Post-Pandemic Senior Living Marketing: 5 Important Lessons

Post-Pandemic Senior Living Marketing: 5 Important Lessons

Can you remember what you were doing in December of 2019? That was only three years ago. And yet, it feels like a lifetime. And no wonder when you consider everything that’s happened since.

The pandemic has had a profound effect on how we think, buy, interact, and conduct business. And this most certainly applies to senior living marketing and sales. Below is an overview of five important lessons we’ve learned since the pandemic upended the world—and what these lessons mean as we head into 2023.

Senior living marketing fundamentals will always matter, but there needs to be room for flexibility and creativity.

When it comes to marketing, the fundamentals matter. We often call them the “blocking and tackling” of marketing. Think things like understanding your buyers, knowing your community’s unique value proposition, and having a reliable way to deliver the right message to the right prospect at the right time.

But fundamentals—while important—aren’t the only thing that can influence a game plan. Certain situations (like a pandemic) might require a last-minute pivot, a creative trick play, or even a long-bomb attempt into the end zone.

  • What this means for senior living marketing and sales teams: Teams that embrace flexibility within their game plans (even as they practice important fundamentals) are better poised to meet unexpected situations—whether that’s a pandemic, natural disaster, recession, or something else.

The senior living sales cycle has gotten longer—and that isn’t going to change.

During the pandemic, the sales cycle grew longer for many senior living prospects. But here’s the thing: In this post-pandemic world, the senior living sales cycle is still long . . . and it’s growing longer for certain populations, like younger Boomers.

  • What this means for senior living marketing and sales teams: Prospects are going to require more touches than ever before. And we’re not talking more phone “check-ins,” either. Each touch has to provide compelling, meaningful content geared to that particular persona. Teams are going to need much more content than ever before, which is an investment if you want to do it right.

When buyers want to buy, they will buy.

Life goes on. Yes, even during chaotic times. When a prospect’s mind is made up, they will buy if they’re able to do so. And that’s the key, right there. Buyers are the ones who decide when the time is right. They are the ones who dictate the sales cycle. And they decide when they want a sales interaction. Note: It’s usually after they’ve been exposed to a senior living brand several times.

  • What this means for senior living marketing and sales teams: Marketing and sales teams need to enable buyers to make the best decisions. This means removing any friction from the sales process. For example, if buyers want clear, transparent pricing info, don’t make them jump through hoops to get it. If you create friction, they will move on since they have MANY good options to consider, not just your community.

Virtual selling does work in senior living, and there’s still a place for it in our post-pandemic world.

If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s this: Virtual communications can be extremely effective—even with older demos. During the pandemic, we saw older adults become adept with FaceTime, Zoom, and using their phones to research or do things like order groceries.

  • What this means for senior living marketing and sales teams: Let people choose how they want to interact with you. Offer virtual options and features as well as in-person events.

Social media is going to matter more and more.

Older adults’ increased comfort level with technology and social media isn’t going to disappear simply because the pandemic is over. If anything, the experience from the last few years might inspire people to check out (and possibly fall in love with) other online places, like Instagram and even TikTok. Plus, keep in mind that younger Boomers are already spending time on those platforms.

Older adults’ increased comfort level with technology and social media isn’t going to disappear simply because the pandemic is over. If anything, the experience from the last few years might inspire people to check out (and possibly fall in love with) other online places, like Instagram and even TikTok. Plus, keep in mind that younger Boomers are already spending time on those platforms.

  • What this means for senior living marketing and sales teams: Experiment and monitor results on social media—particularly newer platforms like TikTok. Over the next decade, senior living communities will be catering primarily to Boomers. Currently, older Boomers are in their mid-seventies, and younger Boomers are approaching sixty. Gen X is right behind them. And all of them are active across social media platforms.

Need help navigating the new normal?

Our clients didn’t miss a beat during the pandemic—and neither did we. If you’d like help incorporating the above lessons into an effective marketing plan for the next 90 days, let’s talk.