It’s that time of the year again when most communities and facilities are preparing their annual marketing plan. Are you ready? Let’s ask ourselves:
- What did we accomplish last year?
- Did we achieve our goals in terms of revenue, ROI, occupancy and resident agreements?
- What did we do well?
- What do we need to improve upon?
- What are the new standards for operations, marketing strategies, lease agreements, health care and government regulations?
- Who’s new in the marketplace that we need to be aware of and watch?
These are some of the questions you will need to answer in order to come up with a new or revised plan. Who do you involve in the plan? You should be consulting your front line, department heads and even your residents to a certain extent but on a smaller scale.
Choosing the right format for your next marketing plan is a crucial step. There are two types most commonly known as the M.O.S.T. plan and the S.M.A.R.T. plan. These are acronyms for Mission, Objectives, Strategies, Traditions; and Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timed respectively. Whichever one you currently use or choose to use in the future should also include the six major components:
i) Conducting a Marketing Audit (similar to a SWOT Analysis) – Property Analysis; Competition Analysis; and Situation Analysis
ii) Selecting Target Markets
iii) Property Positioning
iv) Determining Marketing Objectives
v) Development and Implementation of Action Plans
vi) Evaluating the Marketing Plan
Of course, there are other facets to incorporate such as a timeline of activities and monthly breakdown to achieve goals. And most importantly, there needs to be a budget for both operating expenses and revenue generators.
None of this may be news to some community operators but for those who aren’t familiar with putting together a formal marketing plan, this will be a good start to get you on your way to establishing financial accountability. This investment of time and resources is a productive process that will enable you to analyze past operations and methods to plan for future success. Good Luck!
Still have questions? Feel free to contact me in person via email to [email protected] or telephone me at 604.984.7445 and I’ll help fill in the blanks.