Home' Community Care Review : CCR Jan-Feb 2015 Contents Super advice
at your doorstep!
0437 049 314 Nicole Ladds
0427 464 526 Karen Hyland
0409 030 722
In the care context, marketing is not selling. It is
presenting options supported with information.
Accustomed to achieving lifestyle goals the Boomers
-- and their informed and tech savvy siblings -- are
going shopping for the best aged care experience the
government's money, and their own, can buy.
They want choice and a responsive, tailored service
beyond the care plan.
Some 39 per cent of Australia's population is over
50 (7.5 million people). They are either considering care
options for themselves, their friends or their parents.
A recent Blaze Boomer Brand Satisfaction survey of 1,100
Australian men and women found that, far from eschewing
unsolicited approaches, Boomers welcome them.
A staggering 94 per cent of Boomers think that media and
advertising should recognise that "My age group is still interested
in buying new things" while 78 per cent agreed that media and
advertising should recognise that "I have more financial freedom
at my age."
And let's remember that superannuation arrived in 1992, 22 years
ago. That's why NAB estimates 60 per cent of people's income in
retirement will be earned after they retire.
If a provider's nursing and care teams are not looking for
opportunities to inform clients of products and services that will
improve health and wellbeing -- and serve to achieve the company's
mission and purpose -- then they are very likely not providing the
full consumer experience many clients are seeking.
Think like a consumer
When the money is in your hands, the decision looms large.
You see faults and it bothers you. You complete mental
arithmetic on 'value'.
It is surprising how everyone, at times, forgets that we are all
consumers. We make choices and we notice the difference between
great service and bad.
The best advice a company can give to its staff is "think like a
consumer." Whether via structured empathy mapping or simply by
asking each client what would make a difference to their lives, we
need to get better at standing in the shoes of others and seeing the
world through their eyes.
We all repeat a mental and physical pattern of behaviour when
weighing up a purchase decision. We consider price but price does
not represent value. We look for affinity with our own tastes and
values. We weigh up what this decision says about us.
Providers need to:
• Engage regularly and seamlessly
• Address consumer context, emotions and functional needs:
• Ask who is influencing decisions? What is their path to purchase?
Brand embodied in carer actions
In service industries, people embody the brand, and creating a
brand experience is the key to marketing.
Where there is little or no service differentiation - such as in
personal care services -- the intangible aspects, the 'likes', become
That oft used term 'add value' starts to take shape in a client-
carer relationship: finding ways to enhance the experience by
helping out or referring other services.
Carefully planned, the 'add-value' will manifest as new sources of
revenue for the responsive organisation.
The deportment of staff says a lot about the company.
How to build awareness that this is actually part of the
service, not a side show?
Employee engagement is critical to a business or
organisation. When team members feel valued, respected,
and included, it goes a long way in creating a positive
environment. Instilling a sense of pride in your employees
begins with instilling a sense of meaningfulness, a sense
purpose, a sense of what they are doing as being important.
In our work we find that employees in aged care often
do not think they are doing anything out of the ordinary --
but they are, and it is worth sharing. They know your products and
services in a way that no-one else does, so getting them to share
that knowledge is indispensable for developing relationships with
clients and their families.
We all know that money, although important, is not what keeps aged
care workers in the industry. There is a real passion for improving lives.
They are benevolent, empathetic people and their work weaves
through the social fabric of the community in which they work.
In the absence of good news placed by a provider and its staff,
media coverage will veer to the negative. But the media loves
human stories, particualrly local media, and nothing is more
authentic than a positively reinforcing relationship between a carer
Let's consider, as a sector and as individual companies, what our
employees, residents, families and clients need to see and hear.
What, in their eyes, makes a great company?
Be bold, be creative; tell your story. n
Rhod Ellis-Jones is principal of Ellis Jones, a management and
public relations agency specialising in aged and community care.
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