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Did the year go by as fast for everyone else as it did for me? It seems like yesterday we were all looking back at 2013 and forward to what changes or new learnings we would apply to our marketing plans and advertising in 2014.

So how did you do this year? Were you able to try something new or reach a new market? To help you meet your goals in 2015, the Creating Results team has put together a list of insights we feel could mean the difference in motivating Baby Boomers and seniors to purchase/act.

Over the next three posts I’ll share a total of 15 actionable ideas to apply to your 2015 programs, including insights from thought-leaders.

1. Relevant Content (Inbound) Marketing

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your prospect more intelligent.

Take a soft-sell approach, but provide enough information that the person on the other side doesn’t feel like they are being hounded by a sales team.

Inspiration: The uses content marketing to have conversations with people who are not yet sold on housing. They do so through a separate website called “My Silver Age” and through materials such as a magazine and PDF guides. Link to MySilverAge:

Segmented email - North Hill2. Segmentation

Do you enjoy getting presents in the mail? I know I do. Think of segmentation as sending a present to our prospect. You carefully choose what message or “gift” you want to send to your prospect. Your personalization makes the prospect feel as though you truly took the time to listen to them and understand their needs. This can be done in the form of direct mail or email.

Inspiration: North Hill, a CCRC in Needham, MA, uses this method when sending emails out on a monthly basis. People who have signed up to receive “Future Apartment Home” information only will receive only the Featured Floor Plan on a monthly basis.

3. Video Marketing

Video is becoming more and more prevalent and proving effective with seniors and Boomers.  It is an easy way to provide a quick and easy virtual tour of a community or to allow for residents or buyers to say how great your product is. This makes your message more authentic to older adults.

Videos don’t have to be a large and expensive production. They must be high enough quality to share on YouTube and your site. Be sure to include some branding, a benefit and a reason to respond.

Inspiration: Hybrid 55+/continuing care community Fairing Way incorporates video into email, social marketing and, yes, the website. Visitors who come to the site via YouTube stay longer than average and have a lower bounce rate.  Link to Fairing Way video:

4. Experiential Events

Prospects can tire of invites to countless sales meetings and luncheons, which inevitably means they will be shown the floor plans, pricing sheets and more. If you really want to get to the heart of what your prospects or future residents enjoy, host experiential events.

Action Step: Events can be anything your local area has available or what is accessible within your community. From book talks, to fine art displays, to cooking classes and meeting local celebrities – experiential events have been proven to drive a substantial amount of leads which then turn into sales.

RELATED: Download Creating Results’ white paper on Experiential Partnership Marketing, with three age-qualified housing case studies.

5. Call to Action (*WIIFM)

Most seniors and Boomers, when receiving a marketing message, ask “What’s In It For Me?” (aka WIIFM). When sending a message and trying to reach this group, you must provide them with a benefit.

This could be in the form of an offer, an incentive or it could be as simple as an invitation to an event. At every touch point there should be a strong call to action; on direct mail, in a print ad and on a landing page. And the benefit should directly relate to the message itself. Meaning if you are highlighting a resident of a community, then maybe the call-to-action or the “benefit” would be an invitation to meet that resident and tour the community.

Inspiration:  We appreciate the way Episcopal Retirement Homes features residents in a large image that directly relates to the download call-to-action – that download is about how residents are living well.

Episcopal Retirement Homes screen grab

Share your thoughts on this first wave of 2015 marketing plan insights below … and stay tuned in to this blog for more!

About The Author

Jessica Ruhle

As Client Services Director, she accepts the responsibility of meeting client goals fully and dives into projects head first. Jessica concentrates on New England continuing care retirement community clients, helping them build occupancy, drive leads and reduce marketing costs through an integrated marketing approach.