By Steve Moran

The title is a shameless steal from “Think with Google,” something that is worth a subscription (free). The big idea is to take a look back at your marketing this past year and do more of what worked and less of what didn’t.

Here are some things Google searches reveal:

  • People are searching for ways to gather. I found myself wondering how senior living communities could tap into this deep human desire for in-person connection. It is hard, because there is this natural instinct (and obligation) to protect our residents from the ravages of COVID. Yet if we can become a place to gather for older people and their families, we will be a force for good and increase occupancy. Maybe an even more interesting idea would be to be a place for kids to gather as a recruitment and retention tool.
  • People want to have life get back to normal. Not a new normal but an old normal. What can we do in senior living for residents, families, prospects, and team members to make that happen?
  • Remote is the new reality for social gatherings. While there is a longing for in-person and normal, there is a realization that remote is here to stay. It has two advantages. The first is obvious: keeping people safe. The second, and more powerful, is remote provides an opportunity to stay connected with people who are geographically separated. Imagine setting up game nights for families, residents, or even community to community.
  • People want to be outdoors. There is a ton of data that suggests being outdoors is good for people, and that includes residents. The right number, the optimal number, is 60 minutes a day. Most adults don’t get that, too many kids don’t get that, and I suspect only a tiny number of residents get that. But imagine what a commitment to getting residents outdoors for an hour a day would do for the health of your community. It is one of those old things that is now a new thing.
  • Self-improvement is trending. While many people choose to eat more and binge watch TV, according to Google searches, many people set out to be better versions of themselves. Better diets, better personal habits, and learning new skills and new ideas. What if your community became, in your marketplace, the “self-improvement” community for residents and team members? What would that be like?

The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on lessons learned in your organization and your community. It is a great time to reflect on broader societal shifts and explore how they can improve your life, the life of your community, and your team.