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    Mar 19 2015

    The More You Know About Aging…

    Posted by Merrily Orsini

    Understanding aging is a must

    Are you ready for the onslaught of elders?

    If you are in the homecare, healthcare, and aging services field, consider this a public service announcement you can’t afford to ignore.

    The more you know about aging—the related physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial issues—the better you can run your business and serve your clients. As we prepare for a growing number of Americans entering retirement age—those Baby Boomers will swell the ranks soon—we need to develop a broader understanding of the impact an aging society has on all businesses, products, and services.

    And there’s no better place to learn about it all than at upcoming American Society of Aging’s 2015 Aging in America Conference in Chicago, March 23-27. I encourage you to make the time to attend, either this year, or to mark your calendar for next year’s conference. It’s not too late to register and you can register on site. You don’t have to be an ASA member to attend (though I encourage that, too) but members do receive a discounted rate.

    Along with Sam Smith from AXXESS, I’ll present a session exploring some of these issues in depth and look at the future of home care in America and what we, as a nation, are doing about it or should be doing about it. I’m particularly excited about this year’s opening session featuring a presentation, “Maturity Re-imagined” presented by Ken Dychtwald, PhD, President and CEO, Age Wave and Chair-Elect, ASA Board of Directors.

    Conferences such as these help our industry prepare for an aging and changing future. Even if you know how to run your homecare business now, do you know what you’ll need 5, 10, 20 years from now to be successful and to address the needs of those folks that may differ from your clients of today?

    The ASA conference brings together top industry thought leaders to address these and other pertinent questions:
    What problems are happening in our field today that we need to address?
    What are the future trends that will affect our industry?
    How can we take advantage of opportunities to best serve our clients?

    I always find that even for those of us who keep abreast of these topics on a daily basis, there’s always something new to learn from not only the conference presentations themselves, but also from networking with other conference participants, sharing ideas and battle plans.
    That’s why each year I attend numerous conferences in the aging care and related fields, and why you should, too.

    Today’s seniors aren’t yesterday’s seniors and they won’t be tomorrow’s. The more you know and keep learning about aging and homecare services, the more you’ll be able to adapt to this dynamic demographic that continues to grow and change. Staying stagnant means becoming yesterday’s news.

    Our experts at corecubed specialize in aging care marketing. We can help your homecare and aging services business stay current and at the forefront of our field. We can help identify and bridge your knowledge gaps and provide an action plan for addressing the issues your business faces now, and in the future. We can help you know more and do more. To learn more about our various marketing services, contact us today.

    Public service announcement complete. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

     
    Feb 25 2015

    Keep your friends close…and your competition closer

    Posted by Merrily Orsini

    Know your home care competitionSo your agency is top-notch, delivering stellar senior care services to your clientele and reaping the benefits. Time to relax and run on autopilot, right? Think again!

    While it may be easy to fall into complacency when your business is thriving, in today’s crowded aging care market, it’s important to always stay on your toes and stand over and above the competition. And the only way to do that is to KNOW your competition.

    Think of the aging care industry as a chess match. One strategic and innovative move from your opponent and you could easily fall behind. It’s crucial to stay a step ahead and understand their strategy as well as you do your own.

    That’s where a competitive analysis comes in; and keep in mind, there are a number of methods for analyzing your competitors, so it may take several attempts to gain the insight you need. A couple of options to try include:

    • Identify what makes an aging care business successful, and then rate your competitors’ abilities to meet those factors. Be sure to include your own agency!
    • Compare strengths and weaknesses in a variety of areas: scope of services offered, pricing, certifications, accreditations, customer reviews, technologies used, service area covered, niche, brand, website, collateral, presence in community, etc.

    Either way, the competitive analysis should answer the following questions:

    • What products or services do each of your competitors offer?
    • What is the quality of those products or services?
    • What are their primary and secondary service areas?
    • What is your competitors’ market share? How many customers do they have?
    • What are their competitive advantages and disadvantages?
    • How do they/will they react to your market penetration?
    • What barriers does your competition face? (Lack of quality personnel, changing technologies, operational costs, etc.)

    As new businesses continue to enter the senior care market at a rapid rate, it’s more important than ever to assess the competitive landscape on a regular basis. Experts recommend conducting and/or updating a competitive analysis at least once per year. Be sure to also include secondary competitors who are not exactly like your business, but who compete regularly for your clientele. For instance, include assisted living facilities among your competition, and vice versa.

    You may be thinking, “I’m already overloaded and running on fumes; I can’t afford to spend time on this when I need to run my agency!” But the hard truth is, you can’t afford NOT to if you want to grow your business. Truly differentiating your business from the competition is the key to success. This downloadable tool from Market Home Care can help you discern your agency’s niche so that you stand out from the crowd.

    The experts at corecubed specialize in aging care marketing, with years of experience in strategic analysis and planning, helping aging care businesses just like yours to thrive and grow well beyond their expectations. Let us do the work for you, so you can concentrate on what you do best: run your agency!

     
    Feb 18 2015

    The Top 3 Ways to Can Spam

    Posted by Merrily Orsini

    Avoid spam in your home care marketing emailsMuch like its mysterious meat product namesake, spam in the Internet world contains a lot of unknowns – and can be pretty unpalatable, too, particularly when your beautifully written and designed digital marketing communications are blocked from your target audience.

    Maneuvering around spam filters is a complicated and ever-evolving science, but there are several steps you can take to ensure your message gets through:

    Avoid Spam Trigger Words in Your Subject Line: While the list of potential spam-triggering words is exhaustive, scanning through this list provided by HubSpot and steering clear of these words and phrases is a good starting place.

    Adhere to CAN-SPAM Act Requirements: This set of rules relates to all commercial email, and includes:

    • Using accurate header information
    • A subject line that matches the content of your message
    • Identifying an ad as an ad
    • Including a physical address
    • Providing an opt-out option
    • Honoring opt-out requests promptly

    Avoid These Common Mistakes: MailChimp has compiled a list of spam-triggering errors, including:

    • Too many exclamation points in text
    • Using all caps or bright red or green fonts
    • Sloppy coding
    • Sending just an image with little or no text
    • Bad content

    Clearly, getting your message through to those who need to hear it is no easy feat. And even if it does get through, is your audience receptive to what you have to say?

    Keeping your finger on the pulse of your campaigns by reviewing your post campaign analytics is crucial to providing your readers with content that resonates with them. By paying attention to what article topics are most popular in terms of click-throughs and open rates, you can plan future content accordingly.

    At corecubed, we recently analyzed results of our home care industry enewsletters – one of the most popular items offered through our MOST marketing program – to discover the topics and types of content that are of greatest interest. Not surprisingly, anything related to Alzheimer’s tops the list of content that captures interest, followed by articles related to caring for an aging parent.

    corecubed is committed to producing high quality aging care content and visuals that get through and get results. From SEO-friendly blogs and enewsletters to social media content, website copy, brochures, and more, call on corecubed’s aging care experts for all of your marketing needs. Spam-free.

     
    Feb 15 2015

    Aging Life Care Professionals: Do You Need One?

    Posted by Merrily Orsini

    Chautauqua offers seniors exciting opportunities

    Aging Life Care Means Exploring Options

    Just finished writing my chapter for the latest addition of The Handbook of Geriatric Care Management published by Jones & Bartlett, and compiled by editor Cathy Jo Cress. As I was almost finished writing, I found out that the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers had decided, after careful marketing study, to change the name from Geriatric Care management to Aging Life Care. The professionals who provide this service will be known as Aging life Care Professionals, rather than Geriatric Care Managers. What do YOU think about this change?

    What I think is that geriatric care management (aging life care) is a service that can work in tandem with home care to allow a person to stay at home, if desired, longer. Actually, it is completely possible to stay at home from frailty to the grave, and with an Aging Life Care Professional in the mix, the patient/client becomes the focus. The patient’s/client’s family is considered when working on a plan of care, as well as the ability to pay for services, the informal and formal support systems in place, and the community’s ability to offer some assistance when different services are needed.

    Does this start to sound familiar? All the things that an Aging Life Care Professional does, are the exact same things that all the Transitions to Care folks are trying to learn. You see, the Aging life Care Professional first looks to the client and the client’s care team to make recommendations as to what kind of care is needed, and for how long. How to pay for that care is also considered, as well as who should be providing it. Communicating among professionals is a given, and keeping all in the loop is an expectation.

    Because of the numbers of those aging, it is important that we get this right. In 2012 there were 39 million people over 65, and in 2014 there are 43 million, In fact, 10,000 people are turning 65 each day. Now, turning that magic age does not mean that care is immediately needed. In fact, most care is not needed until a person reaches 80. So, that means that, when the first boomers reach 80 in 2026, the onslaught for care will begin. Understanding what aging means in terms of frailty, functionality, and needs is at the heart of the aging life care profession.
    Marketing has changed in the last several years, and, because of technology it is changing more. Marketing aging care is now, more than ever before, about being where someone seeking care is looking. And, furthermore, it is about having the right information when the person seeking care finds you.

    And, since geriatric care management has been around since 1987 or so, and it is still confusing to many professionals, perhaps a name change is, indeed, in order. Perhaps an Aging life Care Professional is a more palatable name for someone who needs to be included in the care team. Whatever the name, the services and the business name must be communicated to a willing and receptive audience.

    As the author of the marketing chapter in this important revised text book, my chapter covers:
    · Marketing services to the aging population who need care
    · Creating a solid marketing strategy that works for the person providing the service, and for their location and the mix of entities that are trying to find solutions
    · Developing a strategic marketing plan
    · Developing a brand that works in the new technology age
    · Targeting marketing message to the right audience
    · Setting aging care life professionals apart from the competition
    · Using new technology and digital media as a core component to reach those who have a need
    · Using education on issues related to aging to reach those in the first phase of the buying cycle

    You do not have to wait and read the book, however. You can get some of that information now by just contacting us. If you are interested in having a team with in-depth aging care experience working with you or your business to better reach a senior care market, the experts at corecubed know how to do it. Just contact us and we will gladly assist you in better targeting your campaigns, branding your business for success, and communicating with those who make decisions.