REACHING THE GENERATIONS: MILLENNIALS

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Marketing these days requires pinpointing your message to very specific demographics; here’s what some eyecare professionals had to say about appealing to Millennials.

Keith Smithson
OD
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry
Alexandria, Arlington,
Falls Church & Reston, VA

Engaging Millennials is all about showing them that the topic at hand applies to them. The best way to acquire these patients is through digital marketing and positive online reviews. We strive for the premium patient experience.

We use social media to repost images of some of our professional athlete patients when they post images wearing frames. We also ask patients to send us pics in their new frames doing something they are now better able to do.


Aurora Susi
Licensed Optician & Lead Frame Buyer
Metro Optics Eyewear
Bronx, NY

For Millennials, designers are not as important. They prefer a wide array of colors, and many like to have more than one pair to switch off. As the “give back” generation, they prefer to support brands that are community-oriented. I choose colorful frames that fit well and are fairly priced that we warranty for one year. A good deal is appreciated by all, but Millennials especially love a bargain. They enjoy our Buy One, Get One free collection.


James M. Rosin
Co-President
Rosin Eyecare
Greater Chicago

Technology appeals to Millennials. We use the Ditto iPad device that scans the patient’s face. The recommendation engine comes up with a series of frames that fit that face shape. Rather than have the optician hand frames to the patient, this allows you to do virtual try-on at the dispensary table. It moves more quickly and raises the shopping experience. We get a lot of positive comments, especially from younger patients getting their first pair of glasses.


Liz Macias
Operations Manager
Specs 20/20
Portland, OR

Millennials are not a “one size fits all” generation and gravitate toward things that make them feel like they are a part of something larger. Creating unique, educational, or funny content or highlighting community efforts on social media gives your practice its own personality. Millennials like to engage with their favorite businesses and seek out community reviews on social media. ECPs can partner with companies such as Doctible to help field and manage reviews.


Kimberly Haw
OD
Fremont Optometric
Fremont, CA

Millennials like customization and ha-ving frame lines that accommodate patients differentiates us from big box stores. Online and word of mouth still provide a large number of my patient referrals. We are planning a few frame shows, and we have done several health fairs that have been quite successful. Get a detailed breakdown of your current patient age base. Many times we think we know the breakdown and may be surprised we aligned our frame inventory to the wrong age group.


Amy Darmandjian
ABOC
Optometrics of Chatsworth
Northridge, CA

Digital communication is a key component for us to connect with our customers. Millennials value relationships and connectedness so we engage with them on a number of platforms, from social media to curated e-blasts to keep them informed of the new frame lines and collections, special events and promotions. Millennials are generally influenced by social media, what they see on TV and by the people around them. They tend to know what they want and want it now!


Sara Bonizio
Marketing & Community Relations Manager
Metro Optics Eyewear
Bronx, NY

To target Millennials, meet them where they are. Most people nowadays carefully review a company’s web presence and social sites to see what they’re about, so ECPs should demonstrate reasonable tech savvy-ness via not only a mobile-friendly website and a social presence, but where possible, the ability to do business online.
Then there’s the community connection—vision screenings and eye health education are vital components of our community relations program. Online reputation management is vitally important.


Jennifer Caraway
Licensed Optician & Manager
Paris Optique
Scottsdale, AZ

For the Millennial customer, on-trend styles and quick turnarounds are key areas of focus at Paris Optique. We leverage finished single vision lenses and edge in-house to offer quick turn times, around one to four business days. As for advice on marketing eyewear to Millennials, our experience has proven the direct approach doesn’t work. It is important to stay connected to social media and pop culture and know how to connect this to the client, whether in conversation or in marketing.


Edward Beiner
CEO & Founder
Edward Beiner Eyes Forward
Miami

You need to be connected with your customer on different digital platforms, but once the customer is in the shop you have to add to the experience. In order for a Millennial to return to a store, the sales associate must be a story teller and a personal stylist. Be proactive in your community. Partner with shops around you to create events and understand that you are doing more than just selling glasses. If the sale is only transactional without heart and soul then it’s easier to buy on the Internet.

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