As the holiday season begins and 2016 nears its close, there is much to be thankful for in senior housing. Our industry is booming. With the continued focus on the baby boomer market, we have more potential customers than ever.
And better yet, we have more ways than ever to reach them, learn about them, and connect with them.
The industry is changing rapidly to meet them, and that includes marketing. Successful communities are adapting their approach in order to get to the heart of the wants and needs of the next generation.
They’re changing terminology, design, and programming. They’re moving from mass media to highly targeted media, and they’re developing emotional rapport with prospects from the first click, call, and visit.
With all of this potential and change, it’s easy get caught up feeling a little less than grateful as some of the old ways stop getting results. When that happens, it’s time to examine what still gets results, what will get results, and make a plan for the coming year(s).
I’m thankful that our industry is ripe with opportunities, abundance, and fun – yes, fun! – as the marketplace shifts.
Top Three Things To Be Thankful For In Senior Housing
The industry is booming.
There are more opportunities out there than ever before. With a rapidly expanding customer base, there are new projects starting every month, and successful communities are renovating and expanding at an unprecedented rate.
There are more ways than ever to reach potential customers.
Online marketing is cost effective and responsive. When all of the components come together – SEO and pay-per-click advertising, social media, and dynamic, content-rich websites – your community can rise to the top of a prospect’s list before they ever walk through your door. Boomers love technology and use it to research and engage: 71% of seniors are online daily, and over 50% of those use social media.
Traditional methods like direct mail, newspaper advertising, and television, often are still highly effective, especially when they complement a strong online presence. Traditional marketing methods should drive customers visit your website and social media, as well as pick up the phone.
There are more tools than ever for understanding your customers.
Marketing has shifted from mass media to highly targeted, personalized strategies that reach exactly the right prospects.
There are an abundance of highly effective tools for us to use. Careful study of website analytics and custom targeted social media and pay-per-click campaigns take target marketing beyond simple demographics. Your marketing pieces can speak directly to your customers’ specific interests, needs, and motivations.
Focus groups give instant feedback about your customer’s preferences and their gut-level reactions to your community and marketing. Paired with a well-constructed survey, professionally moderated focus groups offer qualitative and quantitative information to help your community develop a solid marketing strategy that speaks directly to your customers.
Ask any group of sales people their favorite part of the job, and they’ll tell you it’s “the residents.” Developing real relationships with prospects is at the heart of modern marketing.
It starts with marketing content that tells a story – on your website, in your videos (you have videos, right?), and in your social media. People buy on emotion, and confirm the decision with fact. Marketing efforts must shift from impersonal to personal quickly.
Relationship based selling develops real connection. It’s about sharing stories that matter. It’s fun, creative, and engaging.
Our industry is experiencing an unprecedented abundance of new concepts, ideas, and potential customers. All of these changes make successful selling more complex than in days past, but the rewards in this ever-growing and ever-changing market are unprecedented, too.