In the beginning of 2020, it was pretty much business as usual for senior living marketers. Onsite events and community tours encouraged visits from prospective residents and family members. The prospect’s journey was well established.
Now, we must meet our prospects where they are today. The good news is that, according to a recent LeadingResponse survey of over 2,000 prospective residents and adult children, 90% are not reconsidering a move to senior living because of COVID-19.
A challenge to get you started on the prospect’s journey
So, it’s time to lean into your prospects and understand their current mindset. This is what some survey respondents said about senior living today, despite their willingness to consider making a transition:
- “Caregiver staff are not adequately protected.”
- “Safer in our own homes.”
- “Too dangerous.”
That tells you there is still a great deal of concern about how senior living communities are dealing with safety issues. To make the prospect’s journey easier, then, you should be sharing what your community is doing to keep residents safe.
Survey respondents’ other concerns
Respondents additionally worried about:
- Experiencing social isolation
- Getting groceries and medications
- Having a fall or other health issues and not being able to get help
Therefore, your messaging should emphasize the 24/7 care you are able to provide for residents. Focus on how well you meet their needs.
This is not, however, a “one and done” exercise. Make sure that your messaging continually meets your leads where they are on their individual prospect’s journey. Here are some questions to ask your team:
- How can we share what we are doing to keep our physical environment safe? Air filters? Regular disinfecting?
- How can we share what we are doing to keep our staff from bringing COVID inside our doors? A steady supply of PPE? Taking temperatures? Washing hands regularly and strictly following CDC guidelines?
- How can we share things we are doing to keep our residents safe? Restricting visitors to only staff members? Holding as many outdoor activities as possible? Allowing socially distanced visits with loved ones?
- How can we promote the positive aspects of senior living community life? Access to therapy, healthy and delicious meals delivered to your room/apartment? Nurses and caregivers on-site?
Understand the tools of engagement
Both residents and adult children are now accustomed to participating in video meetings and webinars. They are comfortable using tablets and smart phones to connect with the greater world around them. That means you need to become comfortable with this technology, too. It’s a critical element of the prospect’s journey.
Here are channels that need to be activated (and used regularly):
- Digital marketing, including ads, surveys, and email campaigns
- Social media, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube
- Virtual interactive seminars via webinars, one-on-one video calls, tours
- Downloadable content on your website
- Direct mail
Why direct mail? Because prospects are still getting their mail delivered. And, with more time on their hands, they’re paying more attention to it. This is a perfect time to take advantage of a medium that continues to get results. It’s a key element of the prospect’s journey.
These are unprecedented times for senior living marketers
Yes, the challenges are great. But by addressing the prospect’s journey, the rewards can be great as well, for those communities that take the time to understand the new road prospective residents and families are traveling. Meeting them where they are with the right messaging can make all the difference.
Want to know more about what your prospects are thinking? Download the survey results we mentioned earlier.