Early last year, the world watched as Beijing hosted the Winter Olympic Games. Athletes from every corner of the world competed in 109 different events across 15 winter sports, hoping to make it to the podium.1 So what does this have to do with your senior living marketing strategy?
There were thousands of athletes who represented 84 countries.2 Even though many of them were competing against each other, these athletes were united by the common goal of winning as many medals for their countries as possible.
Your sales and marketing teams should mirror their commitment. Yes, you’re on two different teams. Yes, your functions are different. But ultimately, you’re aiming for the same goal: to attract as many new residents to your senior living community as possible.
Collaboration Means a Better Senior Living Marketing Strategy
For many senior living operators, the sales and marketing teams are siloed, each team working toward their own goals, their own targets and deliverables and KPIs. But to truly be effective, your marketing and sales teams should be more collaborative than insular. After all, the work done by the marketing team directly affects sales—and given the multi-year sales cycle for choosing a senior living community, sales performance impacts your department, too!
Lead generation has always been a primary function of marketing. But these days, you can’t just gather up names and send out a mass email and call it done. Lead nurturing is just as, if not more, important. When you shift your focus to converting the leads you have, you shorten the sales cycle and create even more new resident opportunities.
Of course, you can’t do this alone. There has to be that cooperative effort between sales and marketing to create a truly dynamic lead nurturing strategy. Here’s how.
1. Target the Best Leads
In 2021, we saw pandemic occupancy rates fall to 77.8% in the second quarter.3 Since that time, we’ve seen census rates continue to experience slow growth quarter over quarter, reaching an occupancy rate of 83% in the final quarter of 2022.3 While the lasting impact of the pandemic will continue to be felt across the senior living space for some time, this steady growth in occupancy, and the rapidly growing senior population, indicates increased demand and competition to come.4
And as the need for senior housing increases, you should work alongside the sales team to nurture your best leads.
Take stock of the demographics for your existing residents. Are they the same type of resident profiles you want in the future? If not, who exactly are you looking for? These are tough questions, but they’re ones you must answer to effectively target the best leads.
One of the most important aspects of lead nurturing is identifying and focusing on those leads that are most likely to convert. While conversion can take up to 20 touches for some prospective new residents, a personalized nurture sequence can shorten the sales cycle by speaking directly to their needs and concerns.
2. Find Out What Potential Residents Really Want
For many prospective residents, getting them to the point of conversion is a matter of ensuring they know your community offers the features they want. Talk to your counterparts in sales about the feedback they get when they interact with potential new residents.
So what are potential new residents looking for in a senior living community? Well, everyone is different. Although there may be general groupings, there will also be differences. Some may require an indoor/outdoor pool complex. Others may be more concerned with diverse food options and loads of activities. Still others may be focused mostly on costs, safety, or even healthcare options.
Work with sales to identify these preferences and pain points. When you know what your ideal senior residents are looking for, create marketing collateral to address these concerns specifically. Then send this information to nurture those potential new residents that expressed that interest. Marketing is all about getting personal!
3. Get Personal!
Senior living community residents are relationship oriented. They don’t want to feel like a number, and they especially don’t want to feel like just another name on a list when they’re considering where they’ll live for the rest of their lives.
The information you gathered already should help you personalize your marketing, but then take this approach a step further. Rather than sending out messages with generic lists of community perks to anyone and everyone, consider what each individual lead (prospective residents or their family) has expressed that they find valuable. Drill down and focus on that in your sales and marketing process.
Ready to shift your digital marketing strategy from lead generating to lead nurturing this year? Dreamscape Marketing can help. Contact us today at 888.307.7304 to schedule a strategy session.
For a list of references, please contact us.