Marketing for Retirement Communities: When Your Audience Isn’t Your Customer

marketing retirement communitiesRetirement communities are one of those unique businesses in which the people you’re marketing to aren’t necessarily the ones who will be using your services and amenities. While it’s true that an increasing number of seniors seem to be making their own decisions about how and where they to live out their lives, often it’s the adult children of these seniors who have to make the choice. It’s a tough choice and these people are looking for help.

Most of the time the decision to move someone into a retirement community is fraught with tension and some anxiety. More times than not, there has been a “trigger event” that led to the adult child’s search for a place where Mom or Dad can live safely and comfortably. And very often, Mom or Dad is not totally on board with this decision.

It’s relatively easy for a retirement community to talk about their facilities and amenities. That’s why their brochures are packed with photos showing off their dining room, exercise room, game room, beautiful grounds, and living quarters. Of course there are usually pictures of happy seniors (all of whom look at least 10 years younger than the youngest resident) engaged in activities with other residents. These things are all important and they’re geared at making seniors feel like this retirement community is a good place to be. But is that really your audience?

If the real decision maker is the senior’s adult daughter, she’s got a lot of questions that go beyond how nice your facility looks and how many activities there are on a weekly basis. She may have her hands full even trying to get Mom or Dad to consider looking at your facility. There’s a good chance she’s fighting an emotional battle with a parent that defies logic. How can you help her with this struggle? If you can help the decision maker with her problem (how to present the idea to Mom or Dad) the rest is fairly easy.

Here are a couple of ideas. Offer a free booklet or report on your website along the lines of How to Talk to Your Parents About Retirement Living. Create a series of blogs on your website around The Five Most Common Fears About Retirement Communities & How to Address Them.

Remember, you’re not just providing a service to seniors. You’re providing a service to their adult children as well. Help the decision maker and you’ll be able to help the resident.

What are some of the most common questions you field from adult children of seniors?

Inbound Marketing 101 Retirement Communities