In the current climate of higher occupancies there is a tendency to drop sail and float along with the easy current, to enjoy the rewards without taking steps to plan for success in the long term. But we all know that winds change, tides turn, ships sink… and other seafaring metaphors. No one can predict the next downturn with certainty, but the market cycles on, and it may arrive when you least expect it.
Now is the time to outfit your operation to withstand the incoming waves and remain competitive while never losing sight of the horizon.
Competition Will Only Intensify When the Market Slows
Your operation and your competition are often at the mercy of macroeconomic forces. With a growing market, governments can be more lenient, and underwriters more confident, leading to more and more competitors with whom you must share the stage. When the market eventually slows, how will you grab the spotlight?
Senior Living searchers today are using their smartphones to find the right community, and the battle for lead conversion is intensifying online: ratings sites, social media, lead generation sites, etc.
- Prospects and their families have more knowledge and information than ever before, and they have constant access to it on their mobile devices
- Digital marketing is very complicated, time consuming, inefficient, difficult to measure, and is ever-changing
- Having no digital marketing plan will leave you at a serious disadvantage during the next downturn when competition is tight
We know that your prospects and their families are increasingly using mobile technology to find a community, but the way each consumer uses it also varies, depending on:
- Stage in the buying cycle (looking around for communities or looking at your reviews)
With each of these variations comes a unique and unpredictable customer journey. The only way to attempt to simplify all this complexity is to enlist a best-in-class digital marketing platform to help track each prospect’s journey and their engagement with each touch point.
Understanding the Digital Marketing Landscape to Gain a Long-term Competitive Advantage
Getting a good grasp of the ever-changing nature of the digital marketplace can be daunting. There are increasingly accurate metrics and analysis methods that a growing number of competitors are using, enabling them to reach and connect with more prospects. This takes time, effort, and expertise, but scalable analytics, search-optimized sites, and advocacy programs are now essential for all Senior Living communities to remain competitive in the long run.
Right now it may seem like there are plenty of residents to go around, but the abundance won’t last. Luckily, there are methods to make sense of the madness. The best way to make your operation more resilient in a downturn is to make sure you have digital marketing strategies in place before the scales begin to tip. Your solution needs to include:
- A platform that updates in response to changes in Search Engine algorithms and the way consumers use technology
- Optimized search strategies
- Highly visible social presence
- Tools that tap into your fans and turn them into advocates
- Analytical tools that enable you to easily measure results
- A complete understanding of the digital marketing “ecosystem” and how sites, search, and social impact each other
- A partner who understands these needs, so you don’t have to build an internal team
It is tempting to think the good times will continue, that you are doing all that you can. But somewhere someone is developing finer tools and applications to better connect, communicate, and compete. Staying on top of everything is a massive task, but it’s also fundamental to your long-term health.
When you’re flush with capital, no one wants to talk about downturns, but the time is now for preparing for long-term stability, rather than coasting through and finding yourself unprepared for the next iceberg.