In Clear Focus: Episode 2

Marketing for Multifamily, Student Housing, and Senior Living Developments

In this week’s episode of In Clear Focus, Bigeye account manager Matt Cummings shares his observations about the importance of marketing in the multifamily, student housing, and senior living development and management industry. Matt discusses hot topics in multifamily development and identifies trends that are reshaping the industry.

In Clear Focus: Marketing for Multifamily, Student Housing, and Senior Living Developments by In Clear Focus

In this week’s episode of In Clear Focus, Bigeye account manager Matt Cummings shares his observations about the importance of marketing in the multifamily, student housing, and senior living development and management industry. Matt discusses hot topics in multifamily development and identifies trends that are reshaping the industry.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant:     You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS: A unique perspective on the business of advertising. Produced by Bigeye. I’m your host, Adrian Tennant, VP of insights at Bigeye. For those of you who don’t know us, Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. We’re based in Orlando, Florida, but serve clients across the United States and beyond, providing audience research, branding, creative, media and analytics services. Thank you for choosing to spend time with us today. For this episode, it’s my pleasure to be joined by Matt Cummings, Bigeye’s account manager dedicated to guiding engagements with the agency’s clients in multifamily, active adult, student living, and co-living community development and management. Matt is the newest member of the Bigeye team but was previously our client as regional marketing manager for Greystar Real Estate Partners, here in Orlando. At Greystar, Matt was responsible for business development, brand development, client relationship management, and acting as the project manager for all marketing-related efforts for regionally-managed assets. Welcome to IN CLEAR FOCUS, Matt.

Matt Cummings:      Thank you.

Adrian Tennant:     So can you tell us something about what initially attracted you to Bigeye when you were a client?

Matt Cummings:      Absolutely. Well, when I worked with Bigeye as a client in my previous role, I was always incredibly impressed with their team and the level of work that they had produced for my projects. I saw that passion and collaboration among team members and those are just two qualities that I would strive for internally with my teams. I really enjoyed my conversations with Justin and hearing of his vision for Bigeye’s expansion in the property development industry. And I always felt that I had to be right there with him to assist and make it happen. But aside from that, I’m also honored just to work with such a creative and fresh group of professionals. The team here is definitely full of talent and I just can’t wait to learn from everyone as we take this journey together.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s great. Well, now you’ve been on the Bigeye team for a little while, what’s been the most surprising thing about working on the agency side as opposed to being the client?

Matt Cummings:      Well, I can tell you that I have a newfound appreciation for agencies and the level of detail and work that goes into every project and decision making, the amount of collaboration that I’ve been a part of has been refreshing. And just being able to listen to different perspectives and also weigh in on decisions has been really exciting for me. I guess I just never really fully understood or appreciated the work that goes on behind the scenes when I was a client. But being here it truly opens my eyes to what we do here.

Adrian Tennant:     So what does your role as account manager at Bigeye look like? Describe a day in the life, if you will.

Matt Cummings:      Well, my role is pretty unique here. It does allow for increased ability to focus on bringing in new business and introducing my multifamily and student living colleagues to an agency that speaks their language. But I also get to work on our active projects that are in progress and just shadow the different teams within the agency to understand what they do to help me get the deliverables that we’re working towards for our clients. I can honestly say that I haven’t had a routine day just yet. But a constant has been starting my day with our full team production meeting, which is really fun to see everyone and hear what they’re working on and then immediately filling up my coffee mug to get my day started.

Adrian Tennant:     So what do you think are some of the most common challenges facing clients in the multifamily development and management space right now?

Matt Cummings:      Well with marketing, I would say that developers and management companies have different expectations and requests when working with agencies like Bigeye but there is a bit of an overlap. So usually with developers, they tend to work on their projects years in advance and they have a wealth of knowledge of their communities long before they even come to fruition. But finding a true creative partner to help bring this information to a brand identity and then tell the story of the community is a challenge simply because there aren’t a lot of agencies in my experience that understand what this type of work truly is. And with management companies, they’re just looking for someone who understands how to take a brand identity, make it tangible, and usually cost-effective so that they can effectively lease up their communities. And usually, it’s as quick as possible. But for both groups, there is a layer of thinking outside of the box that everyone strives for. Since the rental industry tends to be highly competitive with many options for prospects to choose from, they just want to know how to differentiate their product and honestly just be the most profitable in the process.

Adrian Tennant:     How do you think a multifamily marketing agency such as Bigeye can be of most help?

Matt Cummings:      While the fact that Bigeye already has an extensive portfolio of property-related projects and experience working with management companies and developers in the past – that allows for more of a productive collaboration from the get-go. As a client, it’s certainly made my job easier when we were able to skip the educational part of the apartment industry for each project and just move right into deliverables and discovery. They just got it. And, I think with my addition to the team and the experience that I bring, I can help our current and new clients get it even more.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s great. So how does your approach to marketing student housing developments differ from apartment marketing?

Matt Cummings:      Well, with student housing it’s a bit of a different trick. Usually, they’re focused on events. I’m really focused on what we can do with the university, what we can do with a college, honestly tying in that school spirit to show that we’re one of them, or at least we try to be. And focusing on the organizations they are part of, and it’s really just being relatable. I think with newer renters and college, universities, and off-campus housing, they don’t want to be sold to. So you have to truly just help them understand what type of lifestyle you’re selling to them, without it coming across as selling.

Adrian Tennant:     You said reflecting the college spirit. Are we talking branding that reflects the sports teams and colors and all of that?

Matt Cummings:      All the above. Yeah. We have to show them that we’re a part of every team that they have, whether it’s football or chess.

Adrian Tennant:     Nice – nice one. How do you approach marketing for a senior living community?

Matt Cummings:      That one, it’s a bit trickier. It’s a lot of similar approaches, but just different execution. We’re not going to focus on school spirit here, but we are going to focus on their care and showing that we’re not here to just lease them an apartment but here to show them what the lifestyle would be living here and that we’re here to take care of them. I’m really just selling the convenience of living in an apartment community and all that we offer them. Typically with active adults, they tend to previously have owned homes and they’re looking to downsize or maybe save some money and just find somewhere that is convenient, comfortable and it gives them an opportunity to live their life now. A lot of times, we see that they’re retired, so they just want to be able to relax and enjoy everything that they have to offer. But they also look for a lot of guidance. They want to understand what the process is for renting from an apartment community. Typically they haven’t had to do it before or they haven’t had to do it for a long time. So the lifespan of someone renting an apartment community in active adult is typically a lot longer than someone in multifamily. So it’s just showing that we’re there to help them, we’re there to show you what the lifestyle would be and that we’re going to take care of them when they move in.

Adrian Tennant:     Right. So what kind of assets are we talking about, to communicate that message?

Matt Cummings:      A very easy-to-use website. Very convenient office hours. So finding the time to come to the office and explain everything in person with them. And marketing materials do help with that. We do find that they like to have paper in front of them and like to make notes. So being able to provide them with those, those assets to do so. And a lot of resident event inspired collateral. So showing them that we do have, you know, a night where they can come and meet their neighbors or something, some sort of craft activity, anything holiday-inspired. They do love that, so just developing materials that speak to that.

Adrian Tennant:     The way you described it, it’s not sounding so different from the student housing! I like that. Alright. So tell me a little bit about your process for assessing the marketing requirements for a new property development. And for the sake of this conversation, let’s talk about apartments.

Matt Cummings:      Well, every development, they have a similar structure. But typically what I would want to know is the story behind the decision of how they even decided to develop there, why they decided to develop the asset they are and just what their short and long-term goals are. Every developer has a different strategy for their investment or the community they’re building, so it’s really important to know that from the get-go. But typically they’ve already done extensive research, so being able to discuss their findings and understand audience and marketing opportunities is usually very beneficial. From there, everything else just comes into play. We’d like to understand who the management company is and develop a strong rapport with them to ensure that we’re not only providing them with everything they need, but helping them execute on those deliverables, and make sure that their team has everything they need to effectively lease the community up.

Adrian Tennant:     Okay. How do you keep up with trends in multifamily marketing?

Matt Cummings:     Well, everyone says that the multifamily industry is essentially one giant family. And I’m here to tell you it’s true and that’s the best way to keep up. Honestly, I just, I keep in touch with all the friends I’ve made, all the colleagues, the mentors that I’ve had since I’ve started in this industry and just understanding what they’re doing, what they’re working on, what they’re hearing is the hottest trend. There’s always a story to share and there’s always a topic to talk about, but I would say if you put us in a room together, we can probably go on for hours and hours. And from there you just learn. But aside from that, I do try to stay active with our local apartment association. So here in Orlando, it’s the AAGO, the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando. I do try to attend any industry-related conferences across the country just to hear from different experts, leadership executives in this space and what they’re working on. And then I usually do try to meet with the local reps. There’s local account reps with ILSs, just to hear what they’re seeing for rent growth, occupancy shifts, new development pipelines, and it’s really crazy what information you can get from those reports and understand what type of marketing strategies you need for communities, knowing what the market looks like.

Adrian Tennant:     Now a little bit of industry jargon just crept into that explanation. Help me understand, Matt – an I-L-S?

Matt Cummings:      Internet Listing Service. So basically, when a prospect is looking for an apartment or when someone’s looking for an apartment, they start their search usually on Google and that will lead them to usually paid advertisements, websites, and apartment locators. So, think of like apartments.com or apartmentguide.com, Zillow. Those are some common ILS’s that prospects would look to, to find information. It basically just streamlines all the apartments that are in their query or in their search results and it gives them options to choose from. And it basically helps them just develop a short list that they can go and work off of when they’re touring properties. When you know there’s 50 to 100 properties per market. So usually the account reps that work for those ILS’s, have a lot of really good information and good data that we can look at and understand and just develop good conversation from.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s interesting. So, they are a source of information, potentially referrals for you. Do you see any differences generationally in the ways that people navigate the search process online? Are there any differences or do we all pretty much use the internet in the same way at this point?

Matt Cummings:      No, I think there’s definitely a strong differential between how people use the internet and what they prefer. A lot of folks that are maybe in an older generation, they will prefer to call or set up an appointment and have more of an in person meeting to understand what you’re providing them, go through all their questions they have and see things in person. We find that a lot of newer renters don’t like that. It’s actually the complete opposite. So there are folks out there that are trying to find the easiest ways for a prospect to tour their property without even talking to somebody. So really it comes down to what you think your audience will look like or what the audience will be. And then tailoring every decision making around that. So it could be a more enhanced website or 3D tours on your website or just having more Q&A information for folks that typically would have more questions when they’re searching for an apartment and just tailoring it to make it as easy as possible for them.

Adrian Tennant:     That’s so interesting. Research we’ve done into Generation Z and their habits regarding banking, we found that the majority of Gen Z actually don’t want to have a phone call with anybody; they’re much more interested in using a chat or a chat bot, to get their questions answered. So it seems like it’s the same in your world.

Matt Cummings:      Oh yeah, for sure. I mean a lot of websites now, especially in student living, have chat features integrated with their website so they can ask all the questions they want. Typically it’s either a very responsive bot feature or it’s someone on the other side that’s actually answering the questions. Texting is really big as well. Being able to text the property to set up an appointment or just text the property and ask them what their availability is for one-bedroom is a huge feature as well. Actually, it’s interesting because a lot of questions typically get asked through social media as well. They know there’s a website, but they want to hear from individuals or from people on-site what their questions are and they want to be able to have that conversation through Facebook, Instagram, whatever they use.

Adrian Tennant:     And I’m guessing a lot of this interaction takes place outside of regular office hours.

Matt Cummings:      Oh yeah. Nine, 10 o’clock at night. They’re getting messages on Facebook and they expect a response pretty quickly.

Adrian Tennant:     Okay – always on call. Alright, so you mentioned attending conferences, conventions, keeping up to date with the latest trends. What’s like a super hot topic in the world of apartment marketing right now?

Matt Cummings:      Well, I would say that all multifamily related topics are hot and I’m sure a lot of people would agree with that as well. But joking aside, I would say biggest focus topics within the industry are centered around the discovery journey for prospects, so going from their search journey all the way up until the day they move in, understanding what folks look for, how to make that as easy as possible and just focusing on the user experience. Another big topic is anything tech-inspired. Again, focusing on that, that journey, but also tech-inspired features and amenities in the apartments, at the community -anything they can use while living there to make it more interactive, more of an interactive experience for living there. And then finally I would say identifying resident preferences, but then taking it a step further, leveraging that information to ensure that each of our communities has a high retention rate. A big focus is not only getting residents to decide they want to live in an apartment community but keeping them there, engaging them and making them feel like this is a home they want for a long period of time rather than thinking of it as a short-term rental option. That’s always been a hot topic for any management company, I think.

Adrian Tennant:     So what companies in the industry do you most admire, and why?

Matt Cummings:      Well, you’d be surprised with how many companies actually work in the multifamily student industries. There are a lot, but, I do find all of them to be incredibly beneficial for all of the different resources they provide. And I would say a management company also finds it vital that they use their company options as well. But there’s a few that I’ve really enjoyed working with in the past. Engrain is a hot company out there right now. They’re actually based in Denver. They develop a lot of interactive sitemap tools for the website and for the online leasing and in-office displays. I’ve worked with them in the past, on the management side, and they’ve always been incredibly beneficial to work with and they’re always looking for how they can take their services and, and go one step beyond and working with managing companies to develop that partnership. So I really enjoy working with them. And then honestly I’d like to mention Benson Integrated Marketing. They have been really an incredible partner for a lot of the signage side of marketing- print needs, promo items. They’re pretty popular in the multifamily space and student living space. So, they know what they’re doing and they really truly focused on multifamily, so that helps them build better conversations with the multifamily management folks. And they also just, I think get it.

Adrian Tennant:     So there’s something else I want to explore: this was new to me, the idea of co-living spaces. Is this like co-working spaces?

Matt Cummings:      It’s a little different. Think of adult student dorms where oftentimes the spaces might be a little smaller. They are a little bit less expensive and then you’re sharing some common space. So there could be larger living rooms that everyone kind of gathers in or does work in, shared kitchen sometimes. And oftentimes they’ll be fully-furnished so that all they have to do is get their keys and move in. So that’s really, really cool. It’s a new concept. I think it’s still pretty new to a lot of markets, but it’s coming and it’s a great option for more urban cities that are just losing real estate. They have to go vertical or figure out a new way to use the space. And, co-living apartments is definitely a way of the future, I think.

Adrian Tennant:     Right. You heard it here first.

Matt Cummings:      Yeah, that’s right – here at Bigeye!

Adrian Tennant:     Marvelous. So let’s change gears a bit. Tell us about your background, Matt. How did you get to where you are today?

Matt Cummings:      Well I started as an unpaid marketing intern as a college student. I had to go through the process of finding an apartment for myself and I was touring student living communities and I thought, “Man, this is a pretty cool job. Like they get to sit here and tour students and make friends and hopefully they get a discount on rent too.” So that’s kind of where I started my journey. I actually went to USF in Tampa. So, “Go Bulls,” for anyone that’s listening. But then from there I just, I found a real interest in it, I graduated from USF with my marketing degree and I worked my way up as a leasing manager. I was a property manager for a very short time, realized that I wasn’t a big fan of that. And then I eventually grew and started traveling with different companies, more of a regional marketing sales trainer type of role. And then landed at Greystar and multifamily, working on a lot of new developments, business proposals for marketing, marketing strategies, budgets. And here I am today, eight years later.

Adrian Tennant:     As you know, at Bigeye, we have a great internship program. We’re actually joined by a couple of interns in the studio today. So, thinking about them, what advice would you like to give to our interns if they are interested in a career in agency account management?

Matt Cummings:      I would say if you’re focused on what I’m focused on and that’s multifamily and student living, just working in the apartment industry, I guess, or any business really, this kind of works both ways is thinking like an owner. That was advice that was given to me, well into my career of working in the apartment industry. And it really changes your perception of how you make decisions. It’s really easy just to give away the farm or to make things as affordable as possible. But when you start to understand that from a business perspective and understand how that can affect your bottom line or your decision making or the brand of whatever you’re trying to sell or what you’re trying to lease, it certainly makes your brain think a different way. Um, so that’d be my first advice. Honestly, just getting involved in any type of project management, uh, related jobs that you can get in is really helpful. This is a very, very busy agency to work in or I guess an industry to work in. So being able to effectively communicate, being able to effectively keep organized all of your projects. Um, and then just asking a lot of questions even though it may not pertain to you, ask why, ask how, and, understand what makes things work. I think that’s, that’s definitely very helpful to understand.

Adrian Tennant:     Now you mentioned that we are a very busy agency – yes, we are! What is one common myth about working in advertising – now that you’ve been here for a while – that you think needs to be debunked?

Matt Cummings:      Well I would say before I worked at Bigeye or before I worked in the apartment industry, whenever I would hear the words, “advertising agency,” I would automatically think of one of those classified ads you’d see in a newspaper or think of a billboard. Those are true, but it goes way beyond that. And it’s funny because when people ask me now, “What do you do?” or “What does Bigeye do”, it’s like, well, how much time do you have? Because our capabilities deck is just incredible. It’s hard to really focus on everything that we provide and just call it an advertising agency, creative agency, whatever you want to call it. But I would say that beyond what everyone thinks or beyond any myth that might be out there, we work as true partners. And I think from day one, we’re already acting as, kind of an investment into your brand or to your company or whatever it is you’re trying to work on. And that we go beyond, I think hopefully we go beyond any expectations they have.

Adrian Tennant:     Now, are you a listener to podcasts or music?

Matt Cummings:      I’m definitely more of a music listener. It calms me. I have a very active brain – there’s always something going on up there. So music helps me focus for sure. In the morning, during work, and the evening before I go to bed, I’m always listening to something.

Adrian Tennant:     Okay. What’s on your playlist?

Matt Cummings:      Right now it’s a lot of Dave Matthews band. I really like Lizzo as well. It gets me ready in the morning. And every so often I’ll listen to Ellie Goulding just to calm me down.

Adrian Tennant:     Great. Okay. So I saved the best question to last: what does having a CLEAR FOCUS mean to you?

Matt Cummings:      Well, that is a great question. For me personally, I have a clear focus when I understand goals and objectives from the get-go. Like at Bigeye, I would like to think of myself as audience-focused. So I really enjoy having a common goal to work towards and then having the ability to refer to it throughout the progress of a project just to keep everything and everyone aligned. I think when you refer back to that goal and you refer back to why we’re here in the first place, it makes it a lot easier to get through a project and it makes it, it keeps everyone in the same flow I would say. So if they see it and I see it, then to me that’s having a clear focus.

Adrian Tennant:     Great answer, Matt. It’s been a real pleasure. Thank you. Thank you to our guest, Matt Cummings, account manager at Bigeye. You’ve been listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business advertising, produced by Bigeye. If you have questions about the content of today’s show, please contact us at info@bigeyeagency.com. You’ll also find a transcript of today’s show on our website at bigeyeagency.com. I’m Adrian Tennant. Thank you for listening. Until next time, goodbye.

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Senior Living Communities Connect with Baby Boomers Through Digital

A senior living marketing agency can assist you in the battle of understanding your audience to enhance one of the largest assets of your marketing plan.

The Baby Boomers created the counterculture — and our modern conception of youth culture along with it. One of the generation’s biggest bands, The Who, memorably sang the line “I hope I die before I get old.”
Yet age comes for us all. Though many Baby Boomers may hate to admit it, they are squarely in their Golden Years — and many of them are now exploring senior living, often with the help of their Gen X children.

So how do senior living facilities market to the demographic that invented youth culture? Certainly not the way they marketed to the parents of Boomers, a generation with vastly different lived experiences. Partnering with the right senior living marketing agency can help brands meet this challenge, and craft a marketing plan designed to resonate with the Woodstock generation.

Why Baby Boomers view senior living through a different prism

There are two reasons why senior living communities need to recalibrate their digital marketing efforts for Baby Boomers. First, this generation has a much different conception of retirement and aging. The notion of 40 years, a gold watch and a quiet life playing shuffleboard hold no attraction. Baby Boomers don’t believe they are “old” in the same way their parents’ generation was — even if the calendar says otherwise.

The second reason: This self-conception is backed up by a profoundly important trend. Thanks to advances in medicine and a cultural shift toward health and wellness, people are not only living longer but staying youthful and vibrant even into their later years. In 1980, a 70-year-old was often prematurely aged by a lifetime of red meat, smoking, drinking, and minimal exercise. Today’s 70-year-old is often well-preserved by a healthy lifestyle supported by advances in modern medicine.

How senior living communities can reach this demographic

In order to effectively market senior living communities, it’s important to keep a few important ideas in mind:

  • Despite the popular misconception, Baby Boomers are not anti-technology, afraid of technology or hopelessly inept when using technology. Baby Boomers invented the Internet and the World Wide Web; they outspend millennials almost two to one on online purchases.
  • Baby Boomers spend 27 hours each week online. Roughly 82% of them have at least one social media account. In other words, they are a perfect audience for digital marketing and social media marketing.
  • Baby Boomers seeking to make an informed decision about which senior community to choose will typically turn to social media reviews and testimonial videos to get their search process started.
  • When designing a marketing campaign, senior living marketing agencies should help you stress the elements that appeal to Baby Boomers. Recreational facilities, onsite enrichment classes, yoga, culinary offerings, group excursions, property amenities — all of these things should play a central role in any digital campaign. Baby Boomers want vibrant, healthy, stimulating communities and marketing messages should reflect this.
  • Baby Boomers and their Gen X children want to make the most informed decisions possible about senior living. One of the best ways to approach this is through social media storytelling. Have existing residents tell their own stories about living onsite and share these across all social channels.
  • Make sure you have accessible health data: Rate of falls, hospital readmission rates, etc. Prospective clients will ask for it.

Finding the right digital marketing agency

In order to connect with Baby Boomers, you need to choose the right senior living marketing agency — one that has demonstrated expertise marketing within this niche.

Our team has the digital tools — and the expertise — to help you appeal to Baby Boomers. Contact us today to learn what a creatively compelling digital marketing campaign can do for you.

3 Ways to Boost Occupancy Rate Using Property Management Marketing

Good property management marketing can bring ideal tenants to your properties easily and effectively. Instead of competing on price or square footage, a well placed ad from a media buying agency or curated social media posts can bring your community, neighborhood, and units to life.
Help prospective tenants discover and choose your property with three of the best kept secrets every multi-family marketing and property management firm needs to start using today.

1. Invest in a responsive, mobile-friendly site

According to GogoDigital, 98% of renters use mobile devices on a weekly basis to power their apartment search. Of them, nearly half said they would opt out of a property or unit if the site didn’t work effectively on their cell phone or tablet. Work with a digital marketing agency like BIGEYE to ensure your website works across devices and creates a seamless experience between all your channels such as social media, advertising, and email.

This simple update lets prospective renters know you operate a trustworthy, modern business. This is especially important as more and more renters expect to conduct the leasing process online using virtual signing tools to execute their leases and 360 digital tours to screen properties and make their final decisions.

2. Content is king and search engine optimization is queen

The best property management marketing site in the world needs to be search-friendly in order for your business to thrive. Prospective residents often start their apartment hunt on search engines, either to discover and explore properties, or to find companies that can assist with the leasing process.

Understanding what your specific goals are (think: promoting your property managed community versus offering a white-glove realtor service) will help you create engaging content that catches prospective residents’ attention and boosts your ranking in Google and other search engines.

3. Demonstrate your authenticity through social media and community engagement

Put words into action by reinforcing the values your property management marketing efforts are promoting by creating an authentic social media presence and participating in community events that are aligned to your ideal residents’ needs.

As an example, if your brand focuses on LEED certification and eco-conscious buildings, you may want to co-sponsor a beach clean up near your property to demonstrate your commitment and make like-minded individuals aware of your units. If you aren’t sure where to start, a local, top Florida advertising agency can point you in the right direction to build partnerships and activate events via social media.

Learn more about how our team at BIGEYE has helped single- and multi-family marketing managers like you succeed in today’s digital landscape by contacting us today.

Nursing home marketing & print ads go hand-in-hand

If we were to tell you that print ads go hand in hand with nursing home marketing, you might be tempted to reach for a joke about the slow decline of the print industry and aging clients’ reticence to adopt new marketing technology. It’s true that print ads do perfectly complement and support nursing home marketing … but not for the reasons you might think.

Print ads deliver tangibility and credibility:

When making an important and difficult decision, like where to spend your golden years, marketing bravado is the last thing you need to complicate the process. While print ads may not prove the presence of your expected level of service or desired facilities, there is something to be said for holding a tangible, high-quality brochure in your hands to validate a brand’s image. High-quality print marketing materials suggest that the brand is willing to invest in its clients and has enough liquidity to produce expensive assets. Regardless of whether these assumptions are always true or not, print ads do lend an air of credibility to your marketing efforts by providing something potential clients can take home, hold, review, and consider. Marketing psychology has proved time and again that the weight and finish of paper used in marketing collateral can have a profound influence on the perception of a brand. Possibly for this reason, direct mail boasts a three-time better response rate than email according to the Harvard Business Review. We’ll take those odds.

Printed nursing home marketing materials appeal to young decision makers:

It is also important to realize the decision makers choosing (and financing) nursing home contracts are not always the future residents themselves. As the Baby Boomers continue retiring and aging, their children will slowly shift from care-receivers to caretakers. More than 50% of Generation X and Y view magazine and newspaper print ads in favorable light, compared to their staggeringly low 10 – 20% favorability toward digital PPC and banner ads, according to a study by Kantar Millard Brown. To digital natives, a good website is an expectation — a print ad or brochure goes above and beyond. For this group of decision makers, digital advertising is simply an annoyance standing between them and the content they want; whereas well placed print assets can serve as true supporting and educational material.

Print ads drive action:

So, what’s the bottom line? In our hyper-digital world, we are sometimes shocked by the reality that few channels drive action better than direct mail print ads. Close to 80% of consumers will act on direct mail immediately according to the CMO Council. Still in doubt? Email marketing only delivers a 45% immediate action rate. Choosing a nursing home is a deeply personal and sometimes sensitive decision, so any channel than can inspire immediate action is beneficial to the customer and the service center itself.

Print ads still signal service, and with that, we can’t think of a tool better suited to support nursing home marketing needs. When considering how to maximize your marketing spend as a care and service provider, always assess how and where print ads fit into your marketing mix. No matter what technology emerges, print will always have a place in the middle of the marketing funnel when consumers seek education and deep information about a brand. For examples of how we have used print to support brands like yours, read more about our services or contact us to talk directly with a member of our creative team.

And the Oscar goes to… Cinema ads for multi-family properties

The average movie theater has approximately 200 to 300 seats filled with local residents, business owners, and future tenants, making it prime real estate (pun intended) to kick off a unique property marketing campaign. Cinema advertising, or the local advertisements that run before a movie screening, are a powerful way to increase exposure for your multi-family property without needing to do a ton of work. Movie theaters bring the community together in the same way a census or sample group might, making them an ideal place to test and target potential customer personas and tenant personalities. Here’s why:

1. Cinema advertising is hyper-local: In most cases, people attending movie theaters live, work, shop, and play near by. With the exception of specialty theater experiences, such as mega-IMAX theaters or novelty concepts such as CineBistory, most theaters attract customers who live within a 15-30 mile radius of their location. If not less. If your goal is to expose potential residents to your multi-family property, you can literally handpick the neighborhood you want to target by advertising in theaters nearby that location or in neighborhoods with similar, complementary socioeconomic compositions.

2. Location, location, location: If your multi-family property is near the theater you’re advertising in, you also have the opportunity to showcase the local amenities of that area. Most movie theaters are near malls, shopping plazas, and walking promenades, serving as an anchor for local stores and restaurants. Appealing to potential residents may start with your property itself … but your building is supported by the amenities, walkability, and comfort of the neighborhood itself. Use your cinema advertising to highlight the experience they are already enjoying and how you fit into that pleasant moment and future memories.

3. Cinema advertising is more customizable than you think: The average consumer tends to self-select into neighborhoods and locations that fit their lifestyle, which is why carefully placed cinema advertising can make your property marketing can feel personal, even in a crowded movie theater. Even though your ad may not appeal to every person in the theater, you can make fairly informed assumptions about your target audience based on the location of the theater, type of experience the establishment offers, ticket price point, and movie selection itself. Don’t be afraid to get specific in your ads. The more targeted your messaging, the more likely it is that your audience will remember the ad and act on it later.

4. There’s nothing quite like a captive audience: We hate to say it, but cinema advertising is impactful in part because audiences can’t escape the repetition of and exposure to these ads. Even with the prevalence of smartphones and digital devices in the theater, pre-movie footage and advertising is somewhat inescapable for the average movie goer. Cinema advertising gives you the opportunity to drive your message home without investing tons of money in local television and radio ads, and as more and more people switch to streaming music options and cable-free television providers, understanding and adopting these opportunities will be an important part of local advertisers’ success.

Let us help you understand how your property marketing plan might benefit from cinema advertising today. We’ll work with you to tailor your budget against your desired exposure, ideal tenant, and other marketing initiatives to find the perfect balance of budget, local partnerships, and creative content to take your multi-family property marketing to the next level. Click here to learn more about our services and case studies on how we’ve helped local businesses like you in the past. Then contact us to see how we can help you, too.

3 tips to improve your nursing home content marketing

It’s easier than ever before to find reviews, read about patient experiences, and shop for nursing homes. The market is changing, so your content marketing strategy should also. Digital natives are accustomed to having information at their fingertips and immersing themselves with a brand in the digital environment before making a choice. Because choosing a nursing home hinges on both practical and emotional variables, content is an important part of this information loop to educate potential customers about your facilities and build an emotional connection to your site. Accurate, engaging, and up-to-date content can make or break your ability to relate with today’s decision makers.
Consumers often cite “convenience” and “trust” as primary considerations when choosing health care (alongside cost, of course). As a marketer, you may not have control over your facilities’ prices, but you can make it easier for prospective clients to find information, reach out for assistance, and begin building an open, earnest relationship.

The heart of this data suggests customers are looking for two things: ease and reassurance. Content marketing can give them both. 

     1. Don’t be afraid to ask

Improve your content marketing strategy by asking customers what information they need and how easy it is for them to find what they are looking for on your site. Simple web survey tools such as Qualaroo can help you do this on your own, or work with a digital marketing agency to complete a full audit. These results will inform what content is missing (or whether the content you do have is lost or misplaced). Before you start focusing on the bells and whistles such as testimonials or social media, nail the basics.

      2. Empower your customers

Many nursing homes try to increase engagement with their prospective clients by limiting information such as pricing, insurance information, or onboarding processes on their websites. This forces prospective customers to call and engage in a person-to-person information (read: sales) call. Younger generations simply don’t participate in the consumer journey the same way their predecessors did and this can be a huge barrier when they are researching healthcare providers. Whether it’s in the form of periodic informational webinars, newsletters, or transparent online, it’s important to empower your customers to find the information they need up front. All content should be built with the express goal of helping your customers accomplish something on their own, not to drive them into the administrative office. This improves trust, strengthens your relationship with your clients, and helps them feel confident in your nursing home.

      3. Encourage customers to be cheerleaders

Sharing your story with a nursing home can be a very emotional experience. But no content is more engaging and more authentic than real testimonials. Use customer-generated content as the most valuable asset on your site, across your social platforms, and during the customer lifecycle. This content is more than three times likely to generate engagement and shares than anything your marketing department might create, so start identifying your best customers today and encourage them to share their stories.

For more ideas on how to improve your nursing home content marketing strategy, click here to learn more about how our agency has partnered with other healthcare professionals. We’re happy to help tailor an experience to your facility’s unique niche and customer needs.