Finding Your Buyers
One of the most important things we do here at Mingl Marketing is to help businesses find their perfect customers. The first step in that process is getting to know your current customers, and also discovering who else could be a perfect customer, but might yet not know about you and your business offerings.
For example, one of our clients operates Life Care retirement communities. One of our first steps in our engagement was to get to know who their current customers were – by interviewing current residents, who lived in a variety of different types of homes on campus. We asked simple questions, getting to know each person, and finding out a bit about why they had decided this community was the best option for them.
Then we developed several different buyer personas, representing the “perfect” customer for each of the different home types. We started creating content that would specifically speak to the person who fit this generalized profile, and started to use it on the web and in email communications.
That was a great start, but one of the bigger challenges facing the community was that many people were waiting almost too long to join the community. Some people were moving into independent living, only to have to move into assisted living or higher levels of care within 6 months to a year. That meant these residents were missing out on the vibrant lifestyle, and building relationships with other residents that is a large part of what makes this community special.
We knew we needed to make a change- to start getting people to think about their retirement plans earlier. The community was already popular and had a long waiting list for larger homes, but they needed to have an equally robust list for smaller accommodations including apartments and studios. And we needed to get people to consider moving in sooner rather than later.
We needed to find more people interested in moving into small homes with greater availability- and we needed them to consider moving in sooner than they might have been planning to. That was going to require consistent messaging and education of our potential leads, and creating an urgency for everyone to join the waiting list as soon as possible, to ensure a home was ready for them when they were ready to move.
Designing Solutions Together
Our persona interviews were very helpful for designing the offers and events that would speak specifically to this new potential customer- one that was years younger than the previous target, and one that was much more sophisticated and facile with technology. We knew there were plenty of Baby Boomers who were communicating through email and social media, and we knew we would have to leverage both to get the results we sought.
The offers and events were designed to help people in their mid-50’s and older learn more about retirement options- and what would happen if they did not make a plan at all. In our persona development interviews, we discovered that many of the residents chose a retirement community for themselves because they had struggled helping care for their own parents and older relatives as they aged, and wanted something different for themselves. They didn’t want their children to face the same struggles.
The new events took a long-range view on planning- and were geared to get people to consider joining the wait list, so a home of their choice would likely be available when they were ready to retire. With supporting offers and email follow up, people attending both in-person and online events received additional education and information about the community. Over the past year, we found that 12% of people who attended this single targeted event took the step to put down money and reserve their spot for when they were finally ready to retire.
Getting people to plan for their future isn’t easy, nor is getting them to make a deposit on a “someday” purchase. But by creating the appropriate mix of messaging and information, we helped our client continue to grow their list, and find new residents while educating all of those engaged with useful information they can use, whether they decide to move to this community or not.
Mingl Believes in Partnerships
One of the things we pride ourselves in here at Mingl Marketing is working with our clients to help them better know their current customers- and their future ones as well. By focusing on the Buyer and their journey to becoming a customer, we’re better able to design offers, communications, advertising, video and digital content that will speak to your potential customers. People coming to your website will know that you understand them and their challenges, and where you can work together most effectively.