Call them what you will Gen Z, iGen, or Post-Millennials — but don’t overlook our youngest generation. These digital natives (we’ll call them Gen Z going forward) have a unique perspective, they are outspoken and poised to lead.

Learning how to market to this generation will teach you a lot about how to market to all your potential patients today and in the future.

What’s different about Gen Z?

Gen Z is the cohort born roughly between 1995 and 2015. This is significant because 1995 was the year that the internet was commercialized. This generation has never known a world without the connectivity, resources, and market exposure that the world wide web provides us every day.

They are more connected to each other and the rest of the world through social media. This makes them an obvious resource if you want to learn more about how to digitally connect with others. Not only are they getting older, their digital acumen is also spreading to older generations.

From Gen Z, you can learn a lot about the different social media platforms, how to behave on them, and how to grow your audience. In fact, you might want to consider hiring one to help you manage social media for your practice. This generation is very brand savvy. Their insights can help you reach current and potential patients, including themselves.

Young man working on laptop

The eldest members of Gen Z are in their 20s. This means they might already make up a portion of your patient population, even if you don’t have a pediatric neurology practice. Learning how to market to them will help you grow your practice now and going forward.

Marketing to Gen Z and beyond

According to American Marketing Association, effectively marketing to Gen Z requires being authentic, transparent, and helpful. They are also more open than previous generations and value equality more. They are savvy consumers and won’t hesitate to call you out (on social media) if your message isn’t consistent with what they feel is fair or isn’t backed up by substance.

This makes them a great audience for quality content marketing. Unlike traditional advertising, content marketing — say in the form of a blog or Facebook post — offers more benefit and is less intrusive. If nothing else, Gen Z’s constant exposure to advertising has made them highly discerning. You have to go the extra mile if you want to get their attention, and content marketing (especially when it has a visual element) is a good way to do that.

Teenagers using phones

The importance of a good webutation

With this generation, it’s not your reputation but your webutation that matters. This digital reputation is there for Gen Z to consume, even if you aren’t aware of it. “The main thing you need to know about webutation,” says Dr. Gretchen Campbell of KCA Neurology, “is that you have one, whether you know it or not.” If you’ve never done it before, Google yourself and you’ll get a glimpse of your webutation.

If it turns out there are some negative things about you on social media or ratings sites, it’s better to know, so you can do something about it.

Whether you want to embrace this digital milieu or not, it is here to stay. So, instead of thinking of this newer generation as phone addicted, spoiled, or whatever else, get to know them—they really are the future.