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This question has been answered, and points have been awarded.
Help With Marketing Alzheimer's Care
Posted by Anonymous on
4/2/2013 at 3:00 PM ET
I am the Mkt Director for a premier assisted living facility which is all private pay - ranging from 3000 - 10000 a month depending on resident need. The building is comprised of 4 floors, one of which is a locked Alzheimer's/Dementia unit. All of the other floors are full except for this unit. The trend we are seeing is that family members are afraid to put their loved ones on this level even though they could benefit from the care given their. They do not view their loved one as having the disease "that bad." We have tried target marketing through print ads and various email campaigns and am at a loss as to what to try next. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
4/2/2013 at 3:34 PM
We have a disconnect here. The people who you are targeting do not think their loved ones as being as bad as needing a locked wing.
How does locking the Alzheimer's wing affect sales on the other floors? Would you lose more money by unlocking this wing because people would withdraw their loved ones? Would it be worth to have a sanctioned area for Alzheimer's patients rather than excluding the lot of them?
In the mean time - the key to getting new customers is to work out why your current customers choose you. Knowing this will allow you to work from your strengths, and provide your potential customers with the information they desire. After all, what's the point in taking all the time to discuss details of how to look after patients with someone who isn't going to sign up? Surely it's better to filter them out before they get to this stage where you spend real time and effort on them.
Your response and thoughts?
4/2/2013 at 4:01 PM
I'd focus your attention on the people who are contacting you, but perhaps not for the locked unit. While interviewing/meeting these families, the goal is to best match clients with facilities. If you're hearing they are "not that bad" - what is it you tell them? How do you evaluate the quality of care, quality of life, and quality of interaction. You need to overcome the stigma with a compelling story/message that showcases how it can be beneficial, with no perceived loss/stigma. You might want to start interviewing people that have put their loved ones in locked facilities - and find out why they chose this option, when, and their experiences (both positive & negative). Once you have done your homework, then you're in a better position to discuss the locked facility from many perspectives.
Peter (henna gaijin)
4/2/2013 at 4:01 PM
Can you change the perception of that wing? Maybe change the name so that it talks about the care provided for people with dementia without the negative impression of being called Alzheimer's/Dementia? Something simple like "memory specialty unit". The description can talk about how it focuses on provided the care needed for people who have memory issues at all levels.
4/2/2013 at 4:55 PM
... following up on Peter's input, I worked on a website for this segment. The client used the term/phrase, "Memory Care Program(s)".
4/2/2013 at 5:23 PM
You are getting some good input here. How do your prospective residents (and their families) learn about you and about the "memory unit" facility? How much do they know before you get to talk with them? You need to screen and prepare them for the option you're going to recommend. How do you know they are not right -- that the resident "is not that bad?"
You are facing the problem of filling the beds on the locked floor. Your clients/patients are looking for a facility that will meet their [perceived] needs. Maybe there's a win/win here, but maybe there isn't.
Is there a possibility of upgrading residents from the other floors to the "memory unit" floor? That would be a logical progression and a way to balance your needs with theirs.
4/3/2013 at 10:27 PM
The reality is you are selling 'the kids'. They (45-65) and may prefer hearing from their peers on how much better the family has become since mom/dad have joined the memory unit.
There is no marketing here, it is a need for comforting and only those who have taken that step can relate.
Blog? A weekly/monthly 'chat' gathering? Some manner of assuring those making this sensitive decision: a) it is right on for everyone b) All those families seem much more content and comfortable...
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