Home Care Marketing Strategy 2011: the Target

Differentiating is the first step in creating a strategy for home care marketing. Understanding the target audience is the next step. Most collateral material and websites are designed and written using 2nd person as if the frail elder were the one selecting the service or making the decisions. In most cases, it is the adult child, a referral source, or a friend or neighbor who ends up searching for and assisting with the decision to hire in-home care.

What does this mean to you, the home care executive or administrator or marketing director? It means that you really need to review (or have a competent, experienced marketing expert) the collateral material, the website, and all the correspondence that relates to inquiries. Review and edit, I should have said.

Personalizing the message is far more beneficial than a generic message, anyway. And with today’s technology it is really easy to have specific information that can be targeted to whoever is making the inquiry, or whoever the target is.

If your agency sells mostly to referral sources, discharge planners and doctors’ offices, then your messages should reflect that target. If you are responding to an inquiry from a daughter with a mother who has Alzheimer’s disease, then your communication and messages should be appropriate to her.

And more is not necessarily better. For the daughter concerned about her mother’s Alzheimer’s and your ability to provide appropriate in-home care, the communication should only be about that. Don’t throw in an article on Arthritis just because you have it printed and ready to send out. Focus on the inquiry or the target. Focus on the message that would resonate with that specific person, that specific target.

Marketing communication is about meeting unmet needs. It is through the meeting of those unmet needs that the inquirer, or target will connect with your agency. The message should resonate with the person reading it, or finding it, or receiving it.

So, if you have decided what your differentiation is, and if you now understand the importance of speaking to the target so they hear you, then  you are two steps closer to understanding the strategy behind marketing (and selling) in home services.