According to a recent report, over the past decade, Generation Z (18- to 24-year-olds) and Millennials (25- to 39-year-olds) have accounted for more than half of the growth in the pet owner population. What does mean for veterinary clinics? Well, for one, it’s a clear indicator that the targeted client base is getting younger. And as with every generation, there are unique factors about these demographics that should be noted in order to successfully reach and serve them in your practice. Below, our practice growth experts share four key things to keep in mind.
They prefer to work with smaller brands and/or family-owned companies.
Believe it or not, the up-and-coming generation of pet parents has a preference for small business. A lot of this has to do with trust. For smaller, independently-owned vet clinics, this is excellent news – especially for those located geographically close to some of the bigger corporate chains. In order to take advantage of this, make sure your messaging conveys a warm, personal touch and that you prioritize individualized care. The sooner you can make those connections and start earning that trust, the more likely you’ll be to win a client for life.
They rely on experts for their guidance.
Pet owners who are under the age of 40 tend to rely much more heavily on the advice of experts than their older counterparts. They’re also much more likely to purchase products directly from their veterinarian as opposed to a pet store. As a result, you will need to more welcoming of questions and accommodating to their product needs. It may take a little bit more hand-holding on your part, but in the end, the boost in client education and compliance that will come as a result will benefit everyone – especially your patients.
They’re interested in non-traditional options.
Whether it’s having vet care delivered in their homes or ordering their pet’s medications online, clients from Gen Z and the Millennial generation are far more comfortable using newer, more modern and less traditional means of service. For open-minded, forward-thinking vets, this represents a great opportunity to expand, grow and really differentiate themselves. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to when and how you deliver your care and services.
They enjoy the company of many different species.
In addition to non-traditional service options, younger pet owners also tend to have more eclectic taste in terms of the types of animals they prefer to adopt. At last check, Millennial and Gen Z clients make up a disproportionate share of owners who have pocket pets, birds, fish, reptiles and other exotics. As a result, your younger prospects will be seeking out the care and expertise of a veterinary professional who can serve a variety of different types of patients. If you’re not yet among them, the time to start is now.
Targeting different demographics requires a deep and accurate understanding of what drives each to make their purchasing decisions. The veterinary industry is no exception to this rule. By taking the four things above into account, you’ll be better able to hone your marketing message and adapt your services to satisfy the needs and desires of your younger and most lucrative prospects.
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