The new year is upon us and it’s time to prepare your marketing for 2024. With ever-changing trends and the evolving needs of your audience, it’s critical that your marketing is aligned and clear with your messaging to reach the right people and make the right impact.
A marketing strategy review involves evaluating and optimizing the current marketing plan to align with the changing landscape of digital marketing. For senior living communities, this could include:
- You should review your entire marketing plan every year
- Just because you’re targeting the same audience doesn’t mean they’re the same audience (i.e. their needs, expectations, preferences constantly change)
- Proper marketing automation set-up will save you countless hours over the year
Marketing Strategy Review: Crafting a Blueprint for Success
With a set marketing plan, it can be easy to become complacent. But even if your business objectives remain the same year over year, your marketing needs to be updated annually.
- Target Audience Analysis: As a senior living owner and operator, your target market will likely always be seniors, adult-child influencers, and families of mature adults. But these groups are changing constantly in terms of what they’re looking for, what their expectations are, and how they prefer to consume information online. You should reevaluate your target audience annually to ensure you have the best understanding of each demographic. Consider industry trends, consumer trends, online behaviours, and any other factors (external or internal) that influence the way your ideal audience interacts with your community.
- Competitor Analysis: Research your competitors to see what their strategies are and whether or not the list of competitors in your area has changed recently. Look at their performance in comparison to their most recent year of marketing. How did they meet market needs? Is there anything you can learn from them? And what’s the best way to outshine them in your space?
- Content Strategy: Now that you’ve updated your target audience and your competitor analysis, you can start developing a content strategy for the year. Ensure every piece of content you plan to publish aligns with your community’s brand, values, and offerings. Determine what kind of content you want to share based on what would best serve your target audience, and how you’ll share this content. For example, you may decide to share educational and promotional content on your social media channels and do so with videos, infographics, and high-quality imagery of your community.
- Channel Optimization: Evaluating the performance of various marketing channels (social media, email, website, etc.) is key to reallocating resources and prioritizing high-performing channels. It’s also important to ensure your content is consistent with your brand across all your marketing channels. Review your last year’s performance to determine high-performing channels, and determine how much of your resources you’ll allocate to each channel. Suppose your organic search and social media are generating significant traffic or leads, while your direct mail is lacking. In that case, you should consider investing more in the former strategies for the year ahead.
- Marketing Automation Integration: Efficient utilization of your marketing automation tools is critical for streamlining workflows, personalization, and lead nurturing. Before you enter 2024, make sure your automation is properly set up. Investing time in proper automation setup will save you endless hours down the road. Look at your forms and ensure each form has a funnel, notification system, and larger list to link to. Additionally, look at your email templates and update any outdated information.
- Monitor & Review: Now that all the key facets of your marketing strategy are in place, you’re ready to launch your 2024 marketing campaigns. You should monitor and review every channel and campaign on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Brand Review: Reinforcing Your Community’s Identity
Your brand doesn’t need to be reviewed every year, unlike your marketing strategy, but it is important to perform brand check-ins every few years. A brand review involves evaluating your community’s brand identity, perception, and consistency across all marketing touchpoints. For senior living communities, this usually includes:
- Branding Consistency: Ensuring brand elements (logo, colours, fonts) are consistent across digital platforms, print materials, & physical locations.
- Messaging Alignment: Reviewing & aligning messaging with the community’s core values, unique selling propositions, & the emotional connection it aims to establish with prospects & residents.
- Brand Experience Audit: Assessing the overall experience a prospect or resident has with the community at different touchpoints, ensuring it aligns with the intended brand image.
- Online Reputation Management: Monitoring & managing online reviews & feedback to maintain a positive brand perception in the digital space.
You can perform a brand audit every 3 to 5 years where you and your executive leadership team analyze your brand to see how it aligns with where your business is currently. As your communities grow, your business will, too, and that often involves the evolution of your company goals. As your company changes, your brand can slowly outdate itself over time.
Alternatively, your brand may slowly outdated over time for no other reason than shifts in design standards, consumer preferences and behaviours, or marketing trends.
Performing a brand review doesn’t necessarily mean you have to change your entire brand. Quite the opposite actually, as most brand reviews usually involve refreshing the logo, updating certain aspects of the brand, or maybe just adjusting the messaging. Regardless, reviewing your brand every few years will ensure you and your community stay fresh in the minds of your residents and their families.
Budget Review: Optimizing Resource Allocation
A budget review involves analyzing past marketing expenditures and aligning the budget with the updated marketing strategy. Ensuring your budget aligns with your marketing strategy and overall business strategy is essential. For senior living communities, this usually includes:
- Cost Analysis: Evaluating the return on investment (ROI) for various marketing initiatives to identify high-performing activities & allocate resources accordingly.
- Goal-Based Budgeting: Aligning the budget with specific marketing objectives, such as lead generation, community tours, or brand awareness.
- Trend Incorporation: Allocating budget for integrating emerging trends like augmented reality tours, interactive content, or AI-powered chatbots for enhanced user experience & engagement.
By conducting comprehensive reviews of the marketing strategy, brand, and budget, senior living communities can position themselves for success in the digital realm. These reviews enable informed decision-making, strategic adjustments, and resource allocation that align with the community’s goals and resonate effectively with the target audience.
If you don’t have a marketing team to work with, you’re missing out on incredible growth and revenue opportunities for your community. Contact us today to learn more about how our marketing solutions can help your communities thrive.