Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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36 Today's Veterinary Business Communication • The millennial generation, also known as Generation Y, makes up about 29 percent of the U.S. population, having surpassed baby boomers, who are about 25 percent. Millennials were born from the early 1980s to mid-1990 and are approximately 25 to 39 years old. • According to the American Pet Products Association, Generation Y is the largest pet-owning demographic, at 35 percent of U.S. pet owners compared with baby boom- ers' 32 percent. • The market research firm Packaged Facts reported in early 2018 that pet owners ages 18 to 40 accounted for more than half of the growth in the pet owner population over the past decade. • Another research firm, Mintel, released a survey showing that three-fourths of Amer- icans in their 30s have dogs and 51 percent have cats, compared with 50 percent dog ownership and 35 percent cat ownership in the overall population. • Research sponsored by Merck found more male dog and cat owners among millennials than in previous generations. • At the end of 2017, the pet health insurance company Trupanion released a poll of 1,250 pet owners across the United States and Canada. The survey revealed that 40 percent of millennials had moved into a new home, condo or apartment in order to live in a more pet-friendly environment. Given the increase in the number of millennial pet owners, practice teams need to adopt com- munication strategies that engage this generation of clients. Here are three things to consider: Communicate and Connect While face-to-face interactions with the veterinary team and phone calls will always be relevant, millennials prefer to communicate via email and texting whenever possible. Most practices regularly use emails and text messaging to send client reminders and notifi- cations. But don't forget that email can be used to send lab results and educational resources. Another way to use texting and appeal to millennials is to send updates and photos of their pet. This might include short messages To help more pets get the care they deserve, veterinary teams need to respond to trends in pet ownership. One of the biggest involves millennial pet owners. Check out these statistics: Communication TALK THE TALK By Amanda L. Donnelly, DVM, MBA that their hospitalized pet is doing well, updates about a boarded pet and notifications when a prescrip- tion is ready. Social Media Having a strong presence on social media is necessary if you want to stay connected with millennial pet owners. Start with Facebook. While most practices have a busi- ness Facebook page, many times the page isn't used effectively to engage clients. If you post less than three times a week and most of your posts are about sharing sci- entific articles or cute photos, then you won't engage younger clients. Strive to be creative and per- sonal so you connect with follow- ers. Photos taken at your hospital are ideal. These might include showing the team in action with new equipment, a client's new pet, an interesting case or news about a team member's work anniversary. 1 2 Millennials are the largest pet-owning demographic and — listen here, practice owner — they value the latest communication tools. Why embrace Generation Y?

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