How Rural Hospitals Can Thrive in a Multigenerational Market

Mar. 10, 2021

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By Mike Milligan, President of Legato Healthcare Marketing

When you hear the word “sick,” what do you think of? (Careful, your answer could show your age.)

If your first thought is something negative (e.g., poor health), you’re probably a Boomer. If you thought of something good or impressive (e.g. ... that party was sick!), chances are, you’re a Millennial or a Gen Z counterpart.  

Potato/Po-tah-toe, right? Actually, it’s more than a matter of semantics. It’s a matter of ailing – or thriving – in a multigenerational market. 

The fact is, one-size-fits-all marketing strategies no longer work. Today, every generation has unique expectations, experiences, lifestyles and values that influence their healthcare choices. And every generation expects personalized and tailored content. If your marketing strategy doesn’t meet your audience on their terms, and address their goals and concerns, it’s not a strategy for success.   

What, exactly, is multigenerational marketing?

In a sentence: It’s marketing that targets distinct groups of people that share similar values, behaviors and attitudes, based on major events and life experiences that occurred over a particular span of time.

Adjusting your strategy to factor in different characteristics and behaviors of each generation will help your rural hospital build relationships, brand loyalty, patient volume and revenue. Successfully – and significantly. A good place to start is with a comprehensive audience analysis.

An audience analysis will help your rural hospital:

  • Establish a clear, detailed and realistic picture of each of your audiences.

  • Segment audiences by life stage and other factors that will help ensure you deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time.

  • Determine the best channels to reach an audience, rather than following assumptions. For example, many hospitals (and other organizations) mistakenly think that traditional marketing, like print publications, only appeals to older audiences. But the fact is:

    • 91% of American adults read magazine media. That number increases to 93% for adults under 35 and 94% for adults under 25.[1] 

    • Legato’s research confirms that print publications (and digital magazines) remain the preferred source of healthcare information among consumers. 

5 generations need your services

That’s sick – in an amazingly good way! While many businesses can market to just one or two segments, rural hospitals can serve all five audiences: the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z.

The more you learn about the audiences you serve, the better you can engage them to help your hospital thrive. 

Are you ready to reach and communicate across generations?  

Start here. Download Legato’s new e-guide, How Your Rural Hospital Can Thrive in a Multigenerational Market


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[1]2019 Magazine Media Factbook