If you are a Marketing Director of a senior living community, you probably work a lot of hours. But is all your hard work making a difference in the overall success of your community?
Stop and ask yourself: Do you lack support for your marketing efforts? Do you have difficulty being recognized as a critical member of the senior management team?
Everyone in the senior living provider business understands that operations are critical. Obviously, in the caregivers business, you must provide great care. But how about marketing’s work? Isn’t this also a vital element in the success of the senior living community?
Facility ownership/management must empower their marketing staff to make decisions and provide the resources to be successful. And why not? The return on investment (ROI) in assisted living is pretty good…in most cases the new revenue per move according to Steve Schmidt of Marketing With Care, is more than $30,000/yr.
Authority does not come to the marketing professional until they can show their CEO that they have a management mindset, a marketing philosophy and a work ethic that they believe in. They must prove they have a strategy, plan and systems that will get a good return on their time and talent, and on the owner’s money.
This points to the Marketing Director being able to think strategically about the business, and particularly about the strategic marketing of the community.
There are 7 questions that Marketing Directors can ask their CEO, that will demonstrate that they are in tune with marketing ROI metrics:
1. Does the community have growth goals? In order to have marketing drive the growth, there needs to be a measurable growth goal in mind to calibrate the level of marketing required.
2. Are their growth goals written down? This will ensure that the goals are specific and that some commitment has been made to benchmark progress towards achieving the goal.
3. How do they plan to achieve this growth? This forces the growth goal to be viewed realistically because it addresses the strategies and tactics that will be used to accomplish the growth.
4. By when do they need to achieve this growth? This question addresses the reality of the timing and any sense of urgency of when the marketing actions should occur.
5. What happens if they don’t achieve this growth? This puts the marketing activity into proper focus and calibrates it’s relative importance compared to other operational issues.
6. How much can the CEO afford to invest to achieve this growth? Marketing should be viewed as an investment, rather than a cost. The anticipated return on investment should be explored and discussed relative to other budget considerations as part of the marketing investment decision.
7. What can the Marketing Director do to actually help? Beyond simply executing the marketing tactic, what else can the Marketing Director do to contribute additional value to the issues the CEO must address?
Talented Marketing Directors need to make the transition from “doing’ to ‘thinking.” You will need to engage in a more strategic mindset that enables you to stay focused on what’s really important, clarify the sequence of actions required and then ensure effective implementation. This demands a significant shift in how you think, moving from a vertical, silo-type mentality to a horizontal view of the business and its markets.
This entails a different level of involvement and ownership of the business. However, it is one that will elevate the role of the Marketing Director and contribute to the overall success of the senior living community.