Updated: Aug 12
Millennials – or those individuals born between 1980 and 2000 – have officially taken their position as the largest generation of consumers in the market. In addition to their massive numbers and increasing spending power, folks from this up-and-coming generation also happen to be major pet lovers. As such, those in the veterinary industry would be wise to understand their unique needs and preferences so they can better market to and serve this growing demographic. That said, here are a handful of important things to consider.
They value relationships
Unlike prior generations, pet owners from Gen Y are far more likely to trust products or services provided by smaller brands. One of the main reasons for this preference is because smaller businesses are better able to offer personalized service and build authentic relationships. This is excellent news for family-owned veterinary practices. To address this, consider crafting a unique message and make connecting on an individual level a top priority.
They appreciate convenience
Millennials are a completely digital generation, meaning they’ve lived their entire lives surrounded by connected technology. It should come as no surprise, then, that pet parents from this era tend to prefer high-tech, convenient and instant modes of communication. Specifically, the AAHA found that more than half of Millennials surveyed listed text messages as their preferred way to receive appointment reminders. Offering SMS as an option can be a great way for practices to connect with younger clients.
They rely on the guidance of professionals
Another important opportunity for modern vets to build and nurture relationships with millennial clients is through education. Research indicates that younger pet parents place a lot of weight in the advice and guidance they receive from their veterinarians about pet care and products, like food and treats. In fact, pet owners from Gen Y are more than three times as likely to purchase pet food from their vet clinic vs. a store as clients from prior generations. This represents another opportunity for increase revenue streams.
They’re open to non-traditional service options
Whereas pet parents from other generations were more than happy to bring their animal companions into the clinic to be seen and cared for, millennial pet owners tend to be more open and accepting of alternative options. In other words, younger pet owners have expressed a greater level of comfort with things like house calls and telemedicine than their older counterparts. By expanding your service offering to include these additional options, you could potentially make your practice more attractive to Gen Y prospects.
They enjoy the company of all types of animals
While dogs and cats still remain a popular choice amongst younger pet owners, Millennials have proven to be much more open to adopting other species of companion animal, from birds and reptiles to certain domesticated exotic critters. These animals need routine vet care just as much as other, more traditional pet species, yet not all vets extend their services beyond feline and canine patients. Offering care for all species can provide an excellent differentiator and help you grow your practice.
Being successful in any business requires the ability to reach and connect with the right audience. The veterinary industry is no exception. By understanding the way the majority of your clients prefer to do business, you’ll be better able to position your care, your services and your practice as the ideal solution for their needs.