DAVID EVANS, MBA, PHD

In an increasingly competitive environment, cosmetic surgeons need to meet younger patients where they are.

There are currently 80 million Millennials in the US. These Gen Yers, aged 20 to 35, have an annual buying power of $200 billion, according to Forbes magazine.

These numbers can't be ignored, but capturing the millennials' collective attention span does not come easily or through traditional means. It involves a whole new marketing skillset that starts with:

Going Mobile

Millennials are on their phones or tablets 24/7 (even while at work). This is their one and only go-to source for information. If your practice isn't mobile friendly, they're gone. Patience is not a millennial virtue. Always display contact information and hours of operation prominently if you expect this group to schedule with your practice.

To check if your site is mobile-friendly, examine individual pages with the Mobile-Friendly Test or check the status of your entire site through the Mobile Usability report in Webmaster Tools.

2. Putting a Face on your Brand

Millennials want to see you. They like companies, products and services that have a name, a face and a personality. This should come through clearly on your website, marketing materials and in social media campaigns.

3. Posting Reviews and Testimonials

Fully 84 percent of Millennials don't trust traditional advertising, the McCarthy Group reports. So what do they trust? Reviews, reviews and more reviews.

All online reviews should be prominently displayed on separate and individual pages of your website and promoted throughout your site, with direct access from the main navigation. The reviews should come from credible third-party sites: Yelp, Google, RateMDs, Vitals, HealthGrades and others. Current best practice is to use a reviews feed on the site, which ensures a constant flow of recent reviews.

4. Getting Social

Snapchat is now the third most popular social app among Millennials, trailing Instagram and Facebook, comScore reports. This means that to reach the Millennials, you have to be active on this platform. [See Social Security by Wendy Lewis on page 54] for tips on how to snap like a Millennial.

5. Talking the Talk

Are you on fleek? (translation: on point). Millennials have their own way of speaking, and if you want to be heard by them, you better pick up on the vernacular quickly. Generation Yers take note when they hear or read words that could have come from peers. If you don't speak their language, they will simply say ‘bye, Felicia' (Translation: See you later. I don't really care what your real name is. You are that irrelevant to me.)

6. Capitalizing on FOMO

FOMO, or fear of missing out, is the quintessential Millennial phobia. Cultivate a brand and an image that can entice and engage this crowd. Positive reviews can help, as can clever social media campaigns. Carpe diem is back in vogue, except that now it has a new name—actually, an acronym: YOLO (You Only Live Once). The Millennials live by this creed and want to make sure they do so to the fullest. So make sure to capitalize.