That “new car” smell. Scooping into a freshly opened jar of peanut butter. Stepping onto new-fallen snow. What’s the common denominator? Well, besides being strangely satisfying, they’re all the start of something new. And we, as humans, love the idea of something fresh and new. Just look at the New Year’s resolutions we make as the ball drops on December 31st. The year ahead is a blank page ready to be written upon, and we vow that this year, we’ll do better.
This phenomenon also happens when we start thinking about the year ahead for our businesses. At the end of Q4, did you take a look at how your community did in 2019 and think about how you could do “better” in the next year?
“The new year is a great time to have a fresh start for your business because it feels like every goal is attainable,” says Melinda Schmitz, President of Sage Age Strategies. “Just like it’s a perfect time to make personal goals for yourself, it’s also the perfect time for you to develop goals for your senior living marketing and strategies for you to achieve those goals.”
The trick is, she says, is to set attainable and measurable goals. Otherwise, you and your community run the risk of hitting a mid-February slump and letting those resolutions and goals slide to the side.
Making SMART Goals
Quick! What are your community’s marketing goals? If they’re things like “reaching more leads,” “increasing revenue and occupancy” or “converting more prospects” … well, we hate to say it, but you might have to be a bit more specific.
“By making big, swooping goals for your senior living marketing strategy, you’re setting yourself up for failure,” says Melinda. Instead, she says, make 2020 the year when you set measurable marketing goals based on specific, measurable, attainable,realisticandtime-boundbusiness goals – or, in other words, SMART business goals.
What’s the difference between a poorly-defined goal and a SMART goal? Here are a few examples:
Increase occupancy rates vs. Achieve a 90% occupancy rate by the end of Q2, with an increase to 98% by the end of Q4
Convert more leads vs. Increase conversion of prospects mined from online leads from 20% to 25%
Be top-ranked on Google vs. Rank in the top three for keywords “senior living
community in X Town,” “assisted living communities in
X Town” and “best senior living communities
in X Town”
The SMARTer you can make your goals, the more clear your path to achieving those goals will be.
Tips for Giving Your Marketing Strategy a Fresh Start in 2020
Last month, we talked about Sage Age’s top tips for helping prepare your community for the new year. Here are some of those tips again, restructured to give you an example of how you can make them SMART for your specific needs.
Tip 1: Convert more prospects by meeting them where they are.
What this means: Get in front of potential leads in places they’re already visiting – whether that’s your website, near your physical location, on their favorite social media site … wherever.
Examples of how to achieve this: Track prospects and send personalized ads through geofencing; match 25 to 35 percent of your website visitors to email records and postal addresses with Reverse IP Append; and make sure you’re personalizing your marketing messages by delivering the perfect message to the right person on whatever platform they’re currently visiting.
Make it a SMART goal: “By Q3 we will capture at least 50 new leads per month by using reverse IP append through our website visits and robust PPC campaign.”
Tip 2: Stretch your marketing dollars by correctly using innovative technologies.
What this means: Increase your ROI by using digital strategies alongside your more “traditional” marketing efforts.
Examples of how to achieve this: Capture leads through SEO and PPC pages, develop robust social media content, invest in content offering as well as lead nurturing and conversion.
Make it a SMART goal: “Allocate 30% of our existing marketing budget into an integrated campaign with the goal of increasing conversion rate by 200% and ROI by 300% by the beginning of Q4.”
Tip 3: Create a strategic marketing plan with the help of an expert.
What this means: Don’t do this all on your own – hire an expert to help you develop a plan that will help you reach your goals in a smart, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound manner.
Examples of how to achieve this: Contact us at Sage Age Strategies once you’re back in the office after the holidays. As experts on marketing to the senior living community space for more than three decades, we know that the beginning of the year is the perfect time to develop strategies that will set your community up for success in 2020 and beyond.
Make it a SMART goal: “Contact Sage Age Strategies by January 6 to start a conversation about developing a fully integrated marketing plan for 2020 to help us do more with less.”
Sage Age Strategies is a multiple-award-winning, strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Melinda Schmitz at 816.349.0464 / firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit us on our website at www.sageagestrategies.com/.
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