If you’ve been involved in the senior living industry for awhile, you know that expectations for what a community provides have changed. Years ago, the conversation revolved primarily around meeting the physical and medical needs of residents. That’s still obviously very important! Ensuring the safety and care of your residents is, of course your top priority, as it is every community leader’s priority.
On our blog, we’ve talked often about the importance of knowing your audience. If you’ve followed any of our advice, you hopefully understand why it’s critically important to know your audience if you’re hoping to create effective messaging and marketing that resonates with them.
At the same time, that doesn’t mean just honing in on the things you think your audience wants, or even speaking solely to that hyper-specific subset of customers you think will convert into paying residents.
A lot of the tips and techniques you find about improving your marketing relate to the actions you and your team take in order to raise awareness and ultimately turn a prospect into a paying customer. From social media to paid advertising, direct mail to email marketing campaigns – there’s no shortage of articles and insights into how to make these efforts even more effective as you look to acquire more customers and ultimately get a signed contract.
Any time you set out to create and run a marketing, public relations, or media campaign, you likely have a big picture idea of what you want to accomplish. Increase your prospective customer base, boost your sales, increase visibility and strengthen customer loyalty are all worthwhile goals of any such campaign, and many well-executed campaigns will hit the mark in several of these areas.
Sometimes, we’re able to improve our communities and make our residents and prospective residents happier by doing something simple and obvious. Updating rooms, offering new classes and activities, improving the menu – all of these things, and others like them, are things that don’t really require a ton of research, because it’s apparent that they’ll bring residents a lot of benefit. Who doesn’t love a fresh new coat of paint, an enriching new activity with friends or a delicious new dinner option?
Do some research about how to grow as a company and organization, and you’re bound to come across more than a few articles on culture and company core values – probably pretty quickly! Not only is company culture a buzzy phrase these days, it also does matter, and in a pretty big way. Things like company values, mission statement, core pillars and culture are all part of the essence that makes up the soul of your organization.
The senior living industry is, at its core, all about relationships. You develop deep and meaningful relationships with your residents, most of all, as you meet them, bring them into your community, learn from them, help them enjoy their lives to the fullest, witness them change over the years, and much more. Beyond that, you develop relationships with your residents’ family and friends, who may often stop by to visit and become part of your larger community.
A few months ago, we shared our thoughts on the challenges and benefits of implementing a competitive pricing strategy at your community. We all know that senior living is not a small expense, and can often be one of the priciest things an individual buys in their lifetime. It’s not just rent: it includes life enriching opportunities, health services and a lot more. While it’s fair to say that, at good communities such as yours, buyers get what they pay for, it’s still important that we, as marketers, understand the buyer’s perspective.
A well-conceived marketing plan takes into consideration a whole slew of angles, from the hyperlocal to the World Wide Web. Each has the power to greatly influence your potential customer’s path to your door, and the easier and more positive you make that journey, the more likely you are to hear them knocking!