At Senior Marketing Collective, we focus on identifying and implementing the most effective senior living marketing strategy for our clients. Our clients are focused on an array of services and products for the senior living market. They are not just focused on housing solutions for senior living, but also other services and products for seniors, such as adaptive clothing, financial products, technology, and placement.
To create a successful marketing plan, understanding the unique needs and interests of the senior demographic is crucial. It involves crafting targeted campaigns, employing data-driven strategies, and leveraging the right marketing channels.
In this article, we wanted to delve a bit deeper into a couple of critical strategies that we return to with each of our client projects. They are universal strategies, but their implementation is unique to each client.
Personalization is Key
Seniors are not a monolithic group. Each individual has their unique needs, preferences, and lifestyles. Therefore, personalizing marketing strategies to cater to these unique characteristics is key to the strategy’s success.
For example, with health related products and services, understanding the different needs of the senior market is key. Some seniors are active and don’t want to be portrayed as slow and dependent. But, if the product or services are geared to the less mobile seniors, it must communicate a caring and hopeful vision.
Since the senior market can now span multiple decades and various life conditions, ‘one size’ does not fit all with messaging. What one senior may see as exciting and invigorating, another senior may see as stressful. It is important to not only clearly identify the target senior segment with clear persona development, but it is key to clearly communicate in message and imagery who you are trying to reach. Otherwise, your message may fall flat.
Digital Channels Are More Mainstream Than You Might Think
More and more seniors are becoming tech-savvy and are active on digital platforms. Leveraging these channels, such as social media and email marketing, can help reach a wider audience.
Yes, Facebook may still be considered a ‘go to’ social media channel for reaching an audience of ‘a certain age’. But, many seniors today have had a long career around technology and feel quite adept at it. According to reporting by AARP, seniors (50+) now rely more heavily on tech and social media. Approximately 78% of seniors today use technology to stay connected with the world and loved ones.
So, as companies target a senior demographic, expand the possibilities and digital channels for reaching your audience. Test your marketing on the different channels and learn what method of communication is best for your particular audience.
Building Trust is an Unbeatable Senior Living Marketing Strategy
All consumers today look to the marketplace for reviews of products before buying. But seniors have an increased value in trust and credibility. A ‘Slick Willy’ approach to marketing a product or services will probably fall flat on this crowd. So, don’t expect a lot of ‘geez whiz’ responses to your marketing spiel. Expect some skepticism and hesitation and build that step into the process.
Communication with most senior segments will require time and evidence-based examples of your product or service’s benefits. Encourage testimonials and ratings from past customers to help you sell to future customers.
Focus on building trust, emphasizing safety, reliability, and quality of service to win big in the senior sector.
Marketing to the senior sector offers a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. As we have stated, this complexity arises because seniors are not a uniform group. Instead, they are a diverse demographic with different interests, hobbies, and health conditions.
Seniors are not the only ones involved in their decision-making process; their family support system often plays a role as well. This adds an extra layer of complexity for marketers. As seniors age and their care needs rise, family members, such as adult children, typically become more involved. These individuals play a vital role in supporting their elderly relatives, and their opinions can greatly influence decisions. Therefore, when crafting their strategies, marketers must consider this dynamic and potentially broad audience.
One important point to note is that, by definition, seniors have experienced a long and rich life full of diverse experiences. Over the years, they have interacted with a wide array of products and been the target of countless sales pitches. These experiences have shaped their perspective and understanding of the world in a unique way. By virtue of their long life, they have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and insights that younger generations may not yet possess. This, in turn, can contribute to a particular bias when they are receiving your messaging. This bias could either work in your favor, making your message more effective, or it could work against you, causing your message to fall flat.
Given this, it would be in your best interest to carefully test your messaging before fully rolling it out. Consider assembling a small, but diverse, test group of seniors to gauge how your message is received. This will allow you to ascertain whether your message resonates well with this particular audience. It will also provide you with the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments before your campaign is launched on a larger scale. This could be a key factor in the success of your marketing efforts.