7 Secrets to Marketing Success

1. Right Market–Right Message–Right Media.

 The Marketing Triangle: Marketing triangle, per Dan Kennedy, includes the right market, the right message, and the right media.

A. Right market-how tight you should define it depends on how much work you want to do. The narrower anti-do you make the market, the easier it is for you to control that market.  Understand that you do not sell to everyone. You sell to individuals with unique needs and wants. Therefore, it behooves you to really define your marketplace.

B. Right message-survey your marketplace using Survey Monkey or with phone calls. E-mail the surveys as well. Ask them what do they want, not what do they need.

C. Right media-where do seniors and boomers look for information? 

  • Libraries-then put your flyers there if you’ve noticed seniors in libraries.
  •  Civic Centers-same thing.
  •  Senior centers-same thing.

At the bottom of the flyer, put “this flyer was brought to you courtesy of…” Then as they contact you, you’ll know where the Flyers are working and where they’re not working. Give incentives to your distribution sites.

2. Right Market – clearly define in writing, in depth, who they are. Not to seniors, what kind of seniors, income, where are they from, etc. As to Boomer children, where do they come from where they go for information? Define the typical. For example, recently in Marie Callendars restaurant in Palm Springs, I found a new senior magazine. So in that geographic area, people who want the seniors should advertise there.

3. Right message-you should only use one message per promotion piece, whether it’s an ad, the sales letter, a press release, an e-mail, or a lead capture form. Too many messages in one media tend to obscure the content, and confuse people.

BUT, how do you determine the right message? That takes practice, surveying your customers, and testing!

4. Right media-work a deal with local restaurants they get a lot of traffic and senior lunches and early senior dinners. As stated before, Denny’s, Marie Callendars, Mimi’s Café, Norms, etc. Work with the local manager to put a fishbowl at the front counter. Put a stack of tri-folds in a plastic holder right by the fishbowl. Put a small sign that says “win a free dinner courtesy of ABC Company.”

Tell the manager your pay for the dinner once a week. Go back every week or month and collect the cards. These are warm leads.

2. CREATE a USP (UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION)  that makes sense, one that is not generic and one that others cannot steal. Ask your current customers “What Makes Us Special?”  Answer this question: why should they buy from you rather than all other businesses similar to yours out there? If you cannot answer that with your 30 second pitch, go back and rewrite.

3. Create flyers and ads look like mail-order. Give them a reason to call you. Create a special report, which is the reason they will contact you.

For Example “10 Ways To Find The Perfect In-Home Care”; “10 Ways To Know Which Board And Care Is Right For Your Parent.”

Include a killer headline, and subhead. Use the headline to focus on your market. For Example, Attention Boomer Children Of Elderly Parents, Etc.  Then the subhead would be: “Here are 10 Ways to Help Your Parents Gain Back Their Memory.”

Use loads of testimonials, some pictures, list the benefits to them, use bulleted lists.

4. Do something outrageous and off-the-wall. For example, Thanksgiving Day promotion, not Christmas. Everyone send Christmas cards and calendars during the season. But the smart marketer will send Thanksgiving cards that say” thanks for doing business with us this year!”

Make It Funny, Such As “Eat Some Pork, Or Eat Some Beef, And Leave The Birds Alone!”

 5.  The Keys to Any Advertising or Promotion Piece–there will always be:

  •  Headline-who else wants to find the perfect place for mom or dad?
  •  Offer-a trial period – 25% off the first month’s rent with a six-month contract.
  • Deadline-this offer expires…
  • Testimonial-put in a picture and testimonial quote from current very happy residents are clients.
  • The promo piece should be written with them in mind. Use the word YOU a lot, you means them.
  • Tell a story.

6. Use direct mail letters and postcards to the influencers and referrers. When was the last time you sent a personal letter to an RCFE, SNF, or assisted living facility administrator? Probably never. Make it what Dan Kennedy calls lumpy mail. Put a penny in it, with a headline like “HERE IS A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT…” You can use pennies, dollar bills, aspirin tablets in foil containers, etc.

I once did a letter survey for real estate client in Bakersfield, CA.  She wanted to know where her best advertising dollar was spent. We sent out a three-page survey to over 250 of her previous clients. We inserted a dollar bill asking them to use this for a cup of coffee (this was many years ago when the price of coffee was still a dollar). We received over 38% response, which showed most of her clients came from referrals through church or the Chamber of Commerce.

(At that point, she knew to stop the large ads in the Bakersfield California newspaper.)

7. Have Tracking Sheets For Every Promotion, Materials, And Marketing Strategies That You Use.

Force your assisted living and nursing home employees to fill them in regularly.

The key is to ask “where did you hear about us?”

Those employees who don’t ask the question on a regular basis get penalized. Those who do get bonuses. You figure out what these bonuses or penalties should be. After all, you are in business to convert the leads into residents or clients. How can you know what promotions are working if you don’t ask?

Finally, don’t forget about business cards for all employees. Make a contest to see who can give out the most. They should have them with them at all times: at the bank, in the grocery store, and other places.

(For further information or help, contact Reece Franklin at 909-841-0527 or email him at: Reece4Seniors@gmail.com


7 Mistakes Every Board and Care Makes

MISTAKE #1.  You’re in the wrong location.  You found a great deal on the house you want to convert to an RCFE.  It’s not far from where you live, so it’s convenient.  Or someone told you that was a great area, even though you live 45 miles from there.  Or any of the following:
·         Not close enough to hospitals, SNFs, and acute or Sub-acute, so they don’t want to refer their patients to you.
·         Too many other Board and Cares in a 5 mile radius around you.
·         Unsafe neighbor or the neighborhood has changed dramatically.  People no longer want their parents there.
While it may be impossible to relocate, and you cannot or will not sell and start over, there are marketing ways to overcome this big, big problem.  The system will show you how.
MISTAKE #2.  You do not understand who your customers really are.  Your residents are really not your core customers.  Oh, they’ll be living with you, and what they feel is vitally important.  BUT, you actually have a much stronger decision makers—the influencers—their boomer kids, the doctors and discharge planners, and the clergy and professional referral agencies who will help Mom and Dad make the final decision.  Did you realize this?  Probably not.
And it’s up to you to market to these simultaneous audiences with different marketing messages.
MISTAKE #3. You did not analyze your competition before or after you set up the facility.  This is a big mistake.  Let me give you an example:
I had a client two years ago who insisted on buying into a campus RCFE property in Orange County.  The owner had been there for 25 years.  She sold my client a big bill of goods that was no good!
A 21 bed facility was the agreement, and he paid tons for the right to become the eventual owner.  After he had taken the licensing test for administrator, he came to me.  I check the CCLD website immediately, and saw that there were over 42 other competing B and C’s in a 5 mile radius. When I asked how many he had visited to see what they did versus what he did, the answer shocked me!  Just three!
Needless to say, he is no longer in the business.
In my system, I give you all the forms, charts, and scripts you need to find out:
·         What your competitors are doing—their strengths AND their weaknesses.
·         What they say they are doing—could be different from above.
·         What their prices are—real vs. listed
·         How to get inside for a “looksee”
·         How to develop what makes you special or the USP.
·         And more.
MISTAKE #4.  Not enough time spent marketing. Let’s face it—most RCFE administrators know they must market, and market consistently.  Yet, there are crises all the time: this caregiver got sick, the other one quit, CCLD is on your case and you need to defend yourself, one patient is on hospice, another sent to the emergency room, your taxes are due… on and on and on til you scream “why did I get into this business?  I want to help people, and I barely find the time!”
·         2 HOURS PER DAY MINIMUM – using letters, blogs, email, newsletters, calls, scripts, etc.
·         4 HOURS PER WEEK IN VISITS to SNFs, Hospitals, etc.
·         YOU MUST HAVE A WRITTEN MARKETING PLAN AND SCHEDULE, with forms, letters, and templates so this stuff is taken care of like clockwork.  Once you use MY SYSTEM to set it up, it’s relatively easy.
MISTAKE #5.  Not enough understanding of how the Internet can help you market.
Most of my private consulting clients, when I ask them how they market on the web, say:  I have a website, but it doesn’t really work for me.  When I question if they use Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, and other social media, as well as the FREE internet directories that allow them to advertise for free, the answer is “Huh?”
So let me ask you:
·         Do they use email for marketing?  No.
·         Do they use Social Media?  No.
·         Do they have a blog with constant new content and articles?  No.
·         Do they have a static or active website?  No.
Well, here’s the reality folks.  YOUR COMPETITION DOES!
You know, it’s funny.  The State requires you to have a written assessment info form, and a written care plan.  I just wish they’d require Board and Cares to have a written marketing plan.  It would save a lot of grief.  Unfortunately, they do not.  So if a few B and C’s go belly up, they really don’t care, do they?
My success system will teach you all the different timings, strategies, and abilities you need to be successful, along with all the forms, templates, and sample letters, news releases, and other marketing tools you’ll need.
MISTAKE #7.  No Understanding of the Basic Marketing Tools needed for B and C’s.
How many of these do you have in a binder or folder, ready to use at a minutes notice:
·         Sales Letters to SNFs, Hospitals, etc.
·         Proposal for Referral letters to same
·         Letter sequence to elicit inquiries
·         Newsletter template
·         Phone messages script and voice mail script
·         Publicity event calendar
·         Press release templates
·         Yellow page ads for phone book
·         Ads for your local 5 mile radius newspaper
·         Open house schedule and planning forms
·         Workshop and seminar templates, forms, and schedules to show you as the expert in RCFE
·         Writing skills templates and lessons
·         Persuasive skills for making the sale
·         Speaking skills for the owner and the staff – scripts to practice