Date: May 23, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM EDT
Quality makes the difference. This Thursday, May 23rd at 2pm Eastern time, I am honored to be presenting as the guest marketing expert with Home Care Pulse Founder and CEO, Aaron Marcum, on Home Care Pulse’s marketing webinar, “Taking Action – Sales & Marketing”. This webinar is part of a 4-part webinar series that will help home care providers maximize the results of the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study. It is only open to those who HAVE purchased the study, so go ahead and take the plunge if you have not done so. Buy the 2013 Home Care Benchmarking Study here. Then register for the 4-part webinar series here.
There are really two sides to marketing home care: the consumer-focused marketing (what is called B2C marketing in the industry) and B2B marketing which is referral marketing, or business to business marketing. And, the two approaches are really two separate ways to go about reaching targets. Messaging and how the message is delivered will vary. In traditional marketing strategy, the tactics are pretty different, as they are as well when marketing home care.
For the consumer, the first step is identifying who IS the target. Is it the client himself or herself? It is more likely the oldest daughter, the daughter who lives closest, or the daughter who is the problem-solver or caregiver for the family. It could also be the spouse, but for the most part, the spouse would most likely be dealing with an acute illness, and a spouse who is dying prematurely.
At the heart of consumer marketing is realizing that the consumer, when faced with a problem that might require assistance for a family member, is usually pretty clueless as to what to do next. EVEN if that consumer is in the medical field, when faced with care issues, it is usually emotional, and perhaps sudden, and definitely challenging. So, the consumer, when looking for help, really needs guidance in his or her understandable words, and not in vernacular that is industry-specific. The consumer will have identified the problem (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, a fall/broken hip, whatever) and does not know if he or she needs a nurse, a companion (many don’t because they need help rather than companionship), or a home health aide. The consumer is also usually clueless as to the potential ramifications when not hiring an agency, rather hiring a friend or a referral from a church member/neighbor.
So, to turn an inquiry into a customer, as many different types of marketing efforts as can be afforded must be going at once. The agency needs a website, definitely, followed by blogging and social media, as the top three recommendations.
SEO is helpful for the website, but with the Google algorithm changes, more and more SEO “juice” is based on off-site SEO rather than on-page SEO. How the website is built is still crucial, but what is done afterwards to stay recent and always relevant is now gaining in importance.
Offering helpful information in a variety of ways also goes along with community presentations on topics that might interest those who think they might have a care need in their future, or the future of their loved ones.
Answering the phone and being helpful and interested, following up immediately with personalized information to the specific person and the specific problem, are also crucial to consumer-focused marketing.
What does not work: usually any advertisement (some exceptions), including traditional Yellow Pages ads (or online paid ads except for some localities).
Looking forward to helping your agency make the most of the 2013 Private Duty Benchmarking Study results, starting this Thursday!
Note: You must own a copy of the 2013 Study to participate in this special webinar series.
A new article in the American Society on Aging just published is an interesting look at how the composition of households is changing. A resurgence of multi-generational living is creating more options for care for aging relatives, as well as much needed child care for the increase in working women.
Interesting to see how the effects of children staying home longer before launching their own careers and families, adult children assuming more responsibility for aging relatives, and the mix in our society’s diverse cultures are all having impacts, not before predicted.
Aging and home care, or long term care, will be changed by these trends. There are lots of reasons for this shift, but an excerpt from the article states it best, “There are a number of factors that explain the increase in America’s multigenerational households: immigration; the delayed marriage pattern; longer life expectancy; the housing crisis; “boomerang” youth; women entering the workforce; and the effects of the recession.
As America’s race and ethnicity demographics have changed, in part because of increases in immigration since the 1970s, we see more multicultural families with cultural norms of multigenerational living. According to the Pew Research Center, in the United States, 25% of Asians, 23% of African Americans and 22% of Hispanics live in multigenerational homes, in contrast with 13% of whites.”
As we consult with home care agencies and aging care businesses around the US, we are seeing shifts in how families buy services, what services they buy, and when they start thinking about and contracting for services. Wel, it is certainly never dull in a society that is changing as rapidly as ours.
The Agency Website: Today’s Marketing Superhero
When designed and developed correctly, there simply is no better marketing tool today than the agency website. It can simultaneously serve as a resource that educates and drives inquiries, a brochure, a caregiver application portal, a centralized place for housing educational events, a photo album, a press center, and a storefront for services. It’s a perfect “anytime, anywhere” resource for “on the go” adult children or referral sources that can drive qualified leads right to your door, when the right marketing tactics are incorporated.
On May 22nd at 2:00 PM EST, I will be presenting a webinar for HCAOA on the marketing importance of the agency website. Attendees will learn:
- How the web has changed home care marketing
- How to take advantage of mobile technology with your website
- The basics of search engine optimization (SEO)
Join me on May 22nd for this exclusive home care marketing webinar! Reserve your spot today!
Since I attended the American Society on Aging conference this year, I have been focused on the importance of social engagement as well as mental and physical, for the person as they age. Great article in Forbes by Ken Jensen about how important personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead are to success. Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that only 15 percent of success is due to technical knowledge. Additionally, Jenson writes, that “Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.”
So,what does this say about sales and marketing and relationships? In a nutshell, it means really caring about the person with whom you are trying to do business. It means being aware of yourself, and of others, and actively trying to build relationships. It means living the Golden Rule. It means taking care of your body and respecting how healthy you are so that you function better. Who would have thought that the mind, body, spirit combination would also apply to marketing?
Jenson suggests that a focus on strengthening Emotional Intelligence, Moral Intelligence, and Body Intelligence is key. Even though more difficult to measure, the significance of these kinds of intelligence appears to be far greater than simply the IQ of the person. A lot to think about on this Monday morning, but, it seems that the key to longevity is also the key to success in business.