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Senior Living Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

Senior Living Marketing Trends to Watch in 2020

What senior living marketing trends should you be paying attention to?

So glad you asked.

Senior Living Marketing Trend #1: Always Think Mobile First.

An average of 68% of our clients’ website views and conversions happen on mobile phones. Websites built with a “mobile first” design will outperform websites built for only desktop experiences.

Remember, the real estate for messaging and lead conversion shrinks dramatically on smartphones. This means you must put the most important info at the TOP of the site.

Let’s break it down:

  • Copy. Messaging must be clear, concise, and explain the problem you solve and who you serve.
  • Navigation. Think simple organization. Focus on the most important information prospects are looking for, like locations and care levels. Design elements should include drop-down menus to easily access specific information. Or you should implement a properly-tested hamburger menu or jumbo menu.
  • CTAs (Calls to Action). Encourage visitors to take an action, but give them different options. Use colorful buttons designed for clumsy thumbs on the go. Be sure the phone numbers on the website are dynamic, too. For example, use “click to call” with tracking to measure website conversions.

FREE Website Assessment

Get out your cell phone and pull up your website to test the mobile experience.

Need help? Get a free website performance assessment today.

Senior Living Marketing Trend #2: Hyper-Target Prospects.

A recent user experience study published by Acquia reports that 80% of customers want greater personalization. In fact, respondents claim they would be more loyal to a brand that demonstrates an understanding of who they are.

The only way to get the right content to the right prospect at the right time, however, is to have the ability to track their behavior. Here is what you should need to track:

  • Everything prospects are doing on your website: You need to know how often they visit and what pages/blogs they’re visiting so you can personalize your follow-up based on each prospect’s specific interests. Marketing automation is an effective way to accomplish this.
  • Engagement: Consider the following…
    • Email opens and clicks
    • Paid advertising clicks and conversions from Google AdWords and Facebook
    • CTA interactions to track if they have downloaded a brochure or guide, requested a call back or scheduled a tour, and/or engaged with live chat or a survey.

Score leads based on the actions prospects take on your website. This will help you identify prospects with the greatest opportunity to advance and close.

  • ROI. Senior living providers should have a way to track the return on investment of every lead generation source. Your marketing team or agency should have the technology to quantify the cost per conversion and cost per move-in by channel. Extra points if you can also calculate the resident lifetime value based on actual revenue and length of stay data.

Senior Living Marketing Trend #3: Move to Open Source Technology.

“Consistently delivering convenient, personalized experiences across all channels requires technology that can readily access all the data personalization demands and flexibly support CX online, in-store, and everywhere else,” reports Acquia.

The senior living technology space has been dominated by closed-source platforms that do not allow integration into all of the data sources operators need to optimize their marketing results.

Our clients are moving away from these antiquated solutions in favor of newer open source technology providers that allow operators muhc more freedom and choice.

Here are the signs that it’s time to change your website hosting or CRM company:

  • The website is built on a proprietary platform. What this can mean…
    • You cannot make changes, updates, or edits to your own website.
    • They do not have or will not share an API key to allow integration with marketing automation, live chat, interactive surveys etc.
    • They decide what to measure. The problem? It’s usually not what really matters.
  • The senior living CRM is not integrated with a marketing automation platform OR it forces you to use their solution rather than the best-in-class that you would prefer. It does not connect to your website forms and/or third-party lead providers. This means any data entry on your end will have to happen manually. You cannot get the reports you need, such as lead generation by channel.

Ready to explore better CMS and CRM options?

Schedule a call with the Senior Living SMART team today. These senior living marketing trends will likely define the next decade. Don’t get left behind! Simple, strategic changes can make all the difference.

The Senior Living Marketing Rebellion

The Senior Living Marketing Rebellion

I recently listened to a Duct Tape Marketing podcast featuring Mark Shaefer, author of Marketing Rebellion: The Most Human Company Wins. The podcast addresses the “new reality” of marketing strategy. The insights are timely and relevant for the senior living industry.

The new reality is that the customer is in control of their own journey—and no two customers are alike. The buying journey in senior living is complex and emotional, often involving multiple decision makers and influencers. This journey is rarely linear, so today’s senior living marketers have to create an environment for prospects to be able to engage with the brand at every stage of their journey. We need to meet them wherever they are. Then, we must provide the information they need and nurture them along the path. Finally, we must keep them engaged until they make the decision to move forward.

When it comes to senior living marketing today, there have been three distinctive shifts.

Let’s look at each one more closely.

1. Shift in the Access to Information

Information is power, and we senior living marketers used to have it. Prospects had to call or visit the community to get any information. For example, pricing, floor plans, and marketing collateral were provided personally or snail-mailed out. And prospects waited for the information to come in their mailboxes!

Today, prospects expect to get information about everything on your senior living website. And if you don’t give it to them, they will quickly move to a competitor or third-party lead aggregator site. We are now marketing to a “shop-around” society, and they expect to be able to independently research and compare their options.

2. Shift in Transparency

There is no room for secrets in today’s senior living marketing strategy. Trust in business, brands, and advertising has declined for the last 10 years, and today’s prospects want to self-qualify or self-disqualify without a sales pitch.

What can a senior living marketer do? One of the most important things is putting your pricing on your website (the starting rates at the very least). If you don’t provide your pricing, the lead aggregators will, and you will be buying back your own leads!

3. Shift in Control

Our prospects are becoming the marketers, because we no longer control the conversation. They listen to each other, they learn from each other, and they trust each other (more than they trust us). We no longer control our message—social channels and review sites do. Our job has shifted from leading the conversation to finding ways of being invited into the conversations that prospects are already having.

We can, however, initiate conversations and offer expertise and resources, such as blogs, guides, and infographics. And we can make sure that our messaging intersects with where prospects are researching.

Remember, Rebellious Times Require Radical Changes

Successful senior living marketing today starts with the right strategy. Operators that jump at every bright shiny new marketing tactic will end up wasting a lot of money without results. There is no point in spending budget on a paid digital advertising campaign if the website is not designed to convert the leads generated. More traffic does not equal more prospects, and more leads won’t always translate into the right leads.

Ready to embrace this new senior living marketing reality?

Schedule a 30-minute brainstorming session today.

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Top 4 “Must Haves” Memory Care Benefits

By the time that families start researching memory care communities, they have usually done everything humanly possible to keep their loved one safely at home.  They have worked their way through adult day care, homecare, household safety retrofits, support groups and huge doses of family participation in meal preparation, personal care, transportation, medication management and socialization.  At some point, their heroic efforts leave them exhausted, stressed out, frustrated, and open to other solutions.  That is when our phones ring.

Our job is to listen, empathize and understand that each person and their story because each situation is unique.  It is important to acknowledge the family involvement and honor their successes.  It is a very emotional decision to entrust a precious loved one who lacks the ability to advocate for themselves to unrelated caregivers.

Here are some benefits that every memory care program must have to reassure families as they work through this difficult decision.

1. An Environment That Supports The Success of The Residents

It is very difficult to adapt a typical residential home environment for seniors with Alzheimer’s as it progresses since the disease creates unique impairments requiring a specialized environment.  Residents thrive when they can navigate their environment independently and successfully.  Visual impairments can be a barrier so ensuring that lighting, floor covering, color contrast and appropriate tableware & utensils are integrated into the environment is key.

It is best to avoid:

  • Carpets with flowers or patterns (residents may perceive these as something to pick up)
  • Wallpaper and murals (residents may perceive these as something to pick at)
  • Carpets with borders (residents may perceive these as holes or gaps)

It is best to include:

  • Adaptive lighting to simulate natural outdoor lighting patterns to reduce sundowning.
  • Even lighting so there are no dark patches in the hallways.
  • Contrasting paint color behind toilets, & contrasting toilet seats to visually distinguish the toilet and sink to encourage independence & success.
  • Contrasting table cloths and dishware to encourage independence & success during meals.

2. A Memory Care Culture of Choice and Accessibility

As much as possible, present opportunities for the residents to make choices to foster independence and respect – even non-verbal residents can point.  We had one resident who wanted only to wear her favorite yellow dress and became agitated and unhappy if it was in the laundry.  So we had her family go shopping for a selection of yellow dresses and take home everything else.  Every morning she was able to choose from a selection of yellow dresses and that solved the problem.  Choices should be allowed about when to get up in the morning, what to wear, what to eat and drink and how to spend their day.  Resident Choice Dining involves preparing two plates and offering options for residents to select.  It takes a small amount of time and effort to set up, but once it is implemented, food costs and labor is budget neutral.  Likewise, always keep back up supplies to make a sandwich, toast or a snack and have these available for the overnight shift in case a resident wakes up hungry at night.

3. Personalized Programming Based on Each Resident’s Background & Life Story

One of the greatest fears expressed by families is that the staff will not know or understand the needs of their loved one.  They are convinced that no one will be able to care for their loved one like the family does.  We had a resident who opened the first pre-school in town and every morning she would wander the halls looking for the children.  The program director went to a yard sale and picked up an old school desk & chair and reading primers.  She also encouraged the staff to bring in their children’s artwork and homework so there was always something waiting on her desk that was placed right outside her apartment door.  Mornings were much better for this resident and the staff. So, it is important to have tools and systems in place to capture the essence of every resident including:

  • Meeting with the family to capture a personal life history to learn the familiar people, places, hobbies, routines, schedule, interests, career, family members, and social and spiritual preferences.  Use this to create a personalized care plan & schedule.
  • Keeping a binder of the life stories for the staff to review, and coach them on how to incorporate this in personalizing the approach for care and interaction.
  • Have a pre-move-in team meeting to plan a successful transition.

4. Dedicated and Trained Memory Care Staff

Families work hard to provide care with little formal training, previous experience or respite.  It is easier for them to entrust their loved one to a community with dedicated, trained staff rather than a rotating schedule of changing relationships.  Being able to demonstrate that staff is selected to work with memory-impaired residents and that there is comprehensive and ongoing training provided will increase confidence.  Technology is great, but nothing comes close to the impact of a caring, committed staff with the skills and competency to manage residents throughout the disease process.

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 Does your community have difficulty performing any of these “must have” benefits? Let’s Chat!

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Do You Know Your Senior Living Net Promoter Score?

Let’s talk about customer satisfaction. At the end of the day, isn’t it all about how the residents and families feel about the services and care they receive in your community? So let’s first answer the question, “Why conduct satisfaction surveys?”

Word of Mouth

Residents and families are talking about you – to friends, relatives, neighbors, and healthcare professionals. Do you know what they are saying?

Customer Issues are a Great Way to Make a Positive Impact

Listening to customer concerns and following through on making positive changes, can turn unhappy customers into loyal customers.

Gain Insight into Your Customer

Asking your customers for ideas and identifying patterns based on their responses, gives you insight into opportunities that can benefit current and future residents. These insights can give you a competitive edge.

The knowledge from customer surveys can help assure that you don’t lose customers and that your reputation doesn’t prevent you from winning new customers. Your customer experience has a direct impact on your occupancy. There is a simple question that is found on most surveys that provides valuable insight and directly impacts your business results.

“How likely is it that you would recommend your community to a friend or colleague?”

 

This is your Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score, or NPS®, is based on the fundamental perspective that every company’s customers can be divided into three categories: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors.

  • Promoters

    (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth.

  • Passives

    (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.

  • Detractors

    (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

To calculate your company’s NPS, take the percentage of customers who are Promoters and subtract the percentage who are Detractors. Now what? Once you know your number– What do you do with this information?

Lynn Ackerman, PhD, Co-Founder and Chief Delight Officer at Sensight Surveys offers insight into how to translate the number into a plan that positively impacts your customer experience and business results.

“Your net promoter score basically represents the percentage of customers who are willing to advocate for your community offset by potential naysayers.  This number can be very useful, but by itself holds little value.  Your survey process should include the collection of more detailed information to help you pinpoint customer experiences and views that drive your net promoter score and allow you to take targeted action.

There are three things you can do:

  1. Include questions on your survey that ask customers to rate specific areas of service.
  2. Provide comment space on your survey, so customers can back up their willingness to recommend you with a positive comment or recommendation for improvement.
  3. Hold feedback sessions with your customers as part of post-survey action planning to understand their specific accolades, concerns, and ideas for improvement.

With this additional information, you will have what you need to identify top improvement opportunities and implement a targeted plan of action.”

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