We live in a constantly changing environment requiring diligent awareness of market conditions and consumer mindsets. Senior living marketing is a prime example. The pandemic not only caused an immediate pivot in how to reach prospective customers and their families, but also what to say to convince them that making a move to a senior living home might be their best option. The industry found itself in a near-constant state of crisis management and damage control.
There were no roadmaps in place to help navigate the rapidly changing attitude and negative press around senior living. Our marketing strategy had to shift. We needed to carefully craft and manage messaging to overcome the fear of not knowing what would happen next, concerns over health and well-being, safety and security, and the stress that came from market anxiety.
In addition, when it became apparent that things would never go back to being “normal,” we saw an opportunity to reshape the future of senior living marketing for good. Our clients rely on us to creatively tell a different side of the story – one that showcases the benefits of senior living from a contrasting point of view.
By conducting research and creating a Senior Advisory Board comprised of residents, families, financial planners, and discharge nurses, we gained valuable insights and developed a new strategy. Key to our strategy was shifting our target from older Baby Boomers to younger Baby Boomers who continue to change the way we think of senior living.
Today’s Baby Boomers have higher expectations of what it means to be a senior and what they want in retirement living. They come with advanced thinking about technology, communications, and entertainment. This is a generation that embraced Wi-Fi and smart technology, Google to look for answers, and asking Siri for directions. This is a group of wisdom warriors who know how to catch a ride with Uber or Lyft to go anywhere. They use social media to stay connected with friends and family, share immediate news, read reviews, and ask for advice from strangers.
Applying insights from our research allows us to respond to the market, not react to it – to be at the forefront of change. Senior living marketing is no longer just about the six dimensions of wellness. To win in the space requires enhanced messaging that speaks to emotional well-being and delivers a happiness quotient.
We always follow the principles of studying market conditions and key care-abouts to create relevant and effective campaigns, but now we must also look at traditional and non-traditional ways to deliver it.
We know the market forever changed for senior living. But as in every marketing challenge, we embrace it with a fresh perspective and push through to help our clients not just survive but thrive.