“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This quote is attributed to Peter Drucker, although there is a dispute about its attribution. I first heard it from Markentum CEO and my friend, Tom Hurlburt, many years ago.
At the time, we both worked in the new home construction industry that was going through the housing bubble burst and the Great Recession. As the homebuilders stopped building, revenue fell off a cliff. There were mass layoffs, and many companies closed for good.
We were eventually able to stop the bleeding and start growing again by reinventing ourselves. We expanded our product and service offerings. We widened our geographic footprint. But most importantly, we increased our focus on the data we were looking at.
- How we forecasted future revenue
- How we evaluated the profitability of completed jobs
- How we calculated our pricing structures
Senior housing is in a similar crisis with COVID-19 right now. Although I don’t like to compare the two events because of the toll of human life that COVID has taken, there are parallels on the business side. The most recent data available to senior housing leaders right now is a mixed bag. On one hand, we know that occupancy rates for assisted living are at an all-time low. On the other hand, the drop in occupancy in November  was the smallest it has been since the start of the pandemic.
So, is it good news or bad news?
Although there are undeniably tough times still ahead in the coming months, with the roll-out of the COVID vaccine, there is hope for optimism in 2021.
The demand and desire for quality senior housing is still there. The key is to be able to showcase what your organization is doing to care for and keep your residents safe. And to be able to communicate that out to your potential residents and their families as clearly and as effectively as possible.
But how do you know what is being effective?
The Power of Data
The other reason for optimism comes from the data we are seeing. Many operators have reported a 15-20% decrease in leads.
With a creative omnichannel approach to digital marketing, Markentum has been able to increase leads for our partners by 20% on average in 2020.
The other interesting statistic we are seeing is an increase in the quality of leads. In some cases, we have seen time spent on page increase by 130%. Bounce rates on our websites have decreased across the board. What does that tell us? It says that serious prospects for senior living are still out there. You may have fewer people visiting your websites, but the ones who are visiting are more interested in learning what you have to offer.
So, if we know there are still prospects out there for senior living, the question becomes, what are you doing to make sure they become YOUR future residents? One of the things we have heard repeatedly from the Senior Living C-Suite is that there will be winners and losers emerging from this fight against COVID. At first glance, that may read like the biggest operators will come out victorious, but I’m not certain that is the right takeaway.
I believe the operators that will emerge in the strongest positions are the ones who are most willing to step outside the status quo and explore new opportunities. We have already seen this with partnerships with insurance companies, home health companies, pharmacies, and much more.
Reach Your Audience Through Digital Marketing
But ultimately, to rebuild your census, you need to know and understand what your customers want. I am constantly surprised to speak with operators who don’t have or aren’t fully utilizing a Marketing Automation Platform or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Or are using traditional media like print advertising or billboards but have no idea which leads are coming from those sources.
Now more than ever, your customers are starting their buyer’s journey online.
- Where are they spending their time on your website?
- What are they downloading?
- What digital ads have the highest conversion rates?
- Which emails have the highest click-through rates?
These are a lot of questions, and it can seem overwhelming. But there is help. Talking with a senior living marketing agency. We live in this world every day. Spend your available resources wisely. Know what and when your prospects are looking for and focus your attention there.
The next wave of senior living residents is out there. How will you make sure they are finding YOU?
As a digital marketing agency, Markentum is always looking for new and innovative ways to add momentum to our partners' marketing efforts. As Vice President of Strategic Growth for Markentum, I encourage you to reach out to me to learn more about our services and how we can help your community grow in 2021.