead tracking are just as important for print to be effective.

Want more insight into strategies that engage Millennial healthcare consumers? Read our post on the most effective tactics. Or, if you're looking for strategies to engage a range of diverse healthcare consumers, where data is a necessity, read our white paper, The Definitive Guide to Healthcare CRM.