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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Senior Care

If you’re familiar with content marketing, you know it’s a valuable way both to serve your community and to reach potential customers. But how does a content marketer actually disseminate marketing content? What venues and formats are most effective?

To answer that question, I called my mother. Here’s her top 5 list.

  1. E-newsletters. “I love e-newsletters. They can hold lots of info, and I can save them without cluttering my coffee table. Click, click, click, and I’ve filed it on my computer.”
  2. In-Person Events. “We seniors like to get out, you know. Speaking of which, you should do a presentation at my senior center. I could recommend you. Or you could try the Rotary Club, the ‘Y,’ religious groups, the public library, and such. Be sure they have coffee and donuts, honey. I don’t learn well when I’m hungry.”
  3. Photos and Illustrations. “That ol’ adage, ‘a picture’s worth a thousand words,’ is still true, though I hear they’re calling them ‘memes’ now. A good illustration will catch my attention every time!”
  4. Social media. “Some of us seniors are pretty tech savvy, you know. We use Twitter, Facebook, Google, Instagram! And Pinterest! I heard that the biggest growth segment among Pinterest users is senior women! And there’s LinkedIn’s SlideShare. Of course, that’s mostly for your business types, but I’ve picked up some great info there, too.”
  5. Infographics. “I love infographics! They get so much across in such an easy-to-understand format.”

OK, I didn’t really contact my mother. This list is based on research by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs. They asked active content marketers what their most effective B2C content marketing formats were, and came up with the above ranking. (See B2C Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America).

The results were different for B2B marketers, with In-Person Events ranked first, followed by Webinars, Case Studies, White Papers, and Videos. (See B2B Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America.)

Other formats mentioned in the two surveys included blogs, direct mail, mobile aps, and website articles. Formats not mentioned include newspaper articles and radio and TV appearances.

And, of course, word of mouth! As my grandmother said, “Call me anytime, honey. I’m a great networker. I’ll spread the word. But I’ve got to hang up now. I’m meeting my friend Mitzy to go to the Swinging Seniors Dance down at the ‘Y.’”

Please contact me at dhart@movecommunications.com with your questions about leveraging your Brand to achieve your sales and marketing goals.

Don Hart is President of MOVE Communications, a brand engagement company, specializing in the Senior Care market.

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Every purchase decision involves three phases: Awareness of a need, Consideration of possible solutions, and the Decision to purchase a particular solution. 

In our December 22, 2015 post, we addressed reaching potential customer Marlene during her Awareness phase. Because of your efforts in that phase, Marlene—an aging widow whose declining health prompted her to move in with her daughter (see a full description of Marlene in our December 5, 2015 post)—knows about and respects your organization as a trusted source of helpful information regarding aging and senior care. She knows you understand the challenges and decisions she faces. And because of that, she knows that you offer solutions that might address her needs.

As Marlene's needs increase and she moves into the Consideration phase—actively contemplating her options—you transition from providing her with general information to identifying specific solutions that could meet her needs. It's still not time for a sales pitch. Rather, it's time to outline viable options, including those your organization doesn't provide!

In Marlene's case, this means outlining the pros and cons of options such as relying fully on family for physical support, hiring in-home care providers to supplement the family's help, moving into a spectrum-of-care senior facility, etc. It means identifying specific public and private support services that Marlene could consider accessing, and comparing the financial ramifications of various options.

The Consideration phase is a "continuing education" phase that provides Marlene with more detailed information in preparation for her Decision phase. 

In a future post, we'll look at working with Marlene in the Decision phase of her Buyer's Journey. 

Meanwhile, if you have questions about how to leverage your Brand to achieve your sales and marketing goals, please contact me at dhart@movecommunications.com. And to learn even more about your customers, please download our free eBook available here.

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So, using our free eBook, "How to Create Buyer Personas to Better Serve Your Customers and Grow Your Senior Living Business," you have already created several Personas to capsulize the kind of customers your organization is best suited to attract and serve well. 

Now what?

Now you shape your marketing plan to draw in that kind of customer, tuning everything to the Buyer's Journey. Every purchase decision involves three phases: Awareness of a need, Consideration of possible solutions, and the Decision to purchase a particular solution.

 Today, we'll look at the first part of that process, Awareness, through the eyes of one of our Customer Personas Marlene (see our December 3, 2015 blog post, "Boost Brand Engagement by Leveraging Customer Personas"). 

Widow Marlene's declining health prompted her to accept her daughter's invitation to move in with her and her husband. Now Marlene wants to explore senior services available in her area in case she needs care that goes beyond what her family can provide. She's not ready to choose services, she's simply aware that she needs to know more. Where will Marlene turn to get perspective? Peers and family members? AARP Magazine, perhaps? The local Senior Community Center? The Internet?

When your organization uses the Content Marketing model, you become one of Marlene's resources in this awareness phase—a source of information, not advertising. The point is not to sell your services, but to help educate Marlene so she can approach the issues fully informed. 

You can disseminate the information in a variety of contexts and media—broadcast, online, print, in person (seminars, community fairs, etc). The goal at this phase is to embed your organization in your community, serving as a trustworthy resource.

In a future post, we'll look at connecting with Marlene in a more focused way in the Consideration phase of her Buyer's Journey.

Meanwhile, if you have questions about how to leverage your Brand to achieve your sales and marketing goals, please contact me at dhart@movecommunications.comAnd to learn even more about your customers, please download our free eBook available here.

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Achieving high quality service requires knowing your customer. Only then can you structure your organization to serve effectively. Developing Customer Personas helps not only focus your service offerings, but also helps market your services to attract the market segments you serve best—effectively coordinating your quality improvement and marketing strategies. 

Customer Personas are fictional representations of specific kinds of customers. Personas allow you to personalize and target both your services and your marketing and sales efforts to the specific needs, behaviors, and concerns of different segments of your actual and potential customer base. Personas help focus your Brand and keep it successful, improving the future for your organization, your staff, and your customers. 

Here is a simplified example of a Customer Persona:

Name: Marlene

Description: 75 years old, widowed, living alone, good cognition and memory, but declining physical health.

Situation: Marlene's married daughter has invited her to move in with her and her husband. An old friend recently moved to a Senior Care facility, and raves about it, but after visiting, Marlene decided to accept her daughter's invitation in order to remain in a home setting.

Need: Marlene wants to explore senior services available in her area in case she needs care that goes beyond what her family can provide.

Personas can be "Personas for Pursuit" or "Personas for Referral." Personas for Pursuit describe people your organization is designed (or being re-shaped) to serve well, people you want to attract, who are likely to become very satisfied customers. Marlene would be a Persona for Pursuit for in-home services providers.

Personas for Referral describe individuals whose needs don't match your organization's strengths, and are unlikely to become satisfied customers. They are the ones you would refer to another organization. Personas for Referral can help you understand where not to spend your marketing and sales dollars. A campus-based senior living facility would consider Marlene a Persona for Referral. 

In a future post, we'll discuss how to use Personas to help you tune everything in your marketing outreach to the Buyer's Journey. 

If you have questions about how to leverage your Brand to achieve your sales and marketing goals, please contact us at dhart@movecommunications.com. And to learn more about Personas, please download our free eBook available here.

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Superior senior care organizations have bold aspirations. As you seek to meet many of the physical and emotional needs of a diverse and growing senior population, you aim for:

• Congruence between who you say you are and your customers' experience of who you are. 

• Customer health outcomes that validate your organization's quality.

• Low turnover in both staff and customers.

• Strong financials that equip you to fully live out your mission.

Each of these builds on and reinforces the others. But you face some powerful challenges in achieving them! The wide variety of needs and changing preferences in the burgeoning senior population, for one. Reduction in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates—coupled with increases in compliance regulations—for another.

What's required for success? You know the list: excellence in clinical outcomes, improvements in technology, effectiveness in staffing models, strategic capital improvements. But another key factor that helps your organization thrive and stay on mission is often overlooked: Brand.

Your Brand is really "who you are" as an organization. It's your promise to all you serve...and that includes your staff. Though it's expressed in your vision, mission, and values statements, its real impact is when these statements come alive in your team. 

Senior care is a people business. Growth and long-term success rely heavily on the quality, nature, and nurture of people-to-people contact. The goal is to build consistency that feels personalized. Anyone who comes into contact with your Brand should have, through your team, the same satisfying experience, over and over again. That's when things take off!

To achieve this brand consistency, team members must be ambassadors of the Brand. You need to see them, and they need to see themselves, not just as resources to be applied to a need but as sources—sources of new ideas, of trustworthy service, of personal connection.

As team members come together with a common mindset, they will create an exceptional experience for their clients and fellow staff—an experience that will generate word of mouth recommendation and buzz in your community. And that is the most powerful marketing of all!

If you have questions about how to leverage your Brand to achieve your sales and marketing goals, please contact us at dhart@movecommunications.com.

Additionally, you may also be interested in our Buyer Personas eBook, which will help you target your ideal customers in the senior living market. To get your free copy, click here.

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Brand is driven by culture, content, and connections. Let’s begin today with culture: How does your Brand get expressed in your culture?

Culture is really about how you treat people within the boundaries and purposes of your mission. Building culture has two indispensable parts.

I. Defining “Your Way” of doing things. “Your Way” expresses itself in service behaviors. Of course, there are certain non-negotiables – your facility must be safe, tasteful, clean, with no smells. Your staff must be technically and professionally competent. But what are the things that make you distinctive?

For example, do your people care enough about your clients to know some details about each one before they come to your facility or before you enter their home? What do your customers and their families and friends feel when you enter their home? When they walk into your facility? When they engage with someone from your campus either in person or on the phone? From admissions to daily interactions to discharge, what do these experiences communicate to clients about themselves?

• Do they feel that they've been welcomed as a friend, or that they've interrupted someone who's busy?

• Do they feel that their thoughts—whether positive or critical—are respected? Taken seriously? Enjoyed?
 

• Are family members confident that they can trust—truly trust—their loved ones' care to you, or is there a nagging, perhaps unconscious, concern?

This is all about your staffing and customer service.

But defining your culture is not enough. Even carefully implementing your culture is not enough.

II. Sustaining “Your Way” of doing things. You must also sustain your culture. Your corporate infrastructure must include an ongoing learning management component.

Who regularly instructs your supervisors and holds them accountable to your cultural standards (things like how to confront someone if their behavior is inappropriate)? What helps your staff see their work not just as a job or a career, but as a calling? Who helps your team understand that everyone who works in your organization is involved in the healing process?

You must keep the culture conversation alive. Without one or more people diligently encouraging and training staff to consistently implement your cultural values, the culture will gradually but inevitably change in ways you may not want.

We will talk about the content component of your Brand in our next article. In the meantime, if you have questions or want to learn more about the importance of brand, and how culture, content and connections work in helping you achieve your sales and marketing goals, please contact us at dhart@movecommunications.com.

Additionally, you may also be interested in our Buyer Personas eBook, which which will help you target your ideal customers in the senior living market. To get your free copy, click here.

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Most senior health care organizations have some bold aspirations.  They’re looking for:

·       outcomes that validate how good their organization really is

·       congruence between who they say they are and the customer experience

·       reduced turnover in staff and customers

·       strong financials that equip them to fully live out their mission

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This weekend I had the chance to watch the documentary, I’ll Be Me, for the second time. I’ll Be Me is the story of Glen Campbell’s final tour following the announcement that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.  The first time I saw the documentary, I was at the world premier in Nashville at the national Leading Age conference.  This weekend, it was shown at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor.  It didn't lose its poignancy; it's a moving example of marketing for the social good.

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