"Spokes on the Wheel": Tips and Strategies for Marketing Senior Living Communities in the Digital Age
BALTIMORE, April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Referral sites, social media and search marketing may dominate discussions of marketing strategy, but real-world offline approaches are still important and effective when executed properly. That's the message from Kevin Williams, president of SeniorMarketing.com. After helping dozens of communities around the country, Kevin has learned some valuable lessons that go against the grain of conventional wisdom. One of his first lessons was the distinctive nature of the target audience for senior living marketing campaigns.
"The number-one concern of seniors and their adult children is quality care," said Williams. "Quality even overrides price, so it's useful for senior living communities to make this their primary talking point. After all, seniors are people, not commodities, so a message based too heavily on price comes off as insensitive."
Online marketing is certainly powerful but is not the only channel that matters, according to Williams. He goes on to describe how online marketing has gripped the imagination of sales departments everywhere, but there are other strategies including creating a proactive referral program or direct mail that can produce a better return on investment.
Williams explains how a diverse approach is another vital component of the senior living marketing big picture: "A marketing strategy that only considers one or two pathways is a strategy doomed to underperformance. Think of each path as a spoke on the wheel; more spokes equal greater strength and versatility. Senior living communities need to take advantage of every opportunity to build brand awareness, from targeted email campaigns and search marketing to direct mailers. Because there's so much diversity in the audience, diversity in advertising naturally produces the most leads."
Even with the ideal strategy and combination of approaches, marketing is a long-term project. The sales cycle is much longer for senior living, where prospects can engage in their own research for months or years before making any firm decisions. Williams preaches patience and perseverance: "With economic uncertainty seemingly becoming the status quo, marketers feel more pressure than ever to close deals. However, in the case of senior living, quality and compassion will always be the trump cards."
Baltimore-based SeniorMarketing.com helps increase profits for senior living communities by increasing occupancy, increasing lifetime customer value, and improving marketing efficiency through tracking and technology. http://www.seniormarketing.com
Kevin M. Williams, President
5022 Campbell Blvd., Suite N-3
Baltimore, MD 21236
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