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For Your Well Being: Looking to Attract Younger Audiences?

June 13, 2013, Vol. 11, Issue 12

Dear Friends,

A question that’s been coming up fairly frequently from our meeting planners, is “How do we attract younger women?”  At the Marketing to Women in Health and Wellness conference I attended in Chicago this April, Kathy Oneto, Vice President, Brand Strategy at Anthem Worldwide, delivered a program titled, “What Women Really Want from Health and Wellness:  3 Generations of Women.”

I thought this was interesting information, and that learning about both the differences and similarities between the generational groups might shed some light for some of you on the motivators for these women — information you may apply to your event planning.  In this issue, we’ll focus on the youngest women in the group called Millennials, born from 1981-2000. In a future issue, we’ll delve into the motivations of the other generations as well as the commonalities that span the generations when it comes to their health and wellness.


What Millennial Women Really Want from Health and Wellness

According to Anthem’s study, the consumer need is evident:  Some 94% of all women say that living a healthy lifestyle is very/somewhat important.

“We were on a quest to better understand what a woman really wants from health and wellness and what motivates her to achieve it, getting beyond what she feels she should do to understanding what she wants to do around health and wellness,” Kathy said. “Beyond identifying motivations across three generations of women, what we found is that women are open to—and are in fact seeking—brands to motivate them to be healthy and well so they can reach their goals at any life stage.”

In the study, they explored how women define health and wellness, what motivates them, what they feel expected to do, and what brands were doing a good job of connecting with them. Much of what they discovered may be useful to you as well in attracting women through your events – and in setting your general marketing themes.

They started with the common definition of health and wellness as the balance of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects of one’s life. What they found was that, additionally, the women surveyed see health and wellness reaching into their lives in quite broad, holistic, and whole life-oriented ways, and this shows up a little differently in each generation. In a snapshot, here is how women’s views of health and wellness vary across three generations:

Millennials, born 1981 – 2000, primary motivation is to Aspire. Health and wellness means seeking to become one’s ideal self. It’s about doing things and taking on the world.

Generation X, born 1965-1980, primary motivation is to Establish. Health and wellness means self acceptance and a body that works. It’s about strength and productivity.

Baby Boomers, born 1946-1964, primary motivation is to Extend.  Health and wellness is about staying vibrant into the next act and becoming one’s true self, reaching for new dreams.

Today we’re going to focus on the Millennials, ages 13 – 32 — think of a median age of 21 — so you might learn what motivators you can apply to your marketing and event planning, to attract these women.

Image courtesy of BrianHolm/

We might think of these young gals as not having a care in the world, as most are not yet dealing with the demands of a family (now appearing later in life as women are getting married and bearing children at an older age). It turned out to be quite the opposite. Although they desire balance, they report being quite stressed — they’re faced with the quandaries and challenges created by independence, opportunities, career decisions, and pressure to establish themselves as adults and to succeed.  Some report feeling a responsibility to society — believing their generation has more power to change the world than their parents did at their age. There’s the impact of technology as well, for social media has changed how this generation crafts a sense of self and experiences emotion.

How does this relate to health and wellness?  Millennials view it in a way that is broader in context than previous generations. They link it to concepts such as being your best self, doing things that inspire and engage you, happiness, and peace in mind and body. It’s a view that is framed by accomplishment, the need to be productive, and the push to put themselves on a path toward achieving long-term goals. This drive to accomplish, coupled with the stress just described, is what leads these women to seek balance. It’s more than work-life balance, however. It’s a desire to be confident, at peace with themselves, and content with their lives and who they are.

As for the physical side, Millennials, more than any other age group, were focused on the “looking good” aspects of health than they were on direct benefits like energy and strength. This, despite growing up in an era when you’d think they might become immune to societal pressure; they still feel an expectation — a persistent expectation — to look good, as well as the personal motivation to want to look good. In addition, these women made the connection between physical health and mental health, as in when you look good, you feel good.

It’s also interesting to note that the expectation to look good turned into a motivation when they realized that what they do matters. For example, if they realized they couldn’t fit into a certain pair of jeans anymore, the expectation of looking good turned into a motivation to get healthier by losing those extra pounds.

Emotional health is important to this generation as well.  It was often related to being positive and simply being happy. The study revealed that 83% of Millennials are very or somewhat motivated to achieve health and wellness in order to be happy.

So, if you’re looking to create themes to attract Millennials to your events, think about them in terms of the their desires to find relief from stress and to seek happiness, as well as overall balance in a fulfilling lifestyle that will help them achieve their long-term goals.  And if all else fails, the power of a great fitting pair of jeans to make them feel good by making them look good, will always appeal to them!  That, after all, is happiness . . . with apologies to HH the Dalai Lama. 🙂

If you’re interested in looking at the full report, which I highly recommend, simply click here and write GENERATIONS in the Comment box and I will email you the PDF. You’ll get far more helpful detailed information from the original report itself than I can include in this brief e-news summary.

In future issues, we’ll look at Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the commonalities for marketing to all of the generations.


I Love Apps

I have a confession. I love Apps. Easy, cheap (usually, free) fun, as well as educational, helpful or even healthful. Here’s one I use regularly, and if you haven’t heard about GPS for the Soul (from the HeartMath folks), this one’s for you.

GPS for the Soul measures your heart rate and heart rate variability, which taken together, indicate your level of balance and harmony. If you happen to be imbalanced or feeling a lack of harmony, GPS for the Soul can connect you with the things that help you return to that centered place, using music, poetry, breathing exercises and pictures of your loved ones. I’m serious.

To get a measurement, you place your finger over the camera lens of the iPhone. In response the app lights up and runs a sensor that gauges your emotional state and whether you are stressed or calm. While you wait for its response to display, it entertains you by running waves across the screen. Your phone then displays your data along a color spectrum. Each color, from dark red (you may be stressed) to blue (you are in sync), corresponds to a different emotional state. Finally, the app invites you to launch a guide.

Guides are designed to produce positive emotions through a combination of pictures, music, and quotations; together they can synchronize your heart rhythm and reduce your production of cortisol, the hormone your body releases in response to stress. You can play one of the guides they provide, or you can create your own.

When I test myself in the office, I usually get a “You may be stressed” rating, which is pretty low on the scale. Once a day (you set the time), a reminder to check in pops up. One time it popped up on a Sunday as we were driving through the Columbia River Gorge (a beautiful, peaceful place) on our way to hike in the woods, so I took my measurement, and lo and behold, for the first time I tested balanced. That’s a good enough reason for me to head for the Gorge. . .what might it motivate you to do?

Until next time, take care of yourself for your well being and those you love.

Yours truly,


For Your Well Being is published bi-weekly. We bring you insider speaker reports, exclusive stories about special events around the country, meeting planner tips, and fun stuff from the worlds of health and well being. Be well and be in the know!

The Speak Well Being Group is a specialized speakers bureau, focusing on speakers for hospital-sponsored community events, healthcare organizations, conferences and women’s groups. Our speakers are hand-selected. They are not only experts in their fields, they know how to connect with women and give them life-changing information served on a silver platter of joy, camaraderie, with a side of sauce (spicy, of course).

Finding the perfect keynote speaker for your special event or conference is my personal passion, not just once, but year after year. It brings me endless joy to know that your audience was delighted and moved by the speaker we selected together. I’m committed to making the process easy, pleasant and fun.

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