We've been getting a lot of questions lately from people looking for marketing advice.
I've been writing rather lengthy responses and got the idea to turn it into an advice column. So every week I'll be adding a new question and answer section on our blog.
This week a subscriber asks, "What is the best way to market for a non-medical home care company? What approach is the most effective with the referral sources we are looking to work with?"
This is a rather large question and it comes down to a couple things.
One, you didn't list the referral sources that you are looking to work with, so I will talk about them in general.
And two, it comes down to the marketing budget you have to work with. If you have less money and more time, then you can involve yourself in more community outreach programs and grassroots efforts. If you have more of a budget, you can get quicker results because you can afford things like direct mail and internet marketing.
As far as marketing to referral sources, there's a couple things you can do to engage them. It's important to note, however, it depends on how the client is paying.
If the client Medicare/Medicaid then you're restricted to how you can connect with doctors and hospital dischargers by anti kickback laws and stark laws. (being non-medical I don't think you have to worry about this.)
However, If the client is paying Medicaid/Medicare you essentially have to form a strong relationship with referral sources. This is where old school networking and relationship building comes into play. You can do things like invite them to lunch, bring lunch to them, or something else to get face time in front of them. (This is all labor intensive and takes time.)
Another way to stand out, especially with dischargers is to bring a CEU gift card for one CEU hour every time you make a visit. This is a sure way to stand out as many dischargers have to cover their own CEU credits these days. You can get some at http://easyceu.com/
How To Attract Private Pay Home Care Clients
If the client is private pay, (usually the case with non-medical) then you have more flexibility and depending on your state, you should forming alliances with other professionals that service seniors in your area. Since you both have a cost to acquire a new customer, this is a way for them to earn back some of that cost, and you to build a consistent flow of trusting and qualified leads.
You can create co-branded materials and introduce the alliance concept to the business owner serving seniors in your area. If you introduce this concept the right way, you can form a few of these relationships around town and really get a great source of consistent leads coming in after a little bit of upfront work. The idea is that when someone in your town needs home care, your company is the name that comes to people's minds. We feel it's a shame that when someone needs home care in your town, and they don't use you because they weren't aware of you.
If you have more of a budget to work with, this is where you can move into strategies that include internet marketing and direct mail for your home care business.
With internet marketing the most effective approach is search engine marketing including Google local profiles, Pay per click advertising, and Search engine optimization. You get your message in front of a home care prospect, the moment they need your services. Powerful stuff!
The quickest and most effective way to get on the search engines quickly is with the local business profiles and pay per click advertising. You can actually be setup on these two areas in the next few days and start attracting leads quickly.
There's some caveats though. It depends on your market and how much search volume for home care services is there, and also how much budget you have to work with.
And always…always…always… measure by the cost to acquire a new customer.
Many internet marketing companies tell people that they should measure by cost per lead. I don't know about you, but a lead has never paid me money. I have to get a customer to do that. If they're measuring only by leads, then they have an incentive to only send you leads, not customers. The quality of these leads may suffer if they have an incentive to produce just leads.
Another very effective strategy to market home care (if you have a budget) is direct mail. There's lists you can purchase of adult children who have live-in parents, adult children who purchase medical equipment, ailments, medications, etc… Most of these lists you can drill down through demographics, household income, etc…
When we do research for a new client (that has the budget for direct mail) we often times learn more about the market then many of our clients new, because of what we can find.
Obviously, there are many more strategies to market to your customers. I've given some affordable grassroots strategies, and also some effective home care marketing strategies if your company has the budget.
Leave a comment, what have you found to be effective?