Why Digital Matters in Retirement Care Marketing
Historically, older adults and their families primarily found retirement residences through recommendations from friends, family, and healthcare professionals. Old school word-of-mouth was king. To supplement this, care operators focused on traditional media to get the word out about their residences and services. It was common to see newspaper/magazine advertisements, billboards, and even radio/tv commercials promoting local retirement residences and home care providers.
Over the last 20 years, media consumption has drastically changed amongst all generations of Canadians. Streaming services are creeping into the market share previously owned by television and digital media is eating away at the captive audience that newspapers and magazines once held. What does this mean for senior care operators who are evaluating what they need to do to ensure they are top of mind of older adults looking for support in the future?
A sharp marketer will be mindful of where their audience is spending their time and how they want to engage with companies offering products and services they are interested in. The audience, in our case, is older adults and their families. A recent study by AgingChoices in the US, highlighted that approximately 53% of care enquiries were from someone looking for care for themselves with the remainder shared between family members, friends, and advocates supporting an older adult. You may be surprised to learn that their preferred next step after an initial enquiry was to be emailed more information (41%) or to attend a virtual tour (22%). The majority of individuals looking for accommodation at a retirement residence or access to care services wanted to be engaged digitally!
What about the myth that older adults are hesitant to use technology or need help from their children or grandchildren to access it? Well, that may have held some truth 15 years ago, but not today. Recent statistics from Canada and the US show that 73% of seniors regularly use the internet. Statistics from Mintel, a global research firm, show that 97% of seniors have access to a desktop or laptop computer and 76% use digital platforms for things like e-commerce.
As for how people are using digital platforms, Benedict Evans, a technology thought leader who regularly presents to audiences of global technology leaders, in his 2021 outlook on technology, shared statistics showing fewer consumers are going on the internet to find the cheapest of something. They are going online with the intent of research to find the best of something. This leads to an obvious question, what can the senior living sector do to highlight their services as the best retirement residences or long term care homes in their regions?
Below, are a selection of tactics that all Senior Care operators should consider as they plan how they intend to engage with their residents of the future.
Cared Upon | How We Can Help You
Our team at Cared Upon is on a mission to improve the quality of life for older adults across Canada. We aim to fulfill that mission by ensuring that older adults and the families have access to all the information they need to make informed care decisions. As we become go-to resource for those searching for care, Cared Upon also becomes a wonderful channel for Care Providers and Operators to connect and communicate with their future prospective clients.