A potential senior resident, or the prospect’s adult child, goes online to search for communities in the area – and what dominates their search results is a personalized listing from a senior aggregator paid to view certain communities and no others.
Instead of seeing all of their options, the researcher gets something quite different.
“The majority of publicly available resources online tend to be a primary aggregator or directory format,” says Dan Gomp, president and CEO of Dreamscape Marketing.
This means that consumers looking for senior housing find pre-filtered listings presented as their only options.
“This creates an illusion of choice, where the best match for the senior researcher may not even be present,” says Gomp. “If all communities did their own local SEO and direct-to-consumer marketing, it would create an ethical and transparent online marketplace where all options are equally known. “
It’s not just a problem for the prospect. It’s a two-pronged problem for operators who mistakenly believe their approach gives them a competitive advantage, as well as the guarantee of new business, Gomp says. First, it’s more likely that a prospect will be turned off by the community when they visit because that won’t actually be what they’re looking for.
Second, these aggregated and overbid leads don’t have the most suitable personalized approach to capturing leads.
The alternative to this illusion of choice is something Gimp describes as “ethical marketing,” which he notes results in more accommodations at lower cost by directly connecting consumers to communities. In other words, ethical marketing is not just ethics for ethics, he says. It’s a question of profitability, as operators can drive more moves, cheaper and sooner.
“When you market your own communities directly and capture search traffic online, even through mail, you create a dialogue,” Gomp explains. “You’ll get higher volume and more local inquiries, and you’ll capture people later in the buying cycle. This is because when someone is shopping locally later on they are usually better prepared to move. The conversion rates will therefore be higher.
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Here are three steps to creating an ethical marketing strategy.
A retirement home is more than the sum of its parts. It’s more than a unit’s marble counters, more than the chandelier in the lobby, more than the outdoor walking spaces.
“All of these real estate developers are advertising luxury amenities and exotic hardwood floors from Brazil – that just means it will be more or less expensive,” Gomp said. “Prospects want to know, more like a college campus: What am I going to do all day?“
Gomp says operators should focus their marketing efforts on the ins and outs of everyday life on campus. Show prospects what they’re eating and where. Show them the whole experience, not just the components. After all, it is a place the residents could be for the rest of their lives.
“You have to strike a balance between hospitality and healthcare,” he says. “If your marketing looks a little more like a hospital or a little more like a hotel, then you’re a little too polarized and you’ll have to spend more money if you communicate in a more polarized style. “
Step 2: Find out what your customers want and learn who you’re talking to
One of the goals of ethical marketing is to reduce marketing costs. When marketing isn’t working, an operator spends more time and money making it work. One of the reasons marketing fails, Gomp explains, is that operators don’t create targeted campaigns.
Operators should write messages designed for the person receiving them, whether that is the potential resident or a family member. To do this, Gimp recommends that operators use self-identification forms and interactive assessments.
“We’ve learned in our marketing that the contact forms and reviews that are commonly used offer very little dialogue,” he says. “It’s a one-sided show, and you miss the personal. This can be done by listening.
Gomp notes that operators are better served by tailoring their messages to recipients. It means understanding the psychological factors of buying senior housing.
“When you talk to an adult child about their parents, there is actually a guilt factor in that buying process: ‘Am I putting mom or dad in the right community? “So your message is a different kind of assurance than it would be if you were communicating directly with the resident about what it would be like to live there,” he says.
Step 3: Use Truthful Photos and Videos and Increase Conversion Rate
When operators lie with their marketing visuals, they pay the price in conversions, Gomp explains. Conversion rates are directly related to the quality, quantity, and honesty of their communities’ images and videos, especially in images of food and lifestyle amenities.
“This is where ethics and transparency intersect,” says Gomp. “Photography is inherently trustworthy. The video is inherently trustworthy. Stock photos don’t answer the question “What am I going to be doing all day?” »Question. When trust is built from transparency, you’ll find that your conversion rates relate directly to things like foodservice images on your website. I’m talking about double-digit increases in your conversion rates from meal photos.
Again, this is an example where ethical marketing isn’t just about being ethical for the sake of being ethical (although that’s of course not a bad thing). It’s about saving profits and costs through independent verification of a community’s marketing.
“We can make you a beautiful website that can say whatever you want, but if that’s not true when they visit, they don’t move,” says Gomp. “It’s marketing proof, and it allows you to gain trust and engage with the people most able to benefit from your community and your offerings. “
This article is sponsored by Dreamscape Marketing. Dreamscape invites you to use its free digital marketing assessment tools and team to complete your digital hub by starting with a free website audit at dreamscapemarketing.com/website-audit.