Let’s talk about the future of dentistry and millennials for a moment. The ADA says, half of America’s workforce and 80 million of the country’s population are millennials. By 2030, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts they will make up 75 percent of the workforce.
You may be wondering why these statistics are important. Well, it’s because the way millennials perceive buying is dramatically different than previous generations.
These days, millennials discover brands, buy products and services, find dates, pick properties, pursue hobbies, and fund entrepreneurs — online.
That’s why it’s important for dentists to understand how millennial patients will be impacting the future of dentistry; they make up much of the industry’s target audience.
For millennials, on-demand is better than ownership. Automobiles don’t need to be owned, they can be leased. Banks are not brick and mortar structures that you have to visit during lunch breaks. Now, they’re apps on a smartphone that anyone can visit at any time of day.
So, how can dental practices communicate with, acquire, and retain millennials? To that point, listed below are five key learnings to help dentists understand and better engage with millennials.
5 insights about millennial dental patients
1) This group calls the shots
Born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are the largest population group in the country. They call the shots – which might be a shock to Baby Boomers.
This means that not only are they a burgeoning market, but their children are also a potential customer base for dental practices.
Interestingly enough, almost 17 percent of our 200,000 dentists are millennials and that figure is expected to steadily rise. So, do millennial dentists have the upper hand in attracting millennial dental patients? Only the future will tell.
2) Turn to online search first, it’s at their fingertips
When it comes to purchasing decisions, including healthcare, millennials search online first. That’s why your online presence must reflect your expertise, and you should have a slew of positive testimonials to back it up.
For millennials, online reviews take precedence over recommendations from friends and family. In fact, 55 percent will not consider a business or brand if they don’t see it in searches or if it has a substantial amount of negative reviews.
If there’s one thing you can do immediately, make sure your practice shows up in local searches and you have a good amount of positive online reviews.
3) Prefer to use digital efficiencies and mobile devices
Millennials are a digital-first generation and mobile devices are their gateway to the world. However, just because they love their mobile phones, doesn’t mean they like it when you call them.
Since millennials like to be in control of their mobile communication, they prefer text messages and app interactions to phone calls.
This means that dental practices should invest in online appointment scheduling software and encourage its use. If you’re targeting millennials, don’t think of it as a luxury, think of it as a necessity.
4) Access social media to learn and socialize
More than 30 percent of US consumers search social media to know more about their symptoms and seek opinions from health experts. Millennials are known to do the same.
Therefore, merely posting your address, and photographs, or offering discounts won’t do. You’ll have to consistently post about your speciality and the latest innovations in the industry.
5) Align with sustainable, inclusive brands
Whether you are targeting millennials or not, your practice should promote inclusivity. In addition to that, adapting a sustainable business model also works in your favor. Plus, it’s where the future of dentistry is leading to – a more simplified, economical way of doing things.
True millennials are driven by a larger mission to better the world around them. They want to align with businesses and brands that are making a difference.
If you provide a service that no other dentist does, give back to a cause, or do some type of humanitarian work related to your specialty, don’t be shy to lead with that.
The future of dentistry is now, connect with the experts
Millennials are not hard to understand. In fact, the moment you do, the easier it will be to connect with them.
One of the best ways to plan for the future is to work with the experts. The folks at Conversion Whale, dentistry’s top marketing company, are utilizing the tools of the future to help dentists prosper in the now.
To learn more about their innovative approach to dental practice marketing, visit www.conversionwhale.com.