As I sat down to recap 2020, I thought back to last year and what a difference a year makes. 2019 was full of growth throughout our industry, our teams were expanding, and optimism was the theme of the day. We had no idea how our lives would be changed in just a few short months.
The COVID-19 pandemic took direct aim at the people we love and serve, and caregivers are still fighting as hard as ever to protect our loved ones.
This year brought on new challenges – personally and professionally – and created new terms and practices. I want to reflect on how 2020 has impacted Markentum, senior housing, and our outlook for 2021.
Impact of COVID-19 on Messaging
One of the most significant transformations Markentum had to make this year was messaging. Each of our digital marketing team members had to understand the message each of our partners wanted to share.
We implemented COVID-19 protocols and information on websites so that it could easily found by users. We became more aware of the imagery we were using in content and advertising efforts – focusing on individuals wearing masks; shifting themes from independence to safety. And on the written side, interjecting terms like “social distancing” and consistently highlighting the safety, cleaning, and health protocols each community continue to practice.
This challenged us to think differently to ensure we are staying relevant and sharing messages that matter.
Remote Work & Virtual Meetings
According to HubSpot, “The amount of people who work remotely at least once per week has grown by 400% since 2010.” The unique challenges of working from home are now apparent to a vast majority of businesses, but Markentum was fortunate to have a practice round - as well as being fortunate to work in an industry that can thrive, regardless of location.
Last October , we started having our teams work from home a few days a week, as well as opened an office in Colorado Springs. Little did we know this was a great trial run for 2020.
Culture is important to us at Markentum, so learning ways to connect as teams when not sharing the same office every day is still a challenge but finding new and fun ways to build our relationships will continue to be a learning experience.
Increase in Conversion Rates
As we start to review our digital marketing efforts for the year, despite the challenges, one bright spot we see in the data is that conversion rates have increased in 2020. The data shows that those who were searching for senior care options during this time were more committed to making a move and a decision than in the past. While we know that the pandemic directly impacted the senior housing audience, we also know that these services are crucial to families and older adults, and those users were still active online throughout this time.
My prediction is that we will continue to see an increase in leads and conversions as senior living communities will be the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine; further solidifying their safety and health benefits.
Outlook for 2021
As we look forward to 2021, we do so with cautious optimism. Vaccines are being introduced and should mean good news for the senior housing industry. Markentum is continuing to work with our partners on messaging for 2021, as this year has taught us the importance of being quick and agile with our digital marketing efforts.
So here we come 2021; we are driving fast but wearing our seat belts.