Merrily Orsini's Thought Leadership

Digital Communication in Home Care

Terry Jones, the founder of Travelocity, opened the Private Duty Homecare Association of America’s annual conference in Long Beach with a motivational and inspiring keynote that was based on adding in digital communication as a major component of how home care agencies communicate with their public and their clients and the home care client’s family.

Technique follows technology was his opening statement. What does that mean? It means that a technology may be developed, but its final usage or its morphing usage is based on how it is helpful. Example: Travelocity and other travel sites. They were developed for cheap flights. However, according to Terry Jones, the founder, when they booked their first $15,000 cruise online, they realized that the usage had far exceeded their expectations. Now more than 65% of all travel is booked online and the combined total of the next 4 highest selling items does not exceed travel online bookings.

Relating his talk to home care, he said the person seeking help first explores, then interacts, then makes a decision. And, they are not searching specifically for home care or private duty. They are searching for some help and they do not know when they start what that help is, exactly.

His example, was that when he goes into Home Depot to buy a drill. He does not really need a drill. He needs a hole. The drill is just what he has to buy to get his hole. The same with home care. Someone might want to know how to handle living with a broken hip, or after suffering a fall. So they would search for broken hip or help to prevent falls. The smart home care agency will hire a great digital marketer who understands and can implement. Actually Jones said just that. Communicating in the digital world is different, and to understand and be effective doing it, one needs an expert. That dovetails perfectly into my presentation today about using the website and integrating digital marketing to capture the customer when he or she is looking.

In home care scenarios there are loads of new inventions and ways to use technology. Jones’ ideas for home care were wide ranging, but based on how people use the Internet. The client, the frail elderly person, may be in Long Beach, but the adult child, and oftentimes the one who is paying for the services, may be in New York. So, using technology to communicate, to check status, to pay bills-all are not necessarily home care based technology, but the technique will follow the technology.

Skypeing with grandma is a perfect example. Now someone home bound can see and interact with a grandchild or friend far away. From a marketing standpoint, the web is the technology and home care agencies better follow and learn the technique. Katie Roper from Caring.com visited PDHCA yesterday and the concept of Caring.com is truly based on the strategy that Jones laid out.

corecubed’s MOST program is another example of a marketing strategy, specifically for home care, that follow’s Jones’ examples of how people find home care.

Measurement as a way to make decisions was highlighted as a vital component of digital communication. After developing the fare comparison sites, they notices that the consumer was comparing and then going direct to the airline to purchase. Thus the advent of Kayak.com where there is no middle man. The technique follows the technology.

Take a look at some of the ways corecubed is using technology to get business for our clients. Then give us a shout, and see if we can help.