With a laser-focus on marketing and communication for senior living communities since our company’s inception, we’ve assisted client communities in various stages of development and sales—from launch to repositioning and on-going leasing.
Our boutique approach and hands-on expertise allow us to provide you with a wide range of diversified services. We are positioned to handle a variety of responsibilities and assist you in many different capacities. Choose from our “buffet menu” of services or get our full, turnkey package and take the guesswork away. Our strength lies in delivering exceptional service that’s personalized to your company’s mission.
With our marketing expertise, we offer services that bring the customer to your door.
We look at marketing as an umbrella with the ribs being the various contributing components:
- thorough marketing research
- the formulation of a marketing plan
- thoughtful, targeted advertising
- internet initiatives
- sales oversight
- public relations
- event planning, and
- management of direct mail and social media
Research methodology may include competitive shops, in-person and by-phone mystery shops, plus interviews with community resources and referral sources. Focus groups with residents and families gather opinions regarding the community’s customer service, level of satisfaction and suggestions for areas of improvement.
We fully understand the correlation between marketing and sales and our experience guides us in developing a strategic marketing plan/budget that integrates sales conversions as a key component. We work hard in developing marketing tactics that
- Positions the community for long-term success as well as
- Increases the sales funnel for qualified leads.
Our thorough marketing assessments allow us to closely analyze communities across the country. Any weaknesses this exposes can be turned around to become opportunities for forging stronger customer relationships.
This way, we can generate critiques of your website, social media pages, advertising, brochure collateral, and prospect correspondence, including any additional collateral used for customer outreach, such as direct mail, newsletters and activity calendars.
We are constantly amazed at how little some sales people do in order to build relationships or discover the real motivating factors which drive a prospective resident to choose one community over another. With this exposure to sales people, both effective and inept, we can build a foundation on best (and worst) practices for working with older adults.
Telephone Mystery Shops allow us to review competitors and critique a client-community’s own team. Clients use mystery shops to update competitors’ pricing, services, incentives, and availability, while telephone mystery shops of your community are an excellent way to help your teams to determine what training is needed to improve their skills. This may include both daytime and after-hours calls and you receive an evaluation form, audio file and optional transcription of the call.
Trained shoppers pose as adult children to learn what a community may say about a competitor while updating pricing, services, incentives, and availability. When combined with sales training, in-person mystery shops can help your teams improve their selling skills. You receive an evaluation form and full summary.
This type of interaction can help you understand the buyer’s mindset, which can help your team attract more residents as well as decrease move-outs of dissatisfied customers.
Focus group research can be used in determining the public acceptance of a new community as along with its concept and design. Used in new community launches, it can help generate initial interest and leads. Later as a community matures, focus groups can track customer service issues and gather insights for developing solutions.
The Ehlers Group also offers turnkey service for this strategy, arranging all venues, catering, as well as recruiting participants. As a certified focus group facilitator from the Riva Institute, Janis Ehlers is an experienced moderator and has personally conducted many insightful focus groups.
We work with you to identify notable community features, newsworthy stories about events and residents of interest. Credible third-parties include local TV outlets and newspapers. Needless to say, the results of TV coverage or an article are priceless and have a much greater impact than traditional advertising. Often, public relations content is combined with Facebook and blogs allowing your community to become its own source of news.
Our public relations services compliment senior living communities’ events and may be used to garner media attention. We understand what may attract the media and coordinate all the details required in securing news coverage.
During the course of any event, we interface with many current and future residents. This increases our understanding of the decision-making process and the motivating factors behind choosing a senior community as a place to live.
The Ehlers Group understands the value of special events—big and small—in creating relationships with today’s customers. Those who are considering a senior community seek opportunities for entertainment and education in a less threatening environment than that found in the sales office. Events provide such opportunities and are a key ingredient to any marketing plan as part of the public relations efforts for your community. Events can be for lead generation, lead conversion and other benefits. The Ehlers Group offers turnkey services, including the booking of speakers, direct-mail invitations and full event management.
A Facebook page offers senior communities many substantial benefits. It’s a low-cost marketing strategy that gives your community its personality and offers an effective way to highlight staff, events, activities, residents, and any aspect that is likely to attract other Facebook users and create interest in a senior living community.
The Ehlers Group understands the value of engaging content and the importance of consistency. We take the burden off of your community by taking advantage of targeted Facebook advertising to raise community awareness.
Whether you realize it or not, your community has great stories to tell, and where brochures or website copy leave off, a well-written blog can be the key to successful outreach. Blogs keep your website fresh and give potential customers an incentive to return to your community’s website. When linked to your community’s Facebook post, blogging reinforces critical messages and keeps your community visible. The right blogging strategy separates you from the competition. The Ehlers Group offers content experts who will write your community’s blogs utilizing metatags and keywords, adding an additional dimension to your website and social media culture.
We plan a series of podcasts that will be available on your community’s website with a variety of speakers that potential residents and their adult children will find of interest. Creating a podcast for your community not only enhances your marketing platform, but it can provide an authentic voice to your brand that can be used on a variety of media platforms to keep your current residents informed and entertained, while attracting new prospects. Podcasts allow listeners (and decision-makers) to get to know your community on a personal level. Podcasts are professionally produced and we will show you how creating a podcast for your community will set you apart from the competition and drive more traffic to your sales team.
“Campaign in a Box”
If you have a branded image, positioning and messaging you are happy with, we build from there. We take your pre-set goals, direction and budget, and create all or most of the following, as needed:
- Brochures (various formats)
- Advertising—print, broadcast, direct mail/email, digital, transit
- Social Media pages
We provide you with a menu and you choose what works for you. You may find something you haven’t thought of. We then create and present you with mock-ups. Once finalized and approved, we turn over all the fully-produced files. Everything is ready to print, place or post…and we’ll help you with that if you need it. There is a one-time, pre-approved, all-inclusive price with files delivered in the timeframe specified. A typical time period is 45-90 days, depending on the scope. Variables can include video and other broadcast content and we can provide a quote for the cost of shooting still or video images, purchasing stock footage or photography and the printing of brochures on request.
“Branding in a Box”
If you do not have a brand image, positioning, or messaging you are happy with, we can create what is needed to position your community in the public eye. For an all-inclusive set price, delivered in the agreed-upon time frame, we create the following:
- Logo & Graphic Identity package
- Brand Attributes & Standards
- Brand Messaging & Positioning
- Creative Platform