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Three Take-Aways from Senior Living Conference PEAK 2014

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Last week several members of the Creating Results team attended the LeadingAge PEAK Leadership Summit, held right in our backyard in Washington, DC. Sponsored by LeadingAge, an association of not-for-profit senior living organizations and aging services providers, PEAK brings together senior level members of communities to share new innovations taking place within their organizations.

I left the conference energized and wanted to share some of the key take-aways that can help you, as a senior living professional, advance your own mission and ensure you are creating an environment that is enticing for your target markets.

Key Senior Living Lessons Learned (and Applied)

The importance of innovation in keeping senior living communities and their services relevant and (most importantly) competitive was a common theme throughout PEAK 2014. As baby boomers enter retirement they are making their own rules on what senior living should be. Several sessions included real-world examples on how CCRCs (Continuing Care Retirement Communities) are preparing for baby boomers and differentiating themselves from the competition.

It’s important to ensure you are innovating for the right reasons and in a way that will appeal to your target market – not just for innovation sake.  Here are some key lessons and applications that were shared during the conference.

1. Forge new partnerships. Consider how to increase relevance, convenience and affordability by partnering with other aging service providers, hospitals, Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s), universities and local businesses.

* There is strength in numbers. Could a partnership increase your purchasing power and lower costs? Or, help you respond to changes in payment models?
* Be interesting NOT selly. Can a partnership with a college or business give your community an opportunity to have a conversation, or be helpful to your prospective residents?

2.  RepositioninSenior Living North Hill Community Rebrandingg and new offerings. Continuing Care at Home (CCAH) is one way to complement existing service options and reach those who cannot afford residency. This allows a CCRC to use their existing strengths to serve the greater community, while building awareness of their services.

*Lisa McCracken from Zeigler used North Hill (a CCRC in Needham, Mass., and a client of ours) as an example of how to make a positive change to your organization’s future in the market. Read a case study about how North Hill repositioned themselves.
*What’s in a name? Mather LifeWays is encouraging LeadingAge members to reconsider the term CCRC to appeal to the next generation of older adults. Senior living organizations can participate in their “NameStorm” – information and tools to facilitate ideas can be found here: http://bit.ly/1eFQ4Uy3.

3.  Innovation is not limited to IT, and it’s ok to start small. Sometimes the best innovations in senior living start small and grow. Caution: Avoid trying too much at once as your efforts may get diluted. Focus on a few key goals or changes you wish to accomplish and start there.

* One of the first areas that LeadingAge members have invested in when looking at IT is actually their marketing.  They’ve incorporated tools like Customer Relationship Databases (CRM) as well as enhanced programming of their websites.  Several speakers categorized these innovations as their largest.  Is this true in your organization?  Are you planning to invest in change here?
*When implementing IT changes, the biggest leadership challenge is often getting team members excited about and used to the new technology.
*Leading an organization past the resistance to change has been done successfully by getting everyone believing in the common vision. Find the champions – or super users – who will “Inspire and Connect to Transform” (in the words of Masonicare’s Kelly Papa).

The insights don’t stop here… Stay tuned for insights in a future blog post for how you can implement and lead change.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week: Senior Housing and Creative Inspiration

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Happy Monday!  Let’s jump right into the mature marketing news and insights from the past week that had people talking, clicking and sharing.  Have other senior marketing news to share?  Please be sure to post it in the comment section.

1. MOST CLICKED

A 2012 survey identifying real estate trends reported that senior housing was  “among the most attSenior Housing Trendsractive property types for new investments.”  The research was shared in a recent Senior Housing News article, and noted that 1/5 of survey respondents indicated they had current investments in senior housing properties.

The sector has, according to NIC, “consistently remained among the respondents’ five most attractive property types” for new investment.

This is of no surprise as more and more baby boomers come of age and begin to look for communities that offer maintenance free living and amenity packages.  For marketers, knowing senior housing continues to be a focus for developers and how to best distinguish your community from the increasing competition will be key.

Learn more about the findings here.

2. MOST SHARED

As marketers, we’ve seen great success in launching new brands or initiatives by creating experiences with the marketing. Several people shared (and were inspired by) an Advertising Age article that identified what they felt are 15 of the most memorable experiential marketing campaigns. While each of the examples they noted took very different approaches, one thing that ties them together is that they were unique and engaging.  From transforming local gas stations for the premier of “Dallas”, to staging senior year football games between rival schools 15 years after the fact to virtual balconies on a cruise ship, these campaigns definitely inspire.

What experiential marketing are you doing that is relevant to your brand and helps it stand out to the mature consumer in an authentic way?  We’d love to learn about successful campaigns – please share within the comment section below.

Read the full article here.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Senior Happiness and the Power of Twitter

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Happy Monday! Let’s jump right into the mature marketing stories that had people talking last week.  Have something to share or add?  Please note in the comments below.

1. MOST CLICKED

Using Tailored Audiences to Drive Relevancy in TwitterThere was a lot of interest in a recent article by Shift Communications, which shared ideas for how to effectively leverage Twitter’s Tailored Audiences functionality.  Tailored Audiences was launched by Twitter in December of 2013 as a way for marketers to use tracking cookies to target subscribers who had visited their website.

The article highlighted new features which allow brands to expand their reach, including using  email databases, to identify additional brand enthusiasts within the Twitter realm.  One such example provided was to create an audience using email addresses to promote exclusive offers/news through Twitter.  Because of increased relevancy among this segment you can more effectively encourage a desired action.

Privacy concerns among boomers and seniors is one thing to keep in mind when leveraging Tailored Audiences.  While using this as a part of an integrated marketing strategy can be effective, remember to include reminders that people are receiving offers and news because of their previously expressed interest in your brand.

Read the full article here.

2. MOST SHARED

What makes us happy changes as we get older.  This is the focus of a New York Times article and associated study that drew a lot of interest this past week.  At the heart of the study was understanding why interests and desires tend to change as we age.

According to the article:

For young people trying to figure out who they want to become, extraordinary experiences help establish personal identities and are therefore prized, said Amit Bhattacharjee, the lead author of the study and a visiting assistant professor of marketing at Dartmouth College. As people become more settled, ordinary experiences become central to a sense of self and therefore more valued.

The article goes on to note that for seniors, the feeling that time is limited causes an increased desire to focus on the things (and relationships) that are most meaningful. For mature marketing professionals, knowing that time with loved ones is highly valued can help when positioning the unique selling points of a brand or organization.  Learn more about the study here.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – Granny Tech Advisor and Boomer Financial Security

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Happy Monday and Happy Veterans Day.  We at Creating Results are grateful for the brave men and women who so selflessly serve and protect our freedoms – today (and everyday) we offer our thanks.  Now on to the mature marketing links of the week which had people talking, sharing and liking.  Have something else to share?  Please be sure to include in the comment section below.Granny Blogger

MOST SHARED: A Wall Street Journal article profiling Natalie Yellin, a 75-year old tech advisor for Square Inc. received a number of shares this past week.  This sweet story details what began as Yellin turning to Twitter as a way to reach her 30 year old grandson when he wasn’t returning her calls.  Her use of the social media platform had led to Yellin having a significant Twitter following and involvement in testing new releases for Square Inc.

Ms. Yellin, who was widowed a decade ago, adheres to a social-media routine. Upon arising, she seizes her iPad to begin trading good-morning messages to a group of about 50 people.

Ms. Yellin even receives social media love from senior members of the company, including Jack Dorsey who was a co-founder of Twitter before Square Inc.  This senior’s embrace of social media is a commentary on just how comfortable boomers and seniors are becoming with the medium… and a reminder that if you don’t call your grandmother she will find a way to track you down! Read the full article here.

MOST CLICKED: The University of Bristol in the UK recently shared findings regarding boomers and seniors financial satisfaction.  Interviewing boomers and seniors across 56 countries and 6 continents, the study found that the Swiss, followed by Norway, Sweden and Finland had the highest levels of satisfaction.  In the US 64% of participants reported being happy with their current financial situation.

“To put some of these results into context, the global average of financial satisfaction among younger individuals (aged 16-49) is 52 per cent, slightly lower than the figure for those aged 50 and above.  However, in Great Britain, there is a substantial and highly significant difference.  While 80 per cent of older Britons report being satisfied with their financial situation, only two-thirds (66 per cent) of those aged under 50 feel the same.”

Click here to learn more about the study.

eBook_SocialSilverSurfers2013.1.1.1SOCIAL, SILVER SURFERS: We appreciate the interest we’ve already seen in our Social, Silver Surfers eBook which was released this past week.  Our latest research picks up where we left off in 2010, examining Boomer and Senior preferences and insights for websites and social media.  Download your copy today and discover how you can make the most of  your digital marketing efforts to reach mature consumers.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week- Social Media Trends and Strategies

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Happy Monday!  It’s hard to believe another week has come and gone.  Here we showcase those mature marketing articles and news from the last week that had people talking.  Interest in posts regarding social media dominated, receiving many shares, comments and clicks.  We welcome (and encourage) your comments, so please share your 50+ marketing news in the comment section below.

Social Media TrendsMOST CLICKED: An oldie but goodie from Marketing Charts peeked interests last week.  The article examined usage among Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest users to determine the types of needs each channel is used for.  Overall, Pinterest users value the creativity opportunities provided, while Facebook users valued the ability to connect with friends and family and Twitter users liked seeing what their friends posted.

When asked if purchases were impacted by these platforms, participants gave low marks- with only 24% of Pinterest users, 11% of Facebook and 16% of Twitter indicating they made purchase decisions based on social networks, however all said that their networks did create influence by providing additional information about products and alerting to deals and steals.  The implication for marketers? Social media brand loyalists are important when helping to create and sustain awareness, even if an immediate action or purchase is not made, so be sure to engage them.

This report is aligned with what Creating Results has found through our Social Silver Surfer research when examining Boomer and Senior perceptions of social media networks.  Our survey discovered that social sharing tools are incredibly important to the mature consumer as is the ability to connect with friends.

MOST SHARED:  Michael Brito’s presentation regarding the digital ecosystem received a lot of shares this last week.  An article regarding his presentation was shared on Spiral 16 and shared Brito’s thoughts on the challenges of leveraging social media.  Tops among the challenges-  first and foremost the sheer volume of content consumers are exposed to each day.  The  importance of relevant content is critical to help consumers determine what content is most important. The solution?  According to Brito, an online marketing content strategy that tells a story and shares relevant, engaging content is critical.   Click here to discover more about how you can shape your digital content strategy.

WORTH REPEATING: What Count’s Who Needs SEO Anyway? (You Do) article shares a variety of search engine optimization best practices and provides great insights regarding keywords, images, links and more.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week- Twitter’s Future Plus Boomers and Cell Phones

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Happy Monday! Below you’ll find the top mature marketing news of the last week that had people talking, clicking and sharing.  Have insights to share that you don’t see here?  Please be sure to include in comments below.

MOST CLICKED:

Mark W. Schaefer’s article and shared podcast regarding Twitters future as the company looks to go public received a lot of clicks this past week. In the article Schaefer discusses how Twitter is morphing into a platform that they hope Wall Street will love and, in turn,  one its many users will continue to utilize.

It’s in the process of becoming a public company which will inevitably affect how they monetize, where they monetize, and perhaps even influence the type of content they are willing to allow on the site.

It’s an interesting topic and one that marketers will certainly be paying close attention to as they continue to determine the role Twitter plays in their integrated marketing plans and how users will absorb its content.  If you have time I’d encourage you to listen to the associated podcast that examines how (and why) Twitter can be used for sharing content.  As for leveraging Twitter to reach boomers…our Social Silver Surfer research has found that this is a platform boomers and beyond aren’t necessarily flocking to, but it is important to consider when developing your content marketing plan.

MOST SHARED:

Cell Phone UsageA graphic from Mashable outlining who uses cellphones and how had many hitting retweet this past week.  Based on recent findings by Pew Internet, this chart examines cell phone usage by age in categories ranging from getting directions to downloading apps.  According to Pew, 91% of Americans own a cell phone and use if for much more than just making phone calls.  Those age 50-64 are using primarily for sending and receiving text messages (75% of responses) and email.  65 plusers are also primarily using  for sending/receiving messages though at a significantly lower rate (only 35% reporting use).

The implications for those marketing to the mature consumer?  Think about the content you are creating and how it will be viewed.  In a day when more and more people are accessing information in a variety of avenues from PCs to smart phones your message needs to be properly conveyed to make the desired action easy to complete.

At 20, Creating Results is Looking Back and Looking Forward

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Creating Results is celebrating an exciting anniversary — our 20th! Yes, two decades ago this strategic marketing agency was founded.creating-results-anniversary-strip

We’ve changed a bit on our journey to the big 2-0. When the lovely Judy Harff first launched this ship, it was a boutique design firm called “A Bolder Image.” When the talented Todd Harff joined her a few years later, they re-christened it to “Creating Results.”

The new name was a reflection of what Judy had been doing for years. It was a promise of what the agency would focus on in the future.

Creating Results … It’s who we are, it’s what we do!

We hope what you’ll do today is take a few moments to celebrate with us.

Please check out our special 20th Anniversary web page, www.CreatingResults.com/anniversary. We take a look back at the history of our strategic marketing agency, share some of the work done in those early years, and offer a fun look at the world in 1993.

It has been a journey. Todd and Judy charted a course that would take Creating Results from boutique design shop to national leader in marketing to baby boomers and seniors. They are fantastic captains, as the notes of congratulations on the anniversary page attest.

This helps explain why the average tenure of a Creating Results team member is 9 years.

Sailor Employee #1, Karen Pitts Baugher put it this way in a Facebook post: “Proud to be the first employee of a wonderful company and have the opportunity to work with such a terrific team of committed and caring individuals!”

I know I speak for the entire crew when I say we are grateful to all who  have helped us in the first 20 years. We look forward to collaborating with more of you in the next 20.

Find out more / join the party at www.CreatingResults.com/anniversary.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – 8/12

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Happy Monday!  Let’s get right to exploring the top mature marketing tweets and articles of the week.  Have something to share?  Please note in the comments below.

Most Clicked

Far and away the most clicked post touched on what companies should do when their consumers share rather than buy. The slideshare piece from Jeremiah Owyang was based on his presentation “The Collaborative Economy” and explored how social sharing allows users to share items rather than purchase from brands directly and how businesses can embrace this trend and still succeed within a collaborative economy. For brands who market to Boomers and Seniors, the need to effectively position your unique selling propositions online to encourage action is more critical than ever, as more and more mature consumers utilize the web and social media to gain insights into brands.

Owyang attributed the trend toward sharing to 3 factors and noted that in order for brands to survive they had to change their way of thinking about each element:

  1. Societal
  2. Economic
  3. Technology

View the entire presentation here.

Most Shared

Cindy MayCindy May Marketing’s recent blog post uncovering ways you can adjust your marketing to appeal to female boomers received a lot of interest this past week.  The article chronicles the history of advertising traditionally targeting men as decision-makers (even for laundry detergent as the article notes).

 Now we’ve certainly come a long way in the advertising world since then with the softer more inclusive messages like DOVE’s Real Role Models Campaign and ACTIVA’s yogurt for your health message.  But the truth is, even more feminine marketing needs to be incorporated.

According to the article, there are 5 things you can do to adjust your marketing messaging and connect with the female buyer, including noting if your company supports a charity and using action words to grab attention.  Want to learn more ways to maximize your marketing efforts- view the full article here.

Worth Repeating

UntitledThe Pew Research Internet and American Life Project recently released new statistics regarding social media use by age group.  According to the report, 72% of online boomers and seniors are using social networking sites.  Learn how you can apply this new marketing knowledge and our own 2013 Social Silver Surfer research on our recent blog post.

 

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – 7/1

Monday, July 1st, 2013

It’s hard to believe that it’s already July.  This week we celebrate our nation’s independence- I hope that you have a wonderful 4th of July celebration.  Now on to the celebration of those mature marketing articles of note from the last week that received the most buzz.  Have something to add?  Please be sure to leave a comment below.

Most Clicked:
MTV released a new study examining the differences within the Millennial cohort, specifically examining the key ways that the younger end of the Millennial spectrum differs from their older counterparts.

The article examines a few key items that impacted this group- the younger Millennial surviving the recession of the last several years and the older Millennials who experienced more of an economic boom.  It also focused on the differences in comfort level with technology and social media that these two groups have, finding that more than half of the younger Millennials like to take a break from technology when able. According to the article,

Millennials are the biggest generation in history, and to stay at the forefront of youth culture, we need to deeply understand the rising tide – who will soon be our core audience and new employees,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “This study clearly shows that Millennials cannot be viewed as a monolithic bloc.  We are especially impressed to see how Millennial teens are resiliently and optimistically responding to adversity and preparing to win in the game of life.”

Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/10ujo9m

Most Shared:
MP9004387551An article in Spin Sucks about tips for taking photos generated a number of views and shares last week.  The article chronicled a conference session which spoke about the benefit of utilizing your own photography to accompany content.  The author included several best practices to consider for your photography which you can read within the article here http://bit.ly/1b1IDUQ.  Some key points I thought were important to keep in mind included:

  • The main focus of your photo should be in one of the thirds of the screen (avoid centered images).
  • White space is your friend.
  • Lighting is important

Creating Results’ Photo Finish survey examines how to effectively choose marketing images that specifically motivate mature consumers. Download the survey and learn how you can invest less money and see more results with the right images.  Click here to download the free eBook.

Worth Repeating:
advertising mediumsA recent survey found that TV is the top advertising medium for reaching affluent adults.  The report, highlighted within Marketing Charts, was conducted by Shullman Research Center and examined a variety of advertising channels to determine which were viewed as most effective and which had the greatest reach. 71% of all adults listed TV as their top medium with magazines and websites trailing close behind. The mix of avenues is a key reason we recommend an integrated marketing approach so you can ensure your message is being filtered through all of those avenues that your target market is utilizing.  Click here to read the full article.

Mature Marketing Links of the Week – 6/3

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

We’re back with the mature marketing posts, tweets and articles about boomers and beyond that generated the most buzz and interest.  Don’t see your most memorable senior marketing post in this list? Please be sure to share in the comments below.

Most Shared

NPR’s recent article Boomer Housemates Have More Fun generated a lot of buzz this past week.  The article chronicles the growing number of single boomers who are forming “group houses” as a way to stay connected with like-minded individuals and share the financial requirements of housing.

“We know that … about a third of baby boomers are single,” says Kelly. “But we also know that there’s a large percentage of those that are in their 50s and 60s [who] are getting divorced, and so we’re going to have more single individuals in the future. We just haven’t seen this before.”

Compared to a house shared in college, these boomers are finding the future brighter when they have roommates to engage with and share a healthy lifestyle.  Click here to read the full article.

Most ClickedHealthiest States for 50+

New England was ranked as some of the healthiest states for boomers and seniors.  The report, conducted by America’s Health Rankings, placed Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts as the second, third and fourth healthiest states respectfully. The survey looked at a variety of factors including obesity, smoking, diabetes and inactivity. Number 1 state for healthiest seniors?  Minnesota.  The survey attributed this ranking in-part to a high percentage of volunteerism (according to the article, the second highest rate in the U.S.). Click here to discover how your state ranks.

Honorable Mention

While not mature marketing specific, an infographic detailing how several retailers navigated recent social media crises, including Burger King when their Twitter account was hacked, received a numberBurger King Social Media Infographic of clicks this past week.  The chart detailed  the immediate responses to the issues, what you can do to avoid similar problems and how marketers (when they have a plan in place) can benefit from these events.

RELATED: Check out our 10 Practical PR Tips for Real Estate Community Developers to learn how you can make the most out of your PR program.


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