Why Gen X Marks the Spot for Healthcare Marketers

Why Gen X Marks the Spot for Healthcare Marketers

Gen Xers—those born between 1965 and 1980—are the often-overlooked healthcare consumers. But forgetting about them is a mistake that healthcare marketers cannot afford to make.

With a population of 65.1 million in the U.S., they are a concentrated force even more powerful than baby boomers and millennials. By strategically tapping into this demographic, healthcare institutions can cultivate decades of loyalty, significant revenue and brand value.

Often, healthcare marketing prioritizes millennials—specifically women becoming mothers—above all other age demographics. While millennials represent the largest population, relying solely on them as the target demographic could result in missed opportunities and lost revenue for several reasons:

  • First, parents of young children often relocate more than 50 miles away before their children reach junior high school, thereby seeking and forming relationships with new healthcare organizations.
  • Secondly, new moms prioritize their children’s healthcare over their own, placing their own well-being as a secondary concern.

Do not discount Gen X: Gen Xers are at a stage where they have a higher likelihood of seeking out healthcare needs and making important healthcare decisions for themselves and their families. Given their position in the grand order of things, it is imperative that healthcare organizations engage them with utmost authenticity, as their actions encompass the lives of others.

Gen X: The Healthcare Powerhouse Consumers of Today and Tomorrow

Gen Xers are at the peak of their healthcare consumption. According to research from the World Economic Forum, Gen X spends more on healthcare than any other generation—and healthcare spending for Gen X is second only to housing spend. They are primed and ready for developing long-term relationships with healthcare institutions.

Gen Xers are:

  • A healthcare consumer triple threat. Not only do Gen Xers make key healthcare decisions and purchases for themselves, but they also make those decisions for their parents and their kids. Gen Xers bridge the gap between older and younger generations who turn to them for guidance.
  • Business leaders. Gen Xers are more likely than other generations to hold executive positions within companies, as reported by The New York Times. This means they have the responsibility of making health insurance decisions for their employees. It would not be unfounded for them to offer health insurance options from the health system they know and trust.
  • An uncommitted blank slate. Prior to age 40, most Gen Xers were healthy and had no reason to go to the doctor. Now, they’re in their prime for seeking healthcare screenings.

How Gen X Makes Healthcare Decisions

To meaningfully connect with Gen Xers, first recognize and value their place in history and their unique characteristics.

Generation Xers have borne witness to significant global turmoil. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, they navigated through the challenges of the AIDS epidemic, widespread famine and other crises during their formative years. Many may have even endured the loss of influential figures in their own lives.

With a unique awareness of global health, they became the first generation of self-directed healthcare consumers. This means they’re more likely to do their own research and seek out second opinions when it comes to making healthcare decisions.

Gen Xers are known for:

  • Skepticism. Gen Xers are information hounds. While they respect and listen to trusted authorities, they also engage in thorough research to validate the information they receive. Moreover, Gen Xers don’t rely solely on one source as an absolute truth. Instead, they diligently research multiple sources and synthesize the information.
  • Diverse media consumption. Gen X broadly consumes content, including traditional and digital media. Having lived a life before the Internet and after, they are savvy in walking the tightrope between old tech and new tech with perfect balance. Whether effortlessly scrolling through their phones or leisurely perusing a newspaper delivered to their doorstep, they exhibit equal comfort and adaptability.

How to Engage Gen X Through Healthcare Marketing

Only about sixteen percent of Gen Xers would describe their health as very good, according to a report from Insider Intelligence. whereas other generations are more inclined to do so. In this post-pandemic, post-public emergency era, many people have fallen out of the habit of prioritizing their health.

Gen Xers are among those who are ready to take charge of their well-being once again. Healthcare marketers can effectively engage them in these three ways:

  1. Build trust by establishing credibility. Highlight your healthcare organization’s credentials, unique differentiators and specialized services. Share success stories through patient testimonials, satisfaction scores and outcomes data.
  2. Be genuine and relatable. As Gen Xers increasingly face sensitive health concerns, they seek empathy in face-to-face interactions rather than relying solely on digital telehealth platforms.
  3. Be authentic. By staying true to your organizational values and conveying transparent communication, you can break through Gen Xers skepticism.

If you can meet Gen Xers where they are—get their attention and inspire them—they’ll reward you long-term.

Ready to Start Engaging Gen X?

The work starts now—before Gen Xers transition into Medicare. At Unlock Health, we have the expertise to help you acquire Gen X patients.

  • We are home to Dan Miers, chief strategy officer for Unlock Health and a Gen Xer himself. Dan along with Alan Shoebridge and Dean Browell co-authored the book Don’t You Forget About Gen X — One Generation’s Crucial Role in Healthcare
  • We recognize an omnichannel, tactical approach is necessary to reach this audience. Whether through paid media or organic search, print or digital formats, we have the knowhow to target and convert Gen Xers into dedicated patients.
  • We stay abreast of the latest insights and trends using our Consumer Compass, the first study of its kind that profiles how various attitudes, beliefs and behaviors influence healthcare decisions. We use Consumer Compass to inform our strategies and ensure that executions will resonate and connect more authentically.

Contact Unlock Health today.