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Senior Living Series: 5 Senior Living Marketing Ideas Part 2 of 6

Our team surveyed over 200 senior living practitioners varying from the C-Suite to the front desk to gain insights into what’s moving the industry, and where opportunities for growth lie in 2018. We’ll share our findings in full the week of March 19th when the ‘2018 Senior Living Sales Marketing and Leadership Guide’ is published. You can catch up on this series with Part 1.

In Part-2, your senior living community will learn:

  • Channels to strategically target to become visible to your Generation X adult-child influencer, Millennial adult-child influencer, and digitally savvy baby boomer senior resident
  • Considerations to make when differentiating marketing messages between the Gen X ACI, Millennial ACI, and baby boomer resident to maximize resident acquisition

Senior Living Marketing Idea #1: Satisfy ALL Stakeholders: Target/Recruit both the Adult-Child Influencer (ACI) and Parent/Resident

73% of your prospective residents are involving their children in both the decision and transition to a senior living community, according to research from Care.com. Talk about influential!

Intuitively, we understand that the ACI and prospective resident are very different, however, their goals are similar. They both want to find the community that will provide the best quality of life. That’s why targeting/recruiting both the ACI and their parent are essential, though each will require a separate approach and strategy.

Chances are, the adult-child influencer your community targets will be split between Generation X’ers and Millennials. The channels will overlap when targeting these ACI’s, but the approach to earn their trust must be different for each.

Channels that Resonate with the Generation X ACI

Generation X is described by the Washington Post as, “America’s neglected middle child”. Generally speaking, Generation X in its early years represented grunge, flannel, and Nirvana. Today’s grown up Gen X’ers tend to be more pragmatic and individualistic. Skepticism is almost baked into the very essence of Gen X’ers, so your community will need to cater its messaging to build trust from the onset.

Gen X has more disposable income than their millennial ACI counterpart, so consider allocating marketing dollars to ensure your message is seen by them. Harnessing nostalgia might be an effective approach to evoke sentiment within the boomer your community wants to attract, but for your Gen X ACI, aim for facts and irrefutable evidence.

Your Gen X ACI will be found on many of the same social channels as the millennial ACI, but your community should look to differentiate the way it speaks to each of them, or risk trying to be something to everyone and missing out on both in the process.

Online Channels to earn Generation X ACI’s trust:

  • Website
  • Social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
  • Online directories
  • Review/Reputation Aggregators
  • Email marketing automation (E-newsletters, updates)

Offline Channels to target Generation X ACI’s:

  • Newspapers (Subscription-based)
  • Magazines
  • Direct Mail

Channels to Win the Millennial ACI

The idealistic, avocado toast loving millennial. Depending on who you ask, millennials could be considered lazy and entitled, or entrepreneurial and industrious. This generation isn’t immune to pessimistic bouts like the Gen X’ers, but unlike Gen X’ers, millennials represent a quarter of the total population, so therefore, there’s very little chance of them being forgotten.

Earning the blessing of the millennial ACI will be crucial to your community’s long-term resident acquisition strategy, but the approach will need to be tweaked from Gen X. Millennials are tech-savvy and are considered “digital natives”, so your community’s best bet is to communicate with them via social media, or almost exclusively online. Like the Gen X’ers, millennials are educated and prefer fact-based information, but like boomers, appreciate evocative imagery. Harness the power of storytelling to weave statistics into your community’s story. Infographics, for example, are an effective visual cue to help tell a story to your millennial ACI.

Online Channels to earn the Millennial ACI’s trust:

  • Website
  • Social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Snapchat)
  • Review/Reputation Aggregators
  • Online directories
  • Email marketing automation (E-newsletters, updates)

Offline Channels to target Millennial ACI’s:

  • Magazines
  • Direct Mail (to raise awareness)

How to Earn the Trust of the Baby Boomer Resident

10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 today, and every day until 2030, based on Pew Research population projections. Acquiring the baby boomer resident is the end goal for any community, and effectively earning their trust and persuading them to make your community home is as great of a challenge as ever. And though the Baby Boomer ‘boom’ hasn’t arrived, communities should begin preparing for the 2030 today.

That said, your community won’t make it to 2030 without focusing on 2018. In that spirit, we’ve outlined the channels your community should invest and allocate marketing dollars to realize its resident acquisition goals for the baby boomer resident.

Online Channels for future residents:

  • Website
  • Social Media Channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram)

Offline Channels to target future residents:

  • Direct Mail (brochures)
  • Newspaper (articles, colorful ads)
  • Newsletters
  • Magazines

How to Win-Win both the ACI and Prospective Resident

So, how do we Win/Win?

By communicating your senior living community’s unique offerings to these disparate groups simultaneously, while accounting for their vast differences in your approach and messaging.

The Gen X and Millennial ACI’s will gather information about a community in different ways, and due to the difference in age, their very expectations of a community itself could be different. This isn’t even counting the baby boomer resident your community wants to convert.

Your senior living community should work to tie an ROI back between the online and offline channels it’s investing marketing dollars into. The good news: your online channels (website, social media presence, placement in directories, etc.) will be where you’ll be able to reach both the ACI and your future resident simultaneously, though keyword research and messaging will drastically differ.

The team working with your community to execute marketing and resident acquisition strategy should look to create harmony between the online and offline channels that appeal to both the senior resident, and the ACI. Understand that the senior will make the final decision, but the role their child plays to influence that decision is significant, so balance their respective needs accordingly.

What’s Next? Forecasting Ahead

Generation Z? Post-Millennials? The future’s uncertain with regards to what we’ll call to the next generation. They’re not even sure what to call themselves. This next generation of ACI’s will make way for the boomer boom of the future, and as we urged earlier, your community should begin making preparations to address that ACI and the prospective resident of 2030 now .

While your community is preparing for the long-term, don’t forget to focus on the resident acquisition needs of 2018. Click and sign up to receive the insights we obtained from over 200 respondents. Your team will receive the guide when it’s published the week of March 19th.

In next week’s installment of this series, the team will take a walk into wellness, and how promoting your community’s wellness programs can impact occupancy for the better. Until then, we’re available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to contact us.

About the Author

BrettBenko

Brett Benko

Senior Digital Solutions Specialist

Brett Benko is a digital solutions specialist. He has a knack for client empathy and constantly challenges himself to derive insight while obtaining tangible results. He graduated from Kent State University in 2012. He remains active in academia, having recently served on selection committees and charitable boards. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, writing fiction and poetry, traveling, and unabashedly sings karaoke (to mixed reactions) with friends.

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