Stressed? Well, constantly trying to get ahead of the curve is trying. The fact is, few things in life work out best with a reactive approach.
Just like you tell your residents, being proactive will usually prevent you from making last-minute decisions just because you need to find a resolution. Why should your senior living marketing strategy be any different?
Proactive vs. Reactive Marketing
Reactive marketing is all about responding to data or unforeseen competition. It shouldn’t be a surprise that reactive marketing is the approach most senior living companies use to spearhead their marketing activities — reactive behavior comes straight from human evolution.
Reactive Marketing in Senior Living
In the senior living industry, reactive marketing looks like this: You’re in the middle of a census crisis, so you launch an email marketing campaign targeting adult children. Or your competitor is ramping up their marketing efforts or removing their move-in fees, and immediately, executives and your marketing team think you need to do that, too.
The problem with reactive marketing is that it puts you behind everybody else and creates a lot of stress — without driving a lot of results. Maybe the email marketing you did was relatively easy and provided gains to compete that season, but they’re only short term gains. What happens next month when a lot of residents move out or you get a bad review?
Also known as predictive marketing, proactive marketing is all about analyzing data; acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes; and being agile and flexible with your tactics. Being proactive allows you to continually improve, getting better results and a higher return on your marketing investment.
Proactive Marketing in Senior Living
In the senior living industry, proactive marketing looks like this: At the end of the year, your marketing team analyzes the previous year’s data to begin building a strong and effective content marketing plan for the months, quarters, and year ahead:
● Which resident stories had the biggest impact?
● Which email blasts had the greatest open rate and click rate?
● What did our leads tell us about what they are looking for? What kinds of questions did they have?
● Which landing pages got the most forms filled out?
● Which referral sources did we get the most move-ins from, and why?
You can then predict the best next message and answer future-looking questions like, “What piece of content will Caregiver Carla or Sandwich Steve want next?”
The benefit of proactive marketing is that it empowers you to leverage data and user insights to see what will drive positive engagement, retention, and growth in the future and allows you to create more engaging content, improve your competitive positioning, react quickly to change, stretch your marketing budget even further, and minimize campaign failure.
Tips for Building a Proactive Marketing Strategy
If your current senior living marketing strategy sounds like it’s more reactive than proactive, here are three tips for building a proactive marketing plan to win over customers, grow your business, and stay ahead of the competition.
1. Access real-time data
You have data, so use it. To stay on top of it, use tools such as HubSpot to manage and interpret your data with a forward-looking approach. Set alerts for spikes and dips so that you can respond immediately.
2. Send smarter, more personalized emails
Make your email marketing strategy proactive by using data, segmentation, and marketing automation to predict what your prospects will enjoy reading next.
For example, you might send prospective residents and families who haven’t requested a tour with your community a guide that answers common questions they might have before they visit a senior living community. If the prospect opens the email but doesn’t request a tour, you might follow up with an email featuring five steps to take when you need assisted living, such as going on a tour of potential communities.
3. Implement re-engagement campaigns
One segment of your target audience might be prospects who aren’t ready to make a decision yet or who have cooled off. Acquiring leads is difficult and expensive, so don’t let these guys walk away.
Instead, proactively target them with re-engagement campaign to win them back. Send them a monthly eNewsletter that provides a mix of good information, news, and special offers. Share your latest blog post, include information about public events at your community, and mention any move-in discounts or special rates.
Being proactive will reduce your stress and create a more manageable workflow and steadier lead flow.
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