Providers need to consistently make sure their brands are top of mind within target markets, writes Gill Walker.

The critical need for aged care doesn’t go away over pandemics or during recessions.

Development of a clear, concise marketing strategy ensures that providers are best placed and top of mind when your prospects have a requirement for aged care services.

Conducting an media audit is an excellent place to start as it provides a blueprint for future marketing strategies, and gives key stakeholders such as board members the confidence and assurance that marketing spends are well justified.

An audience media audit should cover the following:

Gill Walker
  • setting marketing and advertising objectives
  • competitive environment
  • define audiences highlighting your hottest prospects
  • delve into who the audience is including but not limited to their values
  • geographic location
  • hobbies and interests
  • media consumption habits
  • potential media channels
  • marketing campaign/ROI measurement.

Let’s look into some of these elements in more detail.

Is your audience hiding in plain sight?

How can you accurately identify where the majority of your target market is coming from?  A good place to start is Google Analytics, which can uncover sources of traffic to your website. For example, is it organic search or a specific aged care directory listing driving the majority of the traffic to your site?

Analytics can also indicate the demographic profile of website visitors. From these sources and experience we know there are two distinct decision makers in the aged care journey. The first is predominately female, aged 45-64 years and the daughter or daughter-in-law of the person requiring care. The second group is people aged 80+ who are usually the partner/carer of a prospective aged care resident.

Sample media consumption only, not the one cited in the article. Source: Evergreen Advertising & Marketing

Unsurprisingly, dual target markets consume media differently. For example, females 45-64 are heavier digital consumers with 67 per cent having used social media in the past week versus only 23 per cent of people aged 80+ years.

Conversely people 80+ years are 20 per cent more likely to have watched commercial TV on a normal evening than women 45-64 years who are 10 per cent more likely than the population (Roy Morgan, March 2020). 

Engaging robust data such as the Roy Morgan database to validate media consumption patterns of your target market drives efficiency into your marketing campaigns and avoids wastage.

Define your prospect’s marketing journey

To maximise your marketing investment spend time accurately mapping out the aged care marketing journey and what channels best support each stage in this process. Take into account the target market’s media consumption habits as per the below example. You can do this yourself or engage experts to do this for you.

Source: Aged care conversion funnel – Evergreen Advertising & Marketing 2020

The closure of many local print titles nationally will affect many future aged care marketing campaigns. This is less of an issue for the younger female target market as they are accessing much of their information online. However for the older 80+carer consider targeted, profiled letterbox campaigns as a replacement for local area marketing.

Track and learn

Tracking successes or failures are crucial for future campaigns in order to make them more effective and cost efficient. There are many different ways to track marketing and advertising campaigns, which range from simple to more complex.

A couple of simple and inexpensive examples include attaching conversion tracking tags to all digital advertising formats to track source of website traffic.

For traditional channels you can set up unique phone numbers for each marketing channel so you can easily identify where the source of enquiry is coming from. Then you can compare the cost of that channel against the number of calls or website visits, which in turn reveals the efficiency of that channel. Once again, this can be done internally or relatively inexpensively via a third-party specialist.

It is still a great time to advertise. Rates remain very competitive due to a softened market, and audience numbers online and TV are still strong as people spend more time at home. However, take the time to conduct an audit first to ensure you have a thorough understanding of your target market and the competitive environment.

Gill Walker is managing director of Evergreen Advertising & Marketing.

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