In preparation for a recent presentation I was to give on the topic of health care marketing, I had opportunity to contemplate the ways health care marketing strategies are changing in response to the changing senior population served by an array of health care providers.
As providers, we’ve had to learn how to meet the growing needs and expectations of seniors with fewer resources, and while not compromising our competitive edge. Quality of care is the “golden standard” for reimbursement and referral sources. However, for prospects and adult children, it’s an emotion-driven decision, often occurring in a time of crisis.
Our customers are savvy and educated, using available services and resources to keep seniors at home as long as possible. More and more they are not considering a senior living setting until there is a health crisis, or a physical need that can no longer be met by in-home services. They’re doing what they can to survive at home, while we strive to find ways to show them how they can thrive in a senior living community.
A survey of adult children recently conducted in one market revealed that cost, location and quality of life were the most important things to them when in need of assisted living services. Of these three, quality of life is the most subjective to try to sell; it’s highly personal and emotionally driven.
So, as our efforts to educate, serve, and support aging seniors and their families continue to evolve, a strong partnership and strategic alignment between the trifecta of marketing, operations and clinical services holds increasing importance as three key areas come into focus:
- Quality of care and life, with a meaningful value proposition
- Ongoing customer education among all audiences
- Broad social and wellness programming within the community
I encourage each community to evaluate your trifecta; are you aligned not just to serve your existing residents, but to reach out to those who need you and help them thrive, whether they recognize it at this time?
—Sharon Hutson, Senior Manager, Marketing Services