Sales and marketing working together is the theme of the monthly marketing webcast by corecubed at noon today, and, in preparation for that webinar I have been thinking hard about the buyer’s path to finding and selecting home care for a loved one or a professional client. Home care, unlike many other services, is an unknown entity. How do you find the right provider? What kind of care is needed? For how long and at what cost?
Seems to me that there are really two paths for the buyer. One is the interested party, family, friend or professional who thinks there might be a care need in the future, and they set out to explore what is needed. This path is fairly traditional. First they explore, then they make some choices to narrow down the options, then they research and interview and then they are ready to make a decision.
The second path is why we have post-acute care. There is an acute episode (hospitalizations, falls, unexpected loss of caregiver) that ramps up the buying process into an emergency and the decision making has to happen rapidly (and is oftentimes emotionally laden). Both of these buyers’ pathways to a purchasing decision, however, have one thing in common: the first search will be the agency website and social media.
Google announced today that the searches for in-home care have recently risen. This is no surprise as a) home care is starting to be more mainstream, b) more and more people are aging and will need care and c) almost everyone wants to have care, when possible, at home.
So, thinking through what the buyer, whether just in first research mode or in acute problem solving mode, might want to find on a website and social media, it is clear that the answer is whatever will help them make a decision for their specific target that needs the care. And, that is the crux of the difference in home care marketing and sales: each and every situation is different and is based on the needs of the client/patient. And, it is not like buying shoes, where you know that you want something to fit the need (dressy, athletic, warm boot, etc.) the issue is that the consumer may not actually understand the need. Someone mired in the day to day care, or someone coming in for a holiday, or someone who lives down the block or a professional who sees the client/patient at irregular intervals…each of these will have a perception of need based on their knowledge and experience. And the client/patient will also have many variables: financial means, disease state or frailty, informal support system and personal preferences and habits.
So, how can we help the agencies who hire us as a marketing partner better understand that buyer’s pathway, and how to help that buyer make a better decision? We offer marketing and sales opportunities that make the agency website and social media resources that the buyer will find helpful and capture their attention so the agency gets the buyer no matter which avenue they are taking.
The agency website and social media should shout, “We educate. We offer helpful resources. We listen and respond. We guarantee staffing and oversight. If it goes wrong, we fix it. We are with you, in your specific struggle for solutions 100% of the way.”
So, since home care is now being searched for more often, and since we all know that the aging population is upon us an growing rapidly, it makes sense to me that an agency would seek out professional help to make certain that their selling and marketing processes are aligned with the buyer’s path to making a decision.
Join us today at noon eastern for a webcast, the first in a series of three about sales and marketing working together for best results. The professional team at corecubed has been providing marketing partnerships and resources to the home care industry for a long time. We understand the industry, the issues facing agencies, and the processes of aging. We want to be in this with our clients so that we all grow together. How about it?