Case Study: Digital Marketing Before, During, and After a Crisis
When a retirement community client of ours heard about COVID-19 hitting a nursing home in Seattle, the staff knew it was only a matter of time before the crisis reached the East Coast.
At first, the problem was on the other side of the country. But, they wanted to be prepared before the crisis hit their own continuing care retirement community, or CCRC, in Southeastern PA — not to mention their affiliates and their parent company.
As case numbers rose and the crisis gained national prominence, our client made keeping staff and residents safe the top priority.
By early 2020, the CCRC had been working with us for about two years. They’d seen a steady increase in sales over that time.
Now, this community needed their marketing and communications to address the current situation while preparing for an uncertain future.
In this case study, we’ll see how this retirement community and Mingl Marketing quickly and radically shifted their marketing efforts to communicate internally while still looking ahead to attracting new potential residents in the years to come.
Problem: Communicate the steps the community was taking to keep everyone healthy in a positive way, and also to reassure anyone considering moving to the community that retirement communities are still a great option.
Solution: Create content and communication that met the needs of current residents and potential residents with accurate factual information, and make sure everyone knows that the Community’s first concern was for health and safety, always.
Internet Marketing for a Continuing Care Retirement Community
As a CCRC, this client provides every level of care from independent living through assisted living and skilled nursing. Seniors love the fact that they can move in when they’re still active and also know all their needs will be met as they grow older.
So, as the staff put new safety measures in place, they also reached out to us, their digital marketing team. Our job was to help make sure everyone knew how to stay safe — and how the staff was determined to keep them that way.
Working together, we addressed the unprecedented pandemic by:
- Coordinating With Local Officials
- Producing Internal and External Video Messages
- Adjusting Automated Emails and Marketing Content
Over the past two years, this CCRC has gotten to know their best customers very well. We’ve helped them refine their database, create compelling offers, expand email outreach, and publish appealing videos.
That put them in position to use those same tools to communicate internally while still reaching out to potential residents still years down the road from their move-in dates.
Coordinating With Local Officials
Our first step was coordinating with local officials to help the CCRC do their part to reduce the potential spread of the virus within the community.
With open lines of reliable communication, the retirement community can quickly let officials know of any problems within the community while also getting the most accurate updates quickly.
Meanwhile, one of the retirement community’s campuses is a polling location. (Of course, it is!)
With upcoming primaries and later the general election, we needed to ensure every resident could vote — and also that others from the surrounding township could do the same.
Coming up with alternatives to the traditional polling system would reduce that potential spread. After a few calls with the commissioners, the community decided to encourage residents to vote by mail, and the polling places were relocated off-campus.
Next, the retirement community wanted to speak directly to the residents and their loved ones.
They needed to know what was going on, and they needed to hear it directly from the person in charge.
Zoom meetings were an option for some, but the CEO really wanted to ensure maximum access and transparency of messaging, so videos on their YouTube channel kept residents, family, the surrounding community of Kennett Township and future residents provided the most effective channel of communication.
We sent out a minimal video crew to record messages to the community from the CEO. This initial video was so well received, the community has now taken this to the next level.
Now, the staff shoots videos internally — minimizing how many people come on to the campus — and sends the RAW video to us to edit and improve for publication.
While the quality and sound is not as fine-tuned as we are able to produce with a standard production crew, it’s still much better than simple iPhone footage.
And, it keeps high-quality messages going out frequently while reducing expenses.
Adjusting Emails and Marketing Content
As our client deals with the day-to-day challenges and sudden changes that come with managing a retirement community during a global health emergency, they’re relying on Mingl to help them secure their future, too.
Our regular marketing efforts include communicating with current and future prospects through email newsletters and drip email marketing strategies.
Now, rather than a full sales pitch, we’re creating content that emphasizes virtual tours, long-term financial planning, and getting to know the local area through alternative curated content.
We have been thrilled with the response so far, and have received kudos from the CEO of the parent corporation as well.
By tracking our efforts using HubSpot marketing software, we know who’s opening and clicking emails and calls-to-action.
We use that knowledge to create smarter emails and more compelling offers for potential leads.
Right now, those tools are especially important: We can see what resonates during the pandemic and what doesn’t. And, we can adjust the messaging accordingly.
And, as always, the retirement community’s sales team sees when a prospect is searching for new information thanks to the software. So, the team knows when someone may need a friendly call to help them in the decision-making process.
Successful Marketing Before, During, and After a Pandemic
During the pandemic, our client works through the day-to-day of managing a vulnerable community. With the right marketing, they’re communicating with that community and providing reassurance all the time.
At the same time, this retirement community also speaks to potential customers with truthful, compelling messages. So, as they look forward to the end of this crisis, they’re also eager to see what happens with leads once things settle down.
If you need a marketing team that can generate leads during the best of times while quickly shifting and adapting during the worst, call or email Mingl Marketing to see how we can help.