For many years, the senior living industry has struggled with bridging the gap between sales and marketing, mainly because aging is viewed negatively in our culture instead of embraced as the next exciting chapter of our life.Therefore, selling something that means facing our age and, honestly, impending immortality is not viewed as favorable.
But what the senior living communities, and our culture in general, must face is that we do grow old. We don’t live forever and that’s ok. So why not make the last few chapters of our lives as rewarding and enriching as they can possibly be? That’s where your marketing needs to shine in an increasingly competitive environment.
3 Ways to Bridge the Gap Between Sales & Marketing to Drive Census Growth
1. Stop Selling Fear: Let’s be honest, we’ve been trained that people buy for one of two reasons: love or fear. Fear works. It’s why retailers set quantity or time limits on hot sales in order to create anxiety and push people to “act now”. But when it comes to senior living, while fear might still be effective, but it’s not what people want. Instead, you need to draw them in,create a sense of well-being and positiveness, show them you know how to make those last 5-20 years as fulfilled and enriched as possible. How do you do this? You create an inbound marketing strategy that appeals to the needs and want of your target market: the seniors. Nearly 60% of all buying decisions are made before a sales representative is even contacted. Therefore,the goal of any senior living industry is to be a valuable resource to prospects and give them all of the information they need in order to make a decision.
But let’s be clear – this is not pushing your product online. No one likes to feel like they are being sold to. Instead, you offer them information, tips and solutions to pain points they are feeling. The pain point today may not be which senior living should I choose, it may be, how do I get my senior parents engaged in different activities or how do I manage my diabetic diet over the holidays.
2. Creating An Engaging Web Experience: Why is your website so important?It’s a representation of you. And like it or not, how user-friendly, intuitive,eye-appealing and engaging your website appears is a direct correlation of how the prospect sees your company. First impressions are crucial, and your website is a direct reflection of your brand, culture and level of commitment to quality senior care.
Above I mentioned nearly 60% of the buying decision is made before a sales representative is contact. This reiterates the point that a website must off irrelevant information, including content marketing, in order to guide prospects through the decision-making process. Write a lot of content – we mean A LOT.This will not only engage your visits, but it will help your SEO ranking a swell. So be realistic and understand that a great content marketing plan needs6-9 months to fully begin cultivating qualified leads. This also depends on how strong the online brand was before the content strategy was created. Don’t expect results overnight!
Finally, make sure you refer to and interpret the data often. Analytics offer great insights to how much traffic you are getting, what pages they are coming to most often and how long they are staying on your sight. In addition,take a look at which blogs are getting the most hits. The results on your content create insight into building future campaigns and furthermore result in more attention-getting content.
3. People Over Profits: Every business needs to make a profit to survive, we all know this. But what we have to challenge ourselves to do is stop make profits more important than the people we serve. Your prospects and current customers can feel when they are not valued. Moving into a senior living environment is a major life decision for the entire family. It’s not to be made systematic, cold or routine, because for your customer it’s life-changing.
It’s time to stop selling and start engaging. Hire people with empathy -it’s truly the greatest marketing skill in the world.
Competition in the senior living industry is fierce. You can no longer afford to rest your profits on outdated sales and marketing tactics that don’t appeal to your ideal customer. This change from outbound sales to inbound marketing is a fundamental mind shift – and it works. For more information on this topic, contact Marketing Essentials at 419-394-0096 or firstname.lastname@example.org.