Given what a monumental choice it is to select a senior living home, it is not likely that a potential resident or his or her family will make that selection based on seeing a digital ad, although such an ad can be a valuable touch point in a march larger tapestry of marketing interactions. Therefore, it is critical that genuine human relationships, rather than numbers and results, serve as the foundation of any senior living operator’s marketing strategy.

Nurture marketing is the key to forging fruitful relationships with prospective residents and families. This can be achieved with a healthy arsenal of marketing collateral. But are you investing in the right collateral, or are your investments diversified? How do you know you are allocating your budget to the development of the right collateral assets? Learn from the choices of fellow senior living marketers, and consider their actions as you design your new marketing collateral strategy.

“Because collateral plays an important role in marketing, it can give people some sense of security and trustworthiness,” said a Big Buzz survey respondent.

Big Buzz’s proprietary data provided a clearer look into the most popular varieties of marketing collateral employed by your peers in senior living. The five most common responses:

  • 54% said their organization always uses brochures.
  • 43% said their organization always uses mission, vision and values handouts.
  • 37% said their organization always uses social media posts.
  • 36% said their organization always uses community calendars.
  • 32% said their organization always uses business cards.

Take a moment to consider whether your organization is using these types of marketing collateral. To ensure that your organization can make the most out of those forms of collateral, we explore each in a bit more depth in an e-book.

Budgeting for marketing collateral

The creation of marketing collateral requires an initial degree of investment, and some senior living marketers may be unsure of just where to put their money, or how much. A few noteworthy findings from our data:

  • 65% of your peers allocate 25% to 50% of their marketing budget to marketing collateral.
  • 27% allocated more than 50%.
  • Not a single respondent indicated that their organization did not allocate a part of their budget to collateral.

With those figures in mind, you may be getting a better picture of how much to dedicate to marketing collateral and how it can pay off. Those broad strokes are only a starting point, however. It is imperative that your organization spends its budget wisely, focuses on the collateral that generates a return on its investment and invests in the collateral that performs best with your audience. In the full e-book, we offer a few pointers on making sure your budget is put to the best use.

A collection of consistent, branded, data-backed marketing collateral is indispensable in your organization’s mission to reach ambitious revenue goals. As one survey respondent put it, “It helps you market in any medium, to [your ideal] audience, at all stages of the funnel.” In an era of digital marketing noise and oversaturation, one that demands a renewed focus on continued interpersonal relationships, what could be better than that?

Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is CEO of the Big Buzz senior living marketing agency and the author of the book Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results.“ Big Buzz has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale for more than 15 years. In addition to being published in McKnight’s Senior Living, she has been a regular contributor to Forbes and has been quoted in the Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune. The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 3,000 attendees, including at Argentum and various LeadingAge chapter meetings.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living guest column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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