Marketing to Millennials: Using Digital Information and Presenting Options for Breast Implants

The term, “millennial” may be eye-rolling to many adults between the ages of 23 to 38, nonetheless, almost every business is doing whatever they can to market to this generation.  With a whole different perspective on plastic and cosmetic surgery than previous generations, millennials are a growing population of consumers that demand to be informed and know all their options.

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*Chart from pewresearch.org 

According to a first ever market study on this subject, Millennial Ax Market Study (Medical Insight, Inc., May 2019), about 80 million people of the Millennial generation are in favor of cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures. The oldest Millennial adults, or “Generation Y,” are turning 38 this year, and many that age and younger are thinking that it’s the right time to invest in different aspects of their physical appearances.

Most people begin to consider cosmetic surgery as they get older, which is why Baby Boomers who are ages 55+ still remain the largest customer base for aesthetic procedures. However, members of Generation Y (millennials) and the upcoming Gen-Z see aesthetic procedures differently overall, “Whereas older generations have sought out reactive treatments to correct damage, people in their 20s and 30s try to stay slightly ahead of the curve to preserve their skin quality and ward off unwanted lines and other signs of aging.” -from Medical Insight, Inc., May 2019

Carrie Strom, Senior Vice-President of U.S. Medical Aesthetics at Allergan, says Millennials don’t have such a stigma about aesthetic procedures because they’ve grown up with it surrounding them, “They have the budget, the interest and the cultural predisposition to be the perfect candidates for medical aesthetics,” she said

How are Millennials Different than Older Generations?

In general, millennials are more tolerant of cultural and personal differences because they grew up in a society where acceptance and understanding were emphasized at home, at school, and in the workplace. Most all millennials have smartphones and participate in some form of social media or another. Where other generations are more private and believe in keeping personal information to themselves, Millennials go online all the time to share personal experiences, stories, reviews, etc. “The millennial ‘mommy blogs’ include smart, educated women who are now at home with children. . . . Some of the more successful mommy bloggers have achieved incomes as high as $20,000 a month.” –from Forbes.com

Millennials have no problem sharing personal medical experiences, giving advice to their friends, family, and local community about what procedures are “worth it” and which are not. This is a generation that grew up with the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, so it’s natural that they are a group of people who believe in their individuality. While older generations may go to the nearest plastic surgeon they can find, Millennials are more likely to look for a plastic surgeon that is understanding, compassionate, will present them with all their choices, and also has great reviews online.

Millennials: Not “Poor” By Any Means

Some people stereotype Millennials as habitually poor, staying at home with parents until much later in life compared with older generations. But the reality is that most Millennials actually have good jobs, make more money than you would think, and are getting married and starting families. 

According to the new Millennial Ax Market Study, “in 2018 sales of aesthetics products in the U.S. and Canada were $5.3B and are expected to grow as high as $8.7B in 2023. Millennial spend will grow from nearly $1.0B in 2018 to $2.2B in 2023.”

Physicians Should Consider a More “Digital” Approach

It is a mistake to assume that plastic surgeons can attract the millennial generation simply through word-of-mouth. A distinctive online presence is now a requirement to appeal to this tech-savvy group. In addition, aesthetics-related companies and practices should use digital/ mobile marketing approaches that appeal to Millennials. 

As noted by Michael Moretti, CEO of Medical Insight, “Millennials expect to get information off of their devices. You need to present to them what is basically a digital marketing campaign.”

Plastic surgeons should take advantage of review websites such as RealSelf, Yelp, Google, etc., to draw more interest in their practices and procedures. Personal blogs or question and answer articles are also a huge plus. 

Millennials Want to Know About Current Breast Implant Devices

Because members of Generation Y are so informed, “They want to know everything about products, procedures and providers before they even go into the office,” says Moretti. For those millennial women considering breast implants, they want to know all the side effects that they may be dealing with during and after breast augmentation, as well as their various options. 

Currently women have three choices for breast augmentation: silicone gel-filled implants, saline implants, and structured saline implants, or the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structure Breast Implant. A Millennial patient coming in to see a plastic surgeon is going to want to know all the advantages and disadvantages of each type of implant and which will be a good fit for her specific body type. 

The FDA’s Stance on Textured Breast Implants

The new study shows that a Millennial will do as much research as they can before coming in to discuss a breast augmentation. Millennials should know about a recent high profile FDA hearing on the safety of breast implants, in which the FDA decided to “not ban textured breast implants, which have been linked to the risk of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). As of September 2018, the FDA had received a total of 660 medical device reports of BIA-ALCL, including the death of nine patients.” -from Medical Insight, Inc., May 2019

The FDA says there is not enough scientific evidence that demonstrates textured breast implants cause these symptoms. Though almost immediately following the April FDA hearing, Allergan’s textured implants were taken off the market in France, The Netherlands and Canada. The U.S. government is choosing not to do so and they still remain an option for breast augmentation surgery in the States. Various U.S. regulators say they plan to work with patient groups and manufacturers to make changes to the labels of textured implants that could include a strict black box warning, but that remains to be seen.

How the New IDEAL IMPLANT® Gives Women Beauty Without Compromise

Women no longer have to choose between peace of mind and a natural look when they select the IDEAL IMPLANT®. These implants only have a smooth surface (not a textured one) and are filled with sterile saline solution, which can be absorbed easily by the body. A series of implant shells nested together and two separate chambers hold the saline filler, so there is less folding and wrinkling for a more realistic look. On the outside, the edges have been lowered for a more natural contouring to the chest wall.

The IDEAL IMPLANT requires a smaller incision and has less risk of rupture and capsular contracture than silicone gel implants. While silicone gel implants require expensive MRIs to detect a rupture that are usually not covered by insurance, if the IDEAL IMPLANT ruptures, you will immediately know just by a quick glance in the mirror. Board-certified New York plastic surgeon Dr. Sophie Bartsich says, “Overall, breast implant surgery has an extremely high satisfaction rate, and when done properly, the results can be fantastic. Most patients report feeling ‘balanced’ and ‘feminine,’ in a way little else could provide. But the decision to put something into your body is an important one, and the more information you have, the better.”

Millennials considering breast implants should be sure to meet with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon before making a decision. For a full list of board-certified plastic surgeons, go to www.abplasticsurgery.org. To find board-certified plastic surgeons that offer the new IDEAL IMPLANT, click here. For more information on IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implants, visit idealimplant.com.