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.