Nursing Home Marketing Ideas – Innovation is Key to Success
Marketing matters. Even in the often austere world of senior housing and care, marketing plays a critical role in reaching and retaining residents. With the baby boomer population getting on in years, the elderly care industry has grown increasingly competitive in recent years, which has resulted in in a race to fill as many beds as possible in order to scale up profit margins. This may well be a viable strategy for some, but there is a much better way for both senior homes and, ultimately, the quality of life of their residents: innovative retirement home marketing.
WATSON CREATIVE has helped create strong, authentic brands in a wide variety of sectors including elderly care. At Watson, we realize that successful marketing rests on so much more than simply throwing money at the problem. Countless elderly care providers spend fortunes tracking phone calls or monetizing online searches, yet despite their best efforts their brands fail to stand out from the rest of the industry.
These nursing homes ignore a simple marketing truth: the more creative and innovative the branding effort, the more “bang for the buck” the brand will get. WATSON CREATIVE’s work with clients from memory care providers to NFL sports teams has proven that this is true across every single industry, and especially for elderly care.
The Power of Good Retirement Home Marketing
The race to commodification is a natural industry reaction to a market that’s growing saturated with offerings that compete on price. While some emerge strong from these commodity races, these situations create a relentless focus on the bottom line, and it’s easy to think marketing and communications don’t matter anymore.
But market saturation is precisely the time when senior housing companies should focus on building a strong, vibrant brand: it’s not only the best solution in the short term, but it will ensure your brand’s thriving success for years, if not decades to come.
Retirement home marketing founded on innovative ideas and backed by a focused communication plan have the power to not only elevate your elderly care business, but also transform the bond between senior caregivers, the elderly and their family. By building a strong brand identity founded on trust and care, and then communicating these brand values in a clear and consistent manner, you can turn elderly care into much more than a race to commodify a sector that should be about so much more than price points.
Building Trust: The Foundation of Nursing Home Marketing
While relationships and trust matter in all industries, it is of critical importance in the elderly care industry. Families looking for a retirement home for a loved one may have price considerations in mind, but first and foremost they want a caretaker who will look after one of their own like family.
But building trust is more than just saying “trust us.” Trust needs to be woven into the very fabric of your brand: when potential customers listen to your brand’s stories, they imagine your brand as reliable, as a source of delight for your residents and their family. Trust has the power to elevate your brand beyond a mere cost consideration, and can become the most important characteristic of your brand identity.
To create a strong brand identity built around trust, you have to infuse every aspect of your business with this identity, then communicate it through every story you tell. This ranges from the design of your logo and the name of your company, to the handshake of an elderly care specialist, the communication tools you put at the disposal of your residents, or the design of your website. Simply put, trust has to power every single aspect of your business.
With trust firmly implanted at the heart of your brand, potential residents and their families will look to you as much more than a service provider. They’ll follow the lead of your lead and enter into an enduring relationship with you as caretaker for a loved one. In other words, they’ll trust you as family.
Nursing Home Marketing in the Digital Age
As the baby boomer population enters retirement age, it is up to the millennials to help them find a home in their elder years. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that by 2050, 86.7 million Americans will be 65 years old or older, and their sons and daughters are now media-savvy and more informed than ever.
This is why the elderly care industry, often perceived by the public as resilient to change, is nothing of the sort. Today’s nursing homes are the epicenter of a digital revolution connecting residents, families and caretakers. Residents can use a variety of adapted online tools to stay in touch with loved ones, access on-demand entertainment, and even complete degrees online. Technology allows our seniors a rich, full life. And in a rapidly-evolving digital world, even elderly care centers have to keep up the pace.
But how exactly do you go about marketing nursing homes in the digital age? That’s where WATSON CREATIVE comes in.
The Case of Anthem Memory Care
In early 2013, Anthem Memory Care, a memory care provider with communities in Colorado, California and Illinois, realized the critical importance of branding and trust in the digital age. Lewis McCoy, principal with Anthem, turned to an unlikely ally: Matt Watson, co-founder and creative director of business consultancy firm, WATSON CREATIVE. Watson, a Nike marketing creative at the time, seemed an unlikely match for a dementia care center; which is precisely what made him the man for the job.
WATSON CREATIVE first focused on refining Anthem’s online messaging. Watson helped Anthem to create a clear, consistent voice for the web, as well as a simplified user experience for existing and potential customers. More importantly, they helped Anthem establish a web presence that told each facility’s stories in their own unique yet consistent voice.
WATSON CREATIVE knew the power of stories in marketing nursing homes. Watson and his team see design as a tool to preserve the essence of a brand, make it more compelling and accessible, whether it’s online, in print, or across environments.
For Anthem Memory Care, sophisticated marketing across digital channels meant they were more competitive than ever. They were able to reach potential residents and their families wherever they were, then capture their attention through compelling web content such as pictures, blog posts, stories, and information.
Most importantly, they were able to attract more residents and retain them without having to drive their prices down or sacrifice the quality of their services.
Ready to be heard? Give us a call!
Everything changes at the speed of light in our world of social networks and sophisticated marketing campaigns. Gone are the days of elderly care centers whose only required advertising was a street address; tomorrow’s memory care residents are already choosing their next care facility on iPads and smartphones. Innovative marketing, engaging website design, and brand strategy are leading this industry in exciting new directions.
It’s time for nursing homes and elderly care providers to learn a new language if they are going to be heard. Are you ready?
Contact Watson Creative today to speak with an experienced brand strategist. Our Portland office can be reached at 800-280-3057. You can also send us a message at any time to Hello@watsoncreative.com.