It’s hard to imagine members of the “Woodstock generation” moving into senior living communities for a life of quiet reflection punctuated by the occasional game of 4 p.m. shuffleboard. That’s one reason why these communities are undergoing a significant transformation. Today’s older generation have new priorities — and your senior living marketing needs to keep pace if you want to remain competitive.
The “silver tsunami” of aging Baby Boomers has helped redefine the senior living experience. Much as modern workplaces are working overtime to integrate Millennials and members of Generation Z, senior living communities must also align their offerings (and their marketing) with the needs and wants of the Baby Boomer demographic.
With that in mind, we’re sharing three secrets for successful senior living marketing.
1. Target changing priorities
We often hear how Millennials prize walkable neighborhoods when buying real estate. What we don’t hear quite so often is how seniors desire the same thing. Walkability consistently ranks near the top of desired traits in senior communities, according to surveys.
Why is walkability so important? Because today’s seniors are living longer and staying healthier. This means they stay much healthier than past generations and want to remain active. Walkability and other desired features (such as low crime and access to public transit) should be stressed whenever possible in senior living marketing.
2. Market to the whole family
The decision to move into a new living community is a significant one. As such, it’s often a family affair. Adult children may exert a strong influence on the decisions seniors make (or even make that decision for them).
This means that it’s important for marketing to target both seniors and their adult children. These groups may have slightly different perspectives on the process. Seniors will naturally be focused on the amenities and culture of the community, as they will be the ones living there. Adult children, on the other hand, will likely want lots of information about the reputation of the facility, financial arrangements, transitional issues etc.
A smart senior living marketing campaign takes both perspectives into consideration.
3. Breakthrough the clichés
Think for a moment about your typical senior living marketing campaign — you’re probably visualizing a well-dressed older couple walking, playing games or feeding ducks while elevator music trills in the background.
That may have worked for previous generations, but after experiencing the counterculture of the 1960s Baby Boomers aren’t likely to be impressed. Instead, show real images of community life accompanied by cutting-edge marketing techniques. Produce a behind the scenes video; use social media platforms; incorporate augmented reality, live video or gamification.
If you think the new generation of seniors are too out of touch with technology to respond to this approach, think again. Although this demographic is less digitally connected than younger groups, the size of that gap is shrinking fast.
Think of it like this: The cultural gulf between a 60-year-old and a 20-year-old was enormous a few generations ago. Today, that gulf is but a slight crack in many cases — and this should inform how you market to seniors.
Today’s seniors have a new set of priorities and have redefined notions of what the “golden years” should entail. In short, they want to be active, connected and be a part of the conversation. They don’t want the senior living experience their parents had.
By following the ideas outlined above, your senior living marketing campaign will in tune with those new ideas — and more successful as a result.
Contact our marketing team today to get your campaigns fine-tuned for the right audiences.