Tagged: Elder Care Marketing Chicago

Business Challenges of an Aging Economy

Posted on August 10, 2017 by - Marketing to Seniors

Generational Marketing

Generational Marketing

As time goes on, each generation transitions from being the young to the middle-aged, and finally, to the aging population. When each generation transitions to a different life stage, they bring their unique generational values and mindsets with them. The immense differences between all the generations that co-exist today have implications on how businesses and communities evolve as one generation enters the workforce and another exits. As discussed in my last two blog posts, I am hoping to engage you in a discussion around the impact of aging on business through a series of blog posts. This is the next post of the series, guided by the following question:


What are the biggest impacts that an aging population will have on business and community? What are the biggest challenges and opportunities of an aging economy?


First, how do we define aging? The categories that have typically defined aging are changing – the young-old and old-old. Is 70 the new 60? The new 50?


In my opinion, the cause of these changing categories is the rise in life expectancy. The effects of this rise, coupled with declining birth rates, will impact businesses from both the employee and service perspective.


Employee Impacts


As birth rates decline, there will eventually be a shortage in the work force. Additionally, many older adults are staying in the workforce longer than they have historically. It is important for businesses to keep in mind each generation’s values in order to cater to the range of people that will likely be working together.

·         Workplace Preferences:  Younger generations prefer flexibility to work remotely. For businesses that have typically run on strict shifts, can and will they adjust their business practices?

·         Communication Styles:  Baby boomers are more likely to pick up the phone to ask a question, while the next generations are more comfortable sending an email or text as their initial form of communication. How will businesses run effectively with employees that have different communication habits?

·         Accommodating Aging Workers:  As people continue to work until an older age, how does a business help elders stay in the workforce?

·         Finding Value in All Generations:  Is a business capitalizing on older workers’ gained knowledge? Is a business effectively utilizing young talent to bring in new ideas and a fresh set of eyes?


Service Impacts


Although all businesses are impacted by aging, this is especially true for industries geared toward older consumers as this market continues to grow. It is important to account for the rise in the aging population in business’ marketing and business plans. In order to most effectively achieve this, the following considerations should be kept in mind.

·         Appealing to Seniors:  When marketing to seniors, does a business consider the preferences of seniors? How can a business make older consumers embrace and want new products, especially technology, that they are not accustomed to?

·         Accessibility:  It is important to make a business’ services or products as easily accessible as possible, especially for an older population. For example, if customers are going to a business’ physical location, is there convenient parking? Is it on the ground floor? Are there wide aisles for walkers? For businesses that only provide products, can they be delivered?

·         Marketing Techniques:  How is a business marketing to seniors? Although much of marketing now takes place online and through social media, businesses should understand seniors’ relationship with technology when developing digital elder care marketing campaigns.

·         Senior Market Segmentation:  There are different groups within the aging population that will respond differently to certain marketing tactics. Businesses should consider which sect of the senior market they are targeting. What is the spending power of their senior customers? Are they on a very fixed income, have large pensions or big bank accounts?

·         Keeping up with Demand:  As the aging population grows – 21 percent of Americans will be over 65 by 2050 – how is an elder-focused business preparing to serve the increased demand?


If handled correctly, aging will provide many businesses with strong growth opportunities. Businesses can prepare for this increase in older consumers by adequately adjusting marketing plans and making sure the business is senior friendly. The key to taking advantage of shifting generational demographics is moving with the times and being prepared.


For more information about how to plan to market to seniors, contact Focus on Aging.


Three Tips for Bloggers Who Market to Seniors

Posted on April 3, 2017 by - Elder Care Marketing

This blog post is a contribution from freelance writer Jess Walter. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and contributing blogs to Focus on Aging. Thank you Jess!


There are many reasons to start a blog. You have a lifetime of experience, so you have a lot to say. Maybe you want to share your wisdom with others. Or you may have a product you want to

Bloggers Who Market to Seniors

Bloggers Who Market to Seniors

market to seniors. Regardless of the reason for starting your blog, you want to keep it going. The best way to do that is to increase the number of subscribers you have. Here are three easy ways to do that.


Give Something Away for Free


To get people to sign up for your blog, you should collect their email addresses so you can notify them when a new post is up. Many people, especially senior citizens, don’t like to give out their email address because they fear they will be inundated with messages.


So, to make it worth their while, you need to provide them something in exchange. If your blog makes money, it could be a small gift, but more often it’s a lead magnet such as an eBook, article or an infographic they can download.


Whatever it is, it should tie into the subject matter of your blog. If your blog is about gardening, you could write an eBook about which kinds of plants do best in each area of the country. A blog about senior life might offer an eBook on investment ideas in your retirement. Whatever you choose to offer, it should have enough value to get your visitors to part with their email address to get it.


Make it Easy to Find Your Blog Posts


Each new blog post should get the prime real estate on your website. Since most people will get to your blog from a link in an email or on a social media site, you want the post to be the first thing they see when they get to your site.


You can post the entire blog on the home page or the first few paragraphs, but the blog headline and intro should be visible on the home page without scrolling. This is called being ‘above the fold,’ a term that harkens back to when newspapers could charge more for an advertisement that was placed in the top half of the page.


Make it Easy to Subscribe


Visitors to your website should be able to subscribe to your blog from wherever they are. There should be a sign-up form on the home page, on the product page if you have one, and on the ‘contact us’ page.  On the Focus on Aging site, we include it in both spots.


You started your blog because you have a lot to say, so make it easy for people to read what you write. Try these three tips, and you’ll likely see an increase in subscribers in the next 30 days.



Common Roadblocks When Marketing to Seniors

Posted on January 8, 2016 by - Elder Care Marketing

Roadblocks When Marketing to Seniors

Roadblocks When Marketing to Seniors

The new year has started.  We are all gearing up with new marketing goals, ideas and strategies.

Hopefully, you conducted your year-end marketing meetings where you reviewed your marketing plans and analyzed which strategies worked and which needed revamping.  Were your numbers met or exceeded? Did they fall short? Did you attract the target market you planned for? Did the revenues and client mix match the goals? Do your marketing goals and plans need to be revised for this coming year?

Even though elder care marketers are always tweaking and reviewing their marketing efforts throughout the year, the last quarter meeting usually highlights and focuses on solutions to any roadblocks that were encountered. The Focus on Aging team came up with the following list of the three most common roadblocks when marketing to seniors.

Setting Unrealistic Marketing Goals

Once you and your marketing team have completed your elder care marketing plan and set your strategies in place, make sure that the goals are realistic and can be accomplished in the time frame that you set.

We like to follow the SMART acronym that was developed by Peter Doran in 1981 and adopted online by Project Smart.  Doran’s published paper was titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives”.

Are your goals:

  • Specific– target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable– goals should be measurable.
  • Attainable– assure that the end results can be achieved given the available resources.
  • Relevant– is the right goal at the right time for you?
  • Time-related– specify when the result(s) can be achieved.

Marketing Budgets Spread Too Thin 

If you have limited marketing budgets and restricted marketing resources, you have to be especially careful when allocating resources.

  • Be selective where you put your resources, both monetary and staff.
  • Pick one or two niche target markets and concentrate on those instead of being spread all over.
  • Use the Malcolm Gladwell theory from his book The Tipping Point or the 80-20 rule to determine who your top target markets are and key in on those. The premise is that 80% of your referrals will come from 20% of your contacts.

It’s Time for Social Media and Internet Marketing

We have noticed that the aging industry is one of the last fields to jump on the social media and Internet bandwagon.

The Internet is an added tool for you to promote your message and engage with customers who find you on the Internet.

  • Create a separate Internet and social media marketing plan.
  • Make sure you have a user-friendly website that works on mobile devices, known as a responsive website.
  • Be prepared to experiment with the many different on-line platforms and paid methods.
  • Use analytics to measure your Internet progress.
  • Be patient with your on-line campaign. Depending on your budget, results can vary.

As we all know, marketing can be challenging and rejection can take its toll.  Roadblocks are common and are to be expected during your marketing campaign.  If you plan ahead, implement your ideas and then evaluate the progress, you will be able to overcome any challenge you encounter.

Feel free to contact Focus on Aging to help you plan for the new year.  If you have any marketing roadblocks to add to the three we mentioned, we want to hear from you in the comments below.





Six Tips for 2015 Marketing Goals

Posted on December 30, 2014 by - Marketing

Elder Care Marketing goals

Marketing Goals

Setting annual goals is essential for growth and change within any business. Often, the approach of the New Year is a time to reflect upon the past year’s business successes and weaknesses. Additionally, it is the perfect time to set marketing goals for the upcoming year so that your business can have the best possible year. Making goals and creating a plan to achieve your goals makes realizing your marketing vision a much more easily achievable task. Although there is no set rulebook to creating marketing goals – one size never fits all in marketing – the following tips can lead you to build the right 2015 marketing goals for your business.

  • Reflect upon the past year

Think about the success your business had this year. How was that success achieved? Also, it is important to think about aspects of your business that were not as successful. Can you pinpoint why this happened? Were there unmet goals in the past year? Although it is essential to reflect upon the entire year, place more focus on what marketing strategies did work rather than those that did not. For the upcoming year, include and extend upon goals that did work for your business. Consider giving up aspects of your marketing plan that were not as largely successful.

  • Break large tasks into smaller ones

A large goal can seem daunting at first. However, if you break it into smaller goals, it will be much more manageable. For example, in elder care marketing, if a client wants to implement an Internet marketing strategy, we suggest that they start with one or two online platforms instead of all the many options available. All the small and short-term goals should support the larger and long-term goals.

  • Focus on one goal at a time

Once you have your marketing goals broken down into mini-tasks, try to accomplish one at a time and in an organized approach. If you can put all your energy and focus into just one step at a time, you will ensure that is done in the best manner possible. Although it may be tempting to attempt multiple mini-goals at one time, focusing on each one individually will make the big goal more successful.

  • Make goals specific

The more specific your marketing goals are, the more easily you will be able to judge if you are meeting these goals. Making goals measureable also will allow for this. For example, a goal that states, “Increase traffic to a website by 50%” is much more quantifiable than simply “Increase traffic to a website.”

  • Make goals reasonable

Are your marketing goals relevant to your business? It is important to ensure that achieving your goals will provide growth and a positive contribution to your business. Also, make sure that your goals align with your business’ current or realistically obtainable resources.

  • Update your goals

Although your 2015 marketing goals and 2015 marketing plans can greatly help your business, your initial goals can change and the plan may need to be tweaked throughout the year. As you carry out your goals, assess whether your desired result was achieved or not. Upon completion of each small task, it may be a good idea to ask the same questions that were posed for reflection upon the past year. Marketing is always a process.

If you have any questions about Focus on Aging or making your marketing or elder care marketing goals for 2015, please contact us.



Seniors: the Growing Consumer Market

Posted on October 9, 2014 by - Senior Living

Technology and seniors

Technology and Seniors

Seniors are a very strong consumer market and growing steadily. While this provides sales opportunities for many already senior-oriented businesses such as senior care, it could also provide new business prospects for less obvious areas including technology companies.

The changing senior demographic

As a result of the nation’s continuously decreasing birth rates coupled with the steadily increasing life spans, seniors will become an even more prominent presence in the consumer market. Interesting statistics about the changing demographics include:

  • By 2020, there will be one billion people over the age of 60.
  • By 2050, 20 percent of the population will be over the age of 65.
  • By 2050, there will be more people over the age of sixty than under the age of 15.
  • In 1960, there were 118 births per 1,000 women, while in 2012 there were only 63 births per 1,000 women.

How could the altered demographic affect technology businesses?

The Longevity Economy offers some staggering statistics about the senior demographic’s current and near future disposable income. The report also looks into the not so distant future and reports that by 2032, half of the national GDP, about 13.5 trillion dollars, will be spent by people over the age of 50. This will provide huge opportunity for all businesses but especially technology businesses.

In a previous blog about social media marketing to seniors, we discussed the growing popularity of social media outlets for older adults. In all the most commonly used social media platforms, the fastest growing demographic of users was always within ages 45-64. These statistics prove seniors increasing interest and familiarity with technology. Even now, seniors would be a viable market for technology products, and this will only become truer as time goes on.

As people age, seniors will be progressively more comfortable with and dependent upon technology. Soon enough, there will be older adults who do not remember life before cell phones and laptops. However, currently technology companies are trying to cater to the interests of the younger generations. As seniors become a more dominant demographic, technology companies should consider how they can market their products to appeal more to seniors, as that is where a lot of their potential revenue lies. Additionally, technology companies could create new products specifically designed for seniors.

If you would like to know more about Focus on Aging or our services, please contact us.


Reaching Out to the “Unaffiliated” Senior Citizen

Posted on March 19, 2014 by - Marketing to Seniors

Today's Independent Senior Citizen

Today’s Independent Senior Citizen

When we refer to someone as “unaffiliated,” we usually think of someone who is not officially attached to or connected with an organization or group – mostly political or religious. In fact, when I Googled the word, the first few articles that come up are Pew research studies on the religiously unaffiliated. 

In the past few weeks, I have attended or learned about numerous social events with seniors in the Chicagoland area who happily live alone.  Many still drive their own cars and have a high quality life. They are members of their own, unnamed and always evolving, social networks.  I’m not referring to the 70 or 80 year old group, but those who are in their mid to late 80’s though their 90’s.  I would consider most of them “unaffiliated.”  They do not belong to senior centers, religious senior groups or senior specific clubs. They check in on each other on an almost daily basis, especially during this terrible Chicago winter. They are mostly healthy and vital.  Of course, there are those who are “snowbirds” during winter months, living in communities that have their own activities, but today we will focus on those seniors who live independently and toughed out our Chicago winter.

I notice that these particular groups are always evolving, because, sadly, as one person loses a spouse, these groups step in and provide a new social outlet.  When one member moves on, a new member becomes available to take their spot. Many of these 85+ dynamos also belong to multi-aged groups – groups without the name of “ager”, “senior”, “active” etc. 

These dynamic and independent elders (I’m always looking for the right title) are always such an inspiration to me.  They keep themselves busy with a multitude of activities.  Many play cards, volunteer, meet each other for breakfast or lunch and are usually home by dark. They stay current on local and world affairs.  Many still keep in touch with high school friends, and sorority and fraternity siblings of decades gone by.  They have learned the computer and can keep themselves busy at home when the Chicago weather doesn’t permit them to venture outside. 

Yes, many are on fixed budgets or don’t want to spend their hard-earned money, yet this cohort consists of consumers of goods that help them stay independent.  They are hard to reach since they can’t be found at local senior centers or retirement buildings.  They aren’t the senior who we will find by attending a networking event or a chamber of commerce meeting. 

These are individuals who we meet by listening to their stories as we wait in line at the local grocery store, asking questions of those eating at the local breakfast establishment and those we meet through their children when talking about their older parents. 

If you would like to brainstorm about how to reach out to the “unaffiliated” senior, contact me at Focus on Aging. We have plenty of ideas for you.

Elder Care Marketer Outlines 5 Components of a STEEP Analysis

Posted on September 26, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Elder Care Marketing & STEEP

STEEP Analysis and
Your Elder Care Business

We recently posted a blog regarding the great value in using a SWOT analysis for your elder care business.

Another valuable assessment tool is a STEEP analysis, oftentimes called a PEST or STEP analysis.  The analysis is perfect for identifying external issues that influence an elder care business when marketing to seniors.  The analysis provides the framework for creating a SWOT analysis.  Let’s take a further look.

STEEP Analysis Defined

A STEEP analysis is essentially a scan that looks at the large external issues that affect an elder care business.  The analysis looks at five specific issues and basically analyzes each of these factors in detail.  STEEP is an acronym for these five and they include:

  1. Socio-cultural issues (e.g., the age range and life-style trends of a target market)
  2. Technological issues (e.g., the use of Google analytics and texts)
  3. Economic issues (e.g., late payments to vendors, interest rates, and labor costs)
  4. Environmental issues (e.g., energy-efficiency and waste disposal issues)
  5. Political issues (e.g., the impact of Watchdog groups and regulations)

The Purpose of a STEEP Analysis

The goal in a STEEP analysis is to highlight the current external factors affecting a business and identify any possible changes that might emerge in the external environment that could affect elder care marketing efforts.  Once these changes are identified, a business can label them as either threats or opportunities.  The senior care business can then decide how best to defend against any threats and take advantage of opportunities.

How to Perform a STEEP Analysis

Any elder care business can easily perform a STEEP analysis on its own.  The analysis involves two steps. 

  • Step 1:  Gather information about each of the factors in the STEEP acronym.
  • Step 2:  Identify which of these factors represent threats or opportunities.

The key to this analysis is for managers to gain as much relevant information as possible about a business’ external environment and use that information when marketing to seniors.  Much of this information can be easily found via basic research tools, including the Internet.

A STEEP analysis is an invaluable assessment tool to help your senior care business.  We understand that the analysis can grow complex. Focus on Aging can help.  Contact us with any questions that you may have about the STEEP analysis.    

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com. 

Evaluate Your Elder Care Business with a SWOT Analysis

Posted on August 27, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Swot Analysis and Elder Care

SWOT Analysis and the
Elder Care Business

A successful business must constantly strive to stay on top of current trends by adapting to new technologies and changing customer needs.  It should be open to developing enhanced and more efficient practices.  In essence, a successful business must evolve, grow, and surpass expectations.

This requires proper assessment tools.  It is difficult for a business to fix what might be broken, or prepare itself for new horizons, without evaluating the internal and external issues that may impact performance.  This is especially true when it comes to the business of senior care.  For those in the elder care industry, make sure you’re always current and forward thinking. Assess your business; and in this process, we recommend that one of your tools is a SWOT analysis.

What Is a SWOT Analysis?

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  A SWOT analysis is simply an assessment tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a business or organization.  This tool can be utilized by nearly any type of business including those organizations that market to older adults, seniors, and the elderly.

What Is the Purpose of a SWOT Analysis?

A SWOT analysis examines a business in terms of both its internal issues (i.e., strengths and weaknesses) and its external issues (i.e., opportunities and threats).  By examining and assessing both, a SWOT analysis can help an elder care business evolve.  It can assist the business in accomplishing its objectives, while simultaneously identifying what obstacles must be overcome in order to make the business grow and prosper.

More specifically, a SWOT analysis is an invaluable assessment tool that can aid in:

  • Strategic planning;
  • Decision making;
  • Project management;
  • Exploring or launching new initiatives;
  • Bolstering execution strategies; and,
  • Organizing company information and presenting solutions.

How Does a Business Perform a SWOT Analysis?

Any elder care or senior care business can easily perform a SWOT analysis.  The process simply involves having selected members of the organization (not just those on the senior care marketing team) identify each of the elements in the SWOT acronym.  Once this is accomplished, results can be gathered, compared, and analyzed. 

In performing a SWOT analysis, please keep a few things in mind.  Try to keep things realistic, especially strengths and weaknesses.  Avoid gray areas and try to ensure that responses are specific.  Finally, simplicity is preferred.  Avoid complexity and a tendency to over-analyze. 

A SWOT analysis is an invaluable assessment tool for any elder care business.  Try completing a SWOT analysis on your own.  We understand there may be questions along the way and we are always here to help.  Contact us at Focus on Aging for any SWOT assistance.  

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.   

How Can Focus on Aging Help Your Business Grow?

Posted on August 8, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Focus on Aging's Success

Focus on Aging
Elder Care Marketers

If your business involves elder care marketing, are you concerned about increasing your sales and expanding your census?   Focus On Aging can help you accomplish this with the skills and incredible experience of our talented team of professionals. Many discussions today are related to the growth of our aging population and access to the right type of care and caregiving options.  We understand the needs of consumers and have used our combined experience of over 60 years in the field of aging to reach those consumers and contribute to making elder care businesses thrive.

Elder Care is a hot topic, and all of us who work in the aging industry must hire qualified, compassionate and business/marketing-oriented staff to ensure success. Focus on Aging’s services go beyond marketing consulting.  We also offer employment searches and placement services, which can help find the perfect employee for an open position.  

Coaching and training to assist personnel with sales and customer service skills round out some of the available benefits that can be acquired through Focus on Aging.   Our flexible programs are affordable and created specifically for our clients’ own personal needs.  Focus on Aging’s goal is to help your company flourish and expand. 

Over the years, we have seen the elder care industry grow and become very competitive. This competition has led many businesses to realize that they can benefit from the assistance that is available through our team .  Our clients hire us to help with strategic planning, project management and to increase their visibility through the use of various networking and on-line marketing sources available today.

The customer testimonials authenticate our skills to build relationships and connect you to people so your business can reach new audiences.   To learn more about the services of Focus on Aging and to take your business to the next level and stay current with elder care marketing trends, visit our website or simply contact us.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.


So, Now You Are In Charge of Your Elder Care Business….

Posted on July 24, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

management tools

Your Elder Care Business

Over the years, we have met many elder care providers in the Chicagoland area who didn’t originally plan to enter the aging industry or be an elder care marketer. Many of our colleagues started off managing the care of a family member or worked as an elder care volunteer.  However, over time, they realized that their passion could be turned into a business opportunity and they learned the “ins and outs” of the elder care world, many times by default. They might run their own small or medium sized company, or have risen in the ranks of the elder care corporate world. Can you relate to the above scenario?

Whatever route brought you to the aging field, if you are responsible for your company’s bottom line, you must attract new clients and make sure to retain the old ones. The only way to maintain a regular client base in your senior care business is to stay competitive in the local marketplace. In order to do this, you must keep your clients and buyers happy and make sure that your senior care marketing  plan is implemented and allows you to attract your target market.

Understanding Senior Buying Behavior

As we all know, there are many changes that a person will go through during the aging process, including social, psychological, physiological and physical changes. These changes are a “family affair”. As an elder care provider, you must not only understand these changes, but you must demonstrate to active buyers that you understand their needs and will provide them with a genuinely satisfying and safe experience. To stay competitive, you must have a simple, doable, easy-to-follow marketing plan that takes current market research and trends into account. Your plan must incorporate your internal and external marketing system into the plan as well as a marketing plan’s key elements. To learn how to quickly and effectively communicate your business’ unique benefits to the senior care buying market and to implement a marketing plan, contact Marla Levie at Focus on Aging.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.


Rocking the Senior Living Marketing Scene

Posted on July 10, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Rocking Senior Marketing

Rocking Elder Care Marketing

Today’s seniors are changing the face of retirement living. We all remember the stereotypical depictions of seniors, left in a retirement community wearing their housecoat and slippers as they rocked away their Golden Years. Forget everything you thought you knew about senior retirement living…the new generation of Baby Boomers is giving a completely revamped definition to “rocking” as it pertains to aging. Previous generations of seniors seemed relegated to their lack of choice in maintaining an active lifestyle after retirement, but today’s Boomers are less likely to age gracefully or quietly, instead seeking alternative solutions to senior living environments.

Recognizing this trend, all elder care marketers must be tuned in to connecting with seniors in a new way. Those who work with senior living organizations have seen a transition and know that today’s seniors will take charge of how and where and how they live. Today’s older adults are vibrant, involved, and are changing the way companies should market. Does your organization have a firm grasp on these new trends? Can you relate to the needs of the senior consumer and how they want to live?

Focus on Aging can assist you in meeting the needs of the current generation of Baby Boomers in their search for the ideal solution to senior living. For more information contact Focus on Aging.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.




The Music Man’s Advice About Marketing to Seniors: You Gotta Know the Territory?

Posted on June 28, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Marketing to seniors has to include a level of empathy. Take, for example, American senior citizens looking forward to their 73rd birthday this year.  They have a lifetime of memories and experiences that date back to what many youngsters (and quite a few middle aged folks) would have difficulty even imagining.

In 1940, the year they were born, among many other things, there was no:

  • Jet aircraft travel. TWA didn’t begin intercontinental routes until 1946.
  • Cell phone or direct long-distance (or overseas) service.
  • Television, either color or satellite. (There were no satellites.)
  • Internet or email.

Today’s seniors are also largely immune to high-pressure sales pitches. They grew up listening to radio advertising with catchy jingles followed by five or six decades of television advertising. According to Elizabeth Wilson in her piece in Entrepreneur:

“…As we mature, we become much more savvy consumers and are more likely to ask ourselves ‘do I really need this?’ than, say, a 14-year-old. …”

The senior market is separate but diverse.  The “do I need this” question is particularly poignant, because, as illustrated above, seniors matured before technology and the instant obsolescence of gadgets, gizmos and iPods. That realization should be the impetus in getting to know the territory of the elder market, bearing in mind that the elderly are by no means a great big homogeneous group.

Seniors are but an older segment of their community, and marketing has to be tailored accordingly. They come in vast varieties, distinguished by their education, ethnicity and technological savvy. 

Also, bare in mind that today’s baby boomers heading into their 60s will likely stay healthier and more active than their parents. They will likely have to remain on the job longer because of the economic downturn during the past few years.

Want to learn more about marketing to seniors? Contact us at Focus on Aging.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.

Using Facebook for Senior Living Marketing

Posted on June 13, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Facebook & SeniorLiving Marketing

Facebook & Senior
Living Marketing

It’s a common misconception that the elderly don’t like technology. In fact, many seniors readily embrace electronics. Not only does it help keep their minds active and engaged, it helps the older adult stay connected with the world around them as well as with their family members who may live far away. Just like other age groups, the elderly go online to keep up-to-date on the news, to shop, to play games, and to use email. Also, just like their younger counterparts, seniors have a strong presence on social media sites like Facebook. As you consider techniques for senior living marketing, we recommend considering using social media to get your message out.

Seniors are a growing demographic online. Recent reports indicate that nearly “half of U.S. adults aged 65 and older are online.” They are so interested in using social media that they are taking the initiative to learn about how to use Facebook and other online resources. Given their interest and growing demand, it’s clear that social media is a conduit for reaching the elder care market. 

Another component to using social media to reach an elderly audience is to incorporate it into your existing marketing plans. Many companies ignore technology and social media when marketing to older adults because they are not seen as the traditional Internet-based audience. As you can see from the referenced reports, that is an incorrect assumption. While seniors are less likely to use cell phones or tablets than their younger counterparts, the 2012 study shows that they are very likely to use computers to surf the web and conduct research. This indicates that companies may be able to keep their attention for longer than with traditional methods.

If you’re considering marketing your business to an older adult audience, consider using social media to reach your clientele. For help creating a social media marketing plan, please contact us. We can help your numbers grow!

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.

Marketing to Geriatric Care Managers

Posted on May 30, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Geriatric Care Managers (GCM) represent an important source of primary referrals for your elder care business.  A care manager is responsible for linking clients to specific elder care providers and connecting services.

geriatric care managers

Elder Care Marketing
Geriatric Care Managers

Geriatric Care Managers counsel older adults and their families on how to preserve independence and manage illness and change when necessary.   Geriatric care managers are strategists who specialize in providing quality of care for older adults, whatever their needs, wherever they live.   Through recommendations, trusting relationships and personal care plans, they steer client business and can influence many choices.

Geriatric care managers provide guidance and oversight to the elder care market on many important matters:

  • Finding products and home services to lower risks for independent older adults
  • Handling cognitive changes, finding resources and activities to deal with social isolation, depression and other challenges
  • Guidance on benefits and entitlements, financial planning and asset protection
  • Choosing the right housing, whether assisted, skilled care or rehab facility
  • Help with moving, bill paying and other practical transitions

Geriatric care managers are usually Master’s-level social workers or nurses with special training in elder care.  Some represent non-profit organizations; some are independent practitioners; some work for national companies that lead with home care placement services.  If concerned about the complex medical condition of an older loved one, families may choose a nurse care manager.  Families with a history of conflict, estrangement, or challenging dynamics and personality mix, usually prefer working with a clinical social worker.

Elder care businesses that work with skilled care managers can become partners in planning for the late chapters of life.   Care managers are gatekeepers, keeping communication open with their aging clients as well as key family members and decision-makers.    You can market to geriatric care managers directly, to showcase your mission, your brand, your personnel and success stories.  Find a basis for collaboration.  If a care manager understands how your business solves problems for older adults, you might earn a steady stream of referrals.  

Focus on Aging, can assist your elder care business/service to expand your referral list of potential referral sources, including Geriatric Care Managers.  

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.

Nursing Home Marketing Tips: Consider Planning a Special Event

Posted on May 21, 2013 by - Elder Care Marketing

Nursing Home MarketingPlan a Special Event

Nursing Home Marketing
Plan a Special Event

When you hear the words “nursing home marketing” and “special events” in one sentence, what comes to your mind? Does it conjure up thoughts of vibrant, multigenerational celebrations or educational opportunities for community members? If not, you may want to consider the following:

Due to socio-economic issues, the number of multigenerational households has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s. There has also been a concerted effort on the part of communities to accommodate those that want to age in place. For nursing home marketers, those occurrences should signal the need to engage frequently with your local community.

Hosting special events is an excellent way to do just that. Take National Nursing Home Week for example. Why not schedule a large, multigenerational event at your facility and invite the neighborhood to be involved? Call the local churches, synagogues or schools and ask their choirs to sing. Provide family friendly activities and property tours. Contact your nursing home’s vendors and ask them to set-up information booths or ask your facility’s medical staff to offer complimentary blood pressure checks. The benefits to hosting such an event are two-fold. First, it may help to improve your residents’ quality of life. Second, it helps to dispel the myth that nursing homes  and rehab facilities are unattractive, scary places.  

Of course you don’t have to focus solely on hosting large events. Arranging small, educational seminars geared towards targeted markets could also be beneficial. For instance, physicians and pharmacists may appreciate a seminar on the Sunshine Act, which is part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Social workers and discharge planners may be attracted to lectures on CPT code changes and at the same time receive their continuing education credits from you. Area seniors, on the other hand, may enjoy seminars on hospital observation days and retirement planning tips. By offering such opportunities, you position your facility as a valued member of your community. It also gives your facility an opportunity to develop strategic marketing relationships, which can lead to referrals.

Those are just a few suggestions to get you thinking about the possibilities. If you would like to learn more about incorporating special events into your nursing home’s marketing efforts, contact Marla Levie at Focus on Aging.

Marla Levie, BSW, MA, is the President and Founder of Focus on Aging, an established Chicago-based marketing, consulting and recruitment firm.  For more than 20 years, Marla has successfully been providing consulting, social media and recruiting services to the elder care market and to other service professions.   For more information about Focus on Aging, contact Marla at info@focusonaging or at www.focusonaging.com.