Marketing Senior Services: Let's Lose the Platitudes

Valerie VanBooven
 


Visitors: 413

Recently I was invited back to Wisconsin to speak to the Wisconsin Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. They wanted to know more about 2 things…. how to get more private pay clients, and my thoughts on how we, as senior providers, can do a better job of marketing our businesses to seniors and adult children of aging parents. For this column, I’m going to talk about the marketing piece…and this is only the tip of the ice-berg.

I want to let all of you in on my marketing strategy…one that DOES work, but you have to be able to move away from the “norm” a bit.

Do you know what a “platitude” is? A platitude is sort of like a “given”…. for instance… for all of the phrases below, if you can say “Well I would hope so!!” then the phrase is a platitude. All of these come directly from advertisements in the Yellow Pages- and are advertising senior services of some kind- independent living, assisted living, nursing home, home care, etc. I did not make this up.

“Well I would hope so!!” List.

  • Luxurious dining.

  • We treat residents like family.

  • Quality Care.

  • The BEST in Senior Living. (as opposed to what?)

  • Senior Living at it’s Best! (see any similarities here?)

  • Spacious apartments.

  • Courteous, compassionate staff.

  • Park-like setting.

  • Resort-like services and amenities.

  • Elegant dining.

  • Luxurious Retirement Living.

  • Full service retirement living.

  • We care. For You. (???)

  • Care is our business…. .

  • Life away from home can be more enjoyable than you ever imagined…. (nursing home ad)

    If you are a consumer who has never worked in the senior services industry and has never place a loved one into any form of care, do these phrases or words really educate you about anything? Every ad is almost identical. They say nothing really. Unfortunately, we also have a large population of adult children of aging parents who have no idea where to turn for services and resources (not their fault), and the Yellow Pages is the first place they look to find help. Ugh.

    Let’s move away from the platitudes…. and start educating consumers instead.

    So, my recommendation is this- if you want to build your database of qualified prospects, and you want to have plenty of business, fill the rooms, fill the beds, etc…. then you or your organization needs to become the trusted resource in town.

    Try this. The next time you run an ad or send out a newsletter, make an offer.

    Offer a FREE REPORT on the Top 20 Questions You Should Be Asking Before Hiring an In-Home Care Agency…or, Top 20 Questions You Should Be Asking Before Deciding on a Nursing Home (Independent Living Community etc).

    Make sure you actually WRITE a free report on the top 10, 15, 20 questions people should be asking, and keep it simple, 1-2 pages max.

    Before you make such an offer, go back to my previous columns where I talked about “inside reality” vs “outside perception”. Make sure those match up before you tell people what they should be looking for in a good service.

    If you are the facility, or organization that chooses to educate your local community on topics related to what good quality care REALLY means, how to pay for long-term care, what legal documents consumers should have (like DPOA etc), then the community will begin to trust your organization.

    Take a look around at the competition in your area. What are THEY doing to educate the community on a regular basis? How can you differentiate yourself from them? Offer something that they haven’t even thought of yet…. . lose the platitudes and become an educator. As consumers we can use all the help we can get.

    Valerie VanBooven RN, BSN, PGCM is an author, professional speaker, and professional geriatric care manager. She is also currently the National Marketing and PR Director for Next Generation Financial Services, a division of 1st Mariner Bank, based in Baltimore, MD. She can be contacted directly at 877-529-0550, or by email at Valerie@nextgenfinser.com If you want to write reverse mortgages yourself, you can! Her website is http://www.ngfs.net .

  • (766)

    Article Source:


     
    Rate this Article:  0.0/5(0 Ratings)

    Related Articles:

    My Attitude Towards the Platitudes in Marketing and Advertising

    by: Jeremy Tuber (May 19, 2006) 
    (Business/Advertising)

    Senior Home care Services in Ct

    by: Surajit Bhattacharya (January 15, 2010) 
    (Home and Family/Elder Care)

    Senior Services - a Need Filled for the Elderly

    by: Thomas Henricks (January 29, 2008) 
    (Home and Family/Elder Care)

    Helping Your Senior Dog Lose Weight

    by: Don Rainwater (June 30, 2008) 
    (Pets/Dogs)

    Book Review: Start Your Own Senior Services Business

    by: Leslie Halpern (July 09, 2006) 
    (Book Reviews)

    Senior Home Care Services: Weighing The Decision

    by: Gordon Petten (August 28, 2006) 
    (Home and Family/Elder Care)

    Direct Marketing Support Services and Lettershop Services: A Key Role in Your ..

    by: Gordon Petten (July 03, 2006) 
    (Business/Marketing)

    Senior Life Settlement - The Best Financial Tool For Senior Policyholders

    by: William Regal (February 14, 2008) 
    (Insurance/Life Annuities)

    Email Marketing For Senior Citizen Centers

    by: Dan Forootan (March 23, 2012) 
    (Internet and Businesses Online/Email Marketing)

    Keeping Seniors at Home For Life Senior Service Marketing Strategy

    by: Valerie VanBooven (July 08, 2008) 
    (Business/Marketing)