Marketing to millennial veterinary clients and beyond

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Over the past 10 years, the millennial generation has taken entire industries by storm, including casual dining, department stores and cable television companies. As a Millennial who runs an animal health marketing agency, I can confirm that we think differently, shop differently, feel differently when it comes to our pets and have new expectations for our veterinary practices. It is worth understanding us. This article serves as a crash course in millennial thinking, from how we choose, why we stay, how we spend, and everything in between.

Get to know us

Millennials are the largest generation in the United States, at approximately 72 million.1 We’re also most likely to own pets; 76% of us do. 2 Aside from being the new Goliath in the pet health market, we think differently about our pets. When I speak at conferences, I often joke that I would sell my car to take care of my pets, Cole and Lula, and I’m not alone. 42% of Millennials consider pets to be children.2 Part of that is the natural progression of human-animal bonding, and part of it is because we are delaying parenting into our 30s and 40s. Pets fill the void that children used to make. They really are family to us.

We also buy differently. The way we select our products and services is digitally savvy and thorough. We log into our smartphones for several hours every day, consume content on various social media platforms and expect significantly more attention and customer orientation from the brands that serve us.

I’ve spent well over $ 10,000 on my pets in the past few months because I would never dream of missing out on basic supplies. In many ways we can be viewed as paradoxes. Dedicated to our pets but familiar with market prices. Driven by humanistic values ​​but eager to pirate media content instead of paying for it. Educated about the importance of wellness, but log 5 to 10 hours a day on our smartphones. Why? Easy. We are the first generation to grow up with the internet. Now I’m going to teach you how to reach us effectively.

Think differently

If you’re a millennial, you probably remember Myspace. It was our first foray into social media. We chose our 8 best friends, our cover song, and started curating a persona for our colleagues. We grew up with social media. For better or for worse, it is an integral part of our personality. This is how we connect with the world and spend our time. And here you have to meet us.

The two most popular brands among millennials are Apple and Nike.3 Why? Because their marketing doesn’t brag, brag or shout about how amazing their products are. They celebrate their customers and the values ​​that bind them together. To get more millennials into your practice, curate content that celebrates pet owners and pets and the love they share. Don’t just tell stories about what makes you great; Tell stories about why we think the way we do to our pets. Stories that remind us or even teach us why we care so much. This creates brand awareness and affinity.

Millennial shopping

When we actively seek veterinary services, we look for two important assets: your reviews and your website. Why? Because the real question we’re trying to answer is: Can we trust you? Your Google Business review score can be viewed as a table bet. many of us are unlikely to consider you if you have a score below 4.5. Often times we even read through the reviews to see how broad your current customers are for you. Hence, it is imperative that you have a thoughtful strategy for generating positive reviews and an empathic strategy for responding to negative reviews.

In order to successfully get more millennials to your website, find ways that will set you apart from the competition. Millennials look for companies that share similar values, emotions, priorities, hopes and fears. Your website is your opportunity to tell a story about what makes your practice special, different and unique to meet our needs.

Convenience is king

We prioritize use over ownership, convenience over uncertainty. This will be an integral part of a profitable value proposition for millennial pet owners. Think about how you can fit into our lifestyle. We prefer brands that are easy to communicate with (e.g. through text and social platforms) and with which authentic digital relationships are built. Brands that make it easier to do business with them than the others and for whom customer focus is very important. Becoming a fanatical customer-centric clinic can help bring more millennial pet owners to your doors. We’re responding to the dopamine rush from a company that makes everything simple and engaging.

Where should I start

Now that you know how millennials think, what we are reacting to, and what tools you can use to get more of us, the next step is to think about how you can strengthen your digital footprint. Think about how you can improve your social media presence, content strategy, website, and make your practice more customer-centric. Do that and who knows – maybe I’ll call you.

Robert Sanchez is the founder and CEO of Digital Empathy, an award-winning web design and marketing company for veterinary practices. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences, leads a wonderful team, sits on the board of VetPartners, and shares his home with two very spoiled dogs – Cole and Lula.


  1. Resident population in the United States in 2019, by generation. Statistics. Accessed June 15, 2021.
  2. YPulse Inc. Youth Research, Insights. 76% of Millennials are pet parents – here’s what they bought for them. Published August 24, 2020. Accessed June 21, 2021. been- for-you buy /
  3. Flores J, Cohen N. Top 100 Millennial Brands 2020. Moosylvania. Published March 25, 2021. Accessed June 21, 2021.