Bureau of Labor Statistics

Healthcare Marketing: Boomers Spending Big on Technology

Baby Boomers are into technology, spending more money on technology than any other age group.

Technology and social media are ways to reach the younger generations.  Right?  Not so fast. Baby boomers might be the real target.  The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that baby boomers have fully embraced technology.  They are the biggest spenders on technology according to Forrester Research’s annual benchmark tech study.

Think about the boomers you know.  The typical boomer has a desktop computer at work, a laptop at home, are on facebook, have a smartphone, have multiple accounts on the internet, DVRs their favorite television shows and is wishing for an iPad. If they don’t already have one.

“It’s actually a myth that baby boomers aren’t into technology.  They represent 24% of the population, but they consume 40% (in total dollars spent) of it”, stated Patricia McDonough, senior VP-analysis at Nielsen and reported by Beth Snyder Bulik in Ad Age.

Baby boomers are not early adapters but they certainly pile on.   Ten years ago only 25% of boomers went online daily.  Today 70% go surfing everyday.   And examine these stats about baby boomers:

  • 47% use social media
  • One in five use social media every day
  • A full 66% use their cell phone for texting
  • 91% use email
  • 88% use search engines
  • 78% use the internet to research health information
  • 74% get news from the internet

Baby boomers are aging and have become huge users of health services and that will grow tremendously as they age. To healthcare marketers they are a huge and critical target audience and if we think they can only be reached by traditional media we are making a critical mistake. Technology and social media have been embraced by boomers and have become a very common and pervasive part of their lives.  Technology, new media and social networking are effective ways to reach, communicate and even build relationships with those 45-64 ears old.

Boomers are the greatest spending generation.  And they spend their money and their time on technology.  It would be a huge disconnect for healthcare marketers to assume otherwise.

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Healthcare Branding: Branding is Important for Recruitment Too

CB022478In a market where the competition for employees is only increasing, a hospital’s brand is extremely important.

There is keen competition for healthcare workers. Ample, qualified, dedicated employees are not easy to find. In many markets, recruiting hospital staff and professionals is ever increasingly difficult. The down-economy and anticipated healthcare reform will not ease the burden. And the brand reflected in your recruitment efforts is becoming more and more important.

Here are some interesting facts:

  1. The President’s Council of Economic Advisors recently released a study that stated there would be 3.5 million new jobs created in the healthcare industry by 2016.
  2.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 20,800 new jobs in healthcare in June of this year and over 125,000 new jobs in the first half of the year.
  3. As the population ages and babyboomers get older, there will be greater demand for healthcare workers.

So the days of simply running help-wanted ads and hiring a recruiter have passed. The competition for workers demands that a strong and effective brand image be created and projected to potential employees.

Job applicants will have more choices where to work and how a hospital projects itself to these applicants is becoming more and more important. More creative and strategic thinking will be required to be successful.

With young job applicants, pay is important but it is not the most important issue. The new generation of applicants is seeking a certain quality of life.  They want to work at a place that shares their values, and they want to be proud of where they work and what they do.

Obviously, the typical help wanted ad does not communicate to any of the felt needs of the applicants. So the hospital brand and personality must be communicated in recruitment efforts.

The applicant is not simply wanting a job, but a place to belong, a place to receive satisfaction and meaning, a place that connects with the consumer, a place that values employees and a place that offers professional and personal growth.

In this competitive market hospitals must project a brand that is appealing and speaks to the needs of those seeking employment.  Hospitals must be successful creating a brand that resonates to potential employees. A brand that will attract the most qualified, most caring talent.  Otherwise the brand we project in the marketplace to consumers will be greatly compromised.

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