I’ve always felt like a really smart marketer … but, frankly, I’m feeling a bit stupid lately.
I’ve always felt like a really smart marketer … but, frankly, I’m feeling a bit stupid lately. Why is that? It’s because marketing and selling is changing for every business, including and especially senior care. I suspect that for you, like me, business doesn’t happen the way it used to. The fact is, there are a lot more customer engagement levers to pay attention to these days. It can be overwhelming. But here’s the thing: I know a lot of you are really smart marketers, too. Just because we’re now dealing with omni channel, digital marketing we never dreamed would exist, doesn’t mean that we give up and stay with the same old, same old… For me, not getting into the fast lane would mean ending up as road kill. Not happening. So, along with you – I am trying every new marketing and selling technique, tactic, and technology available. We’re together on this ride… What Tony Bennett Can Teach Us We need to take a lesson from Tony Bennett. Back in the 80’s, Tony’s career was at arguably the lowest point ever. He still had a heckuva voice. He still had great stage presence. But he was having a hard time reaching any audience beyond that of the washed-up/has-been Las Vegas circuit. Enter Tony’s son, Danny. Danny began managing his dad. He saw that Tony didn’t need to change – he was still a major talent – he just needed to figure out how to connect with a new audience. (and yes my senior care marketer friends, you have a whole new audience too!) So Danny started booking Tony on Late Night with David Letterman, The Muppets, and The Simpsons – all shows that had a younger demographic. Tony started doing duets with up-and-coming musical artists. What happened next? Tony was hot again. In fact, he collected 14 of his 16 Grammys after 1993, and his career is still going strong. [Thanks to Andrew M. Davis, author of Brandscaping: Unleashing the Power of Partnerships, for bringing this story to my attention.]
If Tony Can Do It, So Can We We need to learn how to reach our new audiences and leverage new relationships like never before.
- Different referring professionals who are only growing in number and influence.
- Organizations that reach our consumer and their adult child… Ones we never thought of reaching out to before.
- The senior and their spouse – who are spending 40% more time on-line (and I don’t just mean on Facebook!), looking and researching for themselves what kind of lifestyle and help they really want – and need.
- And finally, the ever elusive and powerful adult child… How do we really give her what she wants, when she wants it, so she finds just the right place for mom.
We need to learn how to take our expertise and translate it to today’s customers. It’s a journey we can take together. That’s why we’re starting a dialogue … right here, right now. For the next three months (and beyond), we’re going to take a deep dive into new marketing and selling strategies for senior care. Here’s just a partial list of some of the things we’re going to cover:
- How to most effectively reach adult children, very often the decision makers in senior care considerations
- How to use blogging and social media to build trust and credibility with potential clients
- New digital marketing techniques that can streamline outreach and make selling hyper efficiently
- More effective ways to track marketing ROI to determine what’s really working
- How to better navigate new referral pipelines
- How to use automated or integrated marketing to get to know your leads and customers better… since knowing them better makes it easier (and faster) to sell to them
- How aligning with the right partners can build trust and introduce your company to an entirely new customer, one you never expected…
Be Part of the Conversation My goal is to not only provide information, but to listen. I really want to hear your comments – and I want your concerns to inform our discussions. If you’d like to be part of this dialogue, just click HERE so I can add you to the Senior Care Marketing and Sales Summit mailing list. That way you won’t miss out on any of our discussions. Then, please consider joining us at the Senior Care Marketing Sales Summit in Chicago in November. There, we’ll bring together all of the information we’ve discussed over the past three months to provide a comprehensive overview – a game plan, if you will – of new marketing tactics for the senior care industry. Keep in mind, this is a limited-attendance event, so be sure to sign up early. The conversation starts now. Please lend your voice. Much thanks, Bailey Beeken
If you like this article (or even if you don’t) it would be a great honor to have you subscribe to our mailing list HERE
It would be helpful if the reader was informed about the type of community a marketing poster is marketing. Why? Because I would think there are major differences between marketing for, say, an assisted living facility versus a CCRC. Most of the time a CCRC requires a substantial up-front payment. Residency Agreements (contracts) have to be explained. Financial Disclosure is more critical. What happens when a CCRC has to file Chapter 11 — large refunds are at risk. When it’s a nursing home, family members can move their loved one out with no major financial cost — a lot of logistical problems, but the patient’s hundreds of thousands of dollars are not at risk. Prospects for CCRC living often have the luxury of time to “shop around.” Sometimes that shopping is done without the early influence of adult children. Whereas, marketing for a community that is exclusively providing health care (i.e., no independent living) is dealing with a more immediate problem that needs to be solved and adult children are more involved. I’ve had CCRC Marketing people say that the strongest competition for a new resident is NOT another CCRC, but that potential resident’s own home. The competition for an AL facility is probably the AL facility across town. CCRC Marketing staff seem to have a larger array of “commitments” to make regarding life in independent living (“The Fitness Center will probably be built next year.” “Sure, you can move to a corner unit when the one you want comes available.” “We have campus transportation.”) than does a strictly health care facility. Believe me, I’ve seen Marketing’s statements NOT lived up to … with negative ramifications that Marketing probably doesn’t know have happened. For example, which department of a CCRC remembers that Mrs. Doe wants a corner unit on the 2nd or 3rd floor when one comes up? Marketing? Resident Services? If I had a dollar for every time those two areas don’t communicate, I’d be able to buy a lobster dinner.
I work for a multi-site CCRC that is reaching out into social media, redesigned our website with responsive design to scale to mobile devices, etc. (can’t tell you everything now, can I?!) So we are embracing digital advertising to reach more adult children since most of our easily identifiable leads come via the web. That said, let’s not forget common sense and some of the wisdom of the human interaction. We spend so much time and money on digital enhancements, I fear that we stray from the basics of marketing and the relationship that is imperative to build outside the social media platform. Indeed, Millenials spend gobs of time in this arena as do the adult children of prospects. But the sound of a real voice, a handwritten note (really?!), and an occasional piece of print have not lost their power. In fact, they have more power in the long run when beautifully orchestrated and leveraged with social media. It is too easy to rely on digital communication when people yearn for more real contact. Partnerships with local notable events and community hubs are also key to a “warm” pipeline.
Blogging is one of the social media strategies that we use here at BMA Management, Ltd. We use our weekly Blogs to drive traffic to our website and to position ourselves as a go-to source for information as well as to generate leads for our assisted living communities. Among the beauties of Blogging is that you control the topic, the content and the frequency and can use Blogs to spark discussions.