marketing mistakes

Independent Living Marketing: Don’t Make These Mistakes

In a recent blog post, we discussed independent living marketing ideas that would resonate with Boomers and Gen-Xers.

Why does this matter?

Quick reminder: The American population is aging—and fast. In 2017, there were 47 million people over the age of 65. By 2060, that number will more than double to 100 million. And the folks making up the bulk of those will be from the Boomer and Gen X generations.

So, yeah. Your independent living marketing will need to undergo a dramatic shift. Or, at the very least, keep up with the changes while avoiding critical mistakes. To that end, we discuss those mistakes below.

Don’t skimp on your independent living marketing.

Just because demand for independent living is going to increase organically, that doesn’t mean you won’t need to market your community. The increase in demand will also increase competition in this space.

Don’t treat your independent living marketing as an afterthought.

How you market to these audiences will very much matter—and impact your community’s success. You’re going to be dealing with much savvier buyers. Think people who are more skeptical of marketing messages than their parents were. They will see through lazy language and “fluffy” messaging.

Don’t treat everyone in the IL audience the exact same way.

Data shows that there are 76 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. today. Do all 76 million think the same way or have the same desires for their retirement? Of course not. This is precisely why you need to develop buyer personas.

Personas will help you understand who your prospects are, what they desire, and what messages will resonate with them. The best way to start? Interview current residents and ask them why they chose your community.

Don’t forget that you’re dealing with the “me generation.”

As Forbes notes, “Baby boomers are considered the ‘me generation’ for their self-centered, individualistic attitudes.” And you can bet those self-centered, individualistic attitudes will absolutely influence the type of independent living they’re going to want to experience. This conversation goes way beyond marketing, of course—and to the heart of what tomorrow’s independent living communities will need to offer to please an audience that’s used to customization and getting what they want.

Don’t fall into a static mindset.

As we said earlier, the senior living industry is going through a fundamental shift. And we’re not talking about a “once and done” shift, either. What works as you market your independent living community today might not work a year or two from now. Embrace dynamism and avoid static messaging.

Don’t ignore analytics.

Now, more than ever before, analytics matter. Because as you’re developing new messages and marketing campaigns, you’ll need to quickly get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t. You can’t rely on your gut. Or make jumps in logic based on anecdotal evidence. You need real data to guide you. And that’s where analytics come into play.

Don’t think that technology doesn’t matter.

Our industry has often been slow to adopt technological innovations (like marketing automation). For a long time, you could get away with this since your target demo was older and used to “old school” methods of communicating, like snail mail and print ads.

But over the next decade, those vehicles are going to work less and less as Boomers become the prevailing demographic you’re marketing to. Boomers are tech-savvy—and they’re only going to get savvier.

Don’t go it alone. (But choose an agency partner wisely.)

Now’s the time to engage with an independent living marketing partner to help you navigate the shifts and develop effective campaigns. But you need to work with the right marketing agency—one that’s committed to staying current and ahead of the curve. Say hello to us!