A client this week asked me how his agency can achieve becoming “Top of Mind”. Don’t you love these simple sounding questions that have complex answers? Complicated by the fact that “Top of Mind’ is so much harder to achieve in today’s marketing environment than previously. However, it is possible. It is doable. It is achievable.
Keeping in touch with potential clients and those who can refer prospects is the very essence of networking, whether in person and face-to-face or online and person-to-person. And, we all know that networking is the number one way agencies build brand and good will. However, it is not just random networking that will achieve Top of Mind. After you meet or connect with the people who are likely to use your services, or make referrals, it is up to you to do the kinds of things necessary so they will remember you. And, there is an entire other component to Top of Mind that involves branding and differentiation, so the information you are sharing, leaving behind, sending via email, or just passing along extends the agency brand, and increases the potential for achieving Top of Mind.
Three common elements that can help you achieve Top of Mind:
- Focus on the right target(s) – identify who is most likely to us or refer your services and communicate with them, whether you know them or not;
- Provide value – keep all possible potential clients and referral sources informed about things that matter to them, like new developments in technology that make staying at home easier, or ways to provide in-home care that are aimed directly at better communication or services to a targeted segment, like the Alzheimer’s patient
- Make it personal – with today’s technology, you can target an individual, even with a mass email. You can answer an inquiry specifically aimed at the inquirer’s needs. You can “remember” family or business events and milestones, and recognize those.
Showing up is half the battle. And showing up, means getting there, responding, being active and present. The idea of achieving Top of Mind means the agency has to keep in touch and build relationships. Those relationships are built one person at a time.
Communicating regularly is really the key. When that communication is targeted, branded and relevant, then you are on the road to achieving Top of Mind.
corecubed can help. We are experts at home care marketing, and communicating. We know branding, and strategy. Call us. You will be glad you did.
A crucial decision that affects home care agencies was made yesterday as the Obama Administration postponed some crucial parts of the Affordable Care Act relating to the Employer Mandate .
The IRS issued a Final Rule February 10, 2014, changing the implementation of the employer mandate provisions of the Affordable Care Act to ensure a gradual phase-in of the employer mandate. For 2015, the rule states that the employer responsibility provision will generally apply to larger firms with 100 or more full-time employees. In 2016 the mandate will apply to employers with 50 or more full-time employees.
A Fact Sheet issued by the US Treasury Department gives details on implementing the employer shared responsibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for 2015.
Another bright spot for home care agencies was introduced to the House of Representatives on February 4th defining a full-time employee as working 40 hours instead of the 30 hours that was originally proposed as a component of the ACA.
According to a release by the Home Care Association of America, “The bill would repeal the 30-hour threshold for classification as a full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and replace it with 40-hours. The bill has the support of 201 members of Congress and was passed out of Committee on a vote of 23-14.”
Check the Federal Register for updates.
Both of these actions are very good news for home care and home health agencies.
Ever wondered why some agencies are successful and others are not? All you have to do is take a look at their ideas and relationship to two things: quality and communication.
The home care agency of the future is going to be all about quality. For it is reaching for quality as a component of the operations of the agency that will make it achieve quality. Then, communicating that quality in a variety of ways: branding, media, events, education, networking.
Tomorrow the 2014 Home Care Pulse Benchmarking study opens. Why are we partnering with Aaron Marcum and his team to offer the study? Why are we such proponents of participation in the study? It is because an agency that measures results knows what to change, and can use that measurement to track changes. Otherwise, it is all guess work.
And, what does the benchmark study say about successful agencies, the MOST successful agencies? They embrace marketing. In fact, on average, the leaders in home care spend 3.4% of their revenue on marketing. The successful agencies know that it is only by a) having a marketing strategy and b) implementing it and c) tracking for results that they will continue their growth. And, committing resources to marketing is essential for success.
So, are you ready to participate in the study? If not, there are easy instructions as to what data your agency needs to collect to participate, and that will make completing the study easier.
Are you ready for marketing? corecubed’s MOST Program is simply the best marketing program in the industry. There is nothing like it, and, if you have not heard about it nor experienced it, join us this upcoming Wednesday for a look at it. I will discuss the strategy behind it and Marissa Snook, MOST Program Administrator, will take you inside the web based portal where you can access the world’s best home care marketing collateral and community educational materials.
So, do not be stuck in the past. Get ready for the future and participate in the study and check out MOST.
Profitability is the key to success for any business, and sometimes higher revenue or more billable hours does not translate into profitability. In home care, for instance, if increased billable hours are short term with high staff turnover, the hours become not profitable. One strategy for success in home care is to reach for the higher level clientele.
Join Marissa Snook, MOST Program Administrator and me in a Home Care Association of America sponsored webinar today as we discuss how providing a high quality service, and marketing it as such, allows the capacity to really focus on the longer term, higher paying clients that need a lot of support to stay at home from frailty to the grave.
You will find out what it takes to actually focus on quality and the provision of a higher level of service, and how to market that. In order to reach the higher level of clientele, agencies must position themselves as experts in the field, and have every marketing communication emanate quality.
In today’s webinar you will learn the correlations between offering a higher level of service and:
a) how your agency is branded
b) how and what you use for education for referral sources and families
c) how your agency is positioned
d) how your agency goes to market.
The strategy behind this specific home care model benefits both the agency, because it’s more profitable, and also the clientele, because the agency can better support them in their desire to remain at home.
There is still time to register for today’s corecubed and HCAOA webinar at 3 PM Eastern time. Won’t you join us?