Yesterday I spent 4 hours presenting an in-depth marketing workshop for the Illinois HomeCare & Hospice Council with a very diverse group of agencies from private duty to county health departments, with some hospital based agencies and start-ups thrown in. The focus of the workshop was a focus on branding and strategy as basics for marketing.
Problem #1: “Marketing” in home care means “sales”. “Marketing home care” or “home care marketers” simply means selling home care or persons who are employed to sell home care.
Problem #2: Targets vary widely depending on the service. Medicare certified agencies get referrals from hospital discharge planners, physicians and skilled nursing or rehab facilities. Medicaid home care referrals come from either a managed care company, a AAA, or a designated assessor who assigns the time allotted to the agency. Private duty home care referrals come from anyone, anywhere who has a care need or knows someone with a care need, and someone, somewhere has the money and is willing to pay for that care.
Solution #1: Education on marketing strategy, differentiation, positioning, targets and messages using LOTS of examples from other industries. Branding and what it means to home care specifically, which is VERY different from other products or services.
Solution #2: Understanding WHO is the target is the key to creating good messages and visuals to support those messages.
It is easy for me to say that understanding marketing for home care is easy. That ease of understanding comes from literally hundreds of agencies working with corecubed to learn how to go to market strategically. However, it really IS easy, but it does take an open mind and a willingness to change how things are done.
After all, isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing and expecting different results?