The Power of Market Research: Your Key to Laser-Guided Growth (Part 2 of 2)


Dec 10, 2014 | Marketing & Branding

How Market “Intel” Can Increase Your Occupancy and Boost Your Brand

Are your sales efforts underperforming? Is it a constant struggle to meet your census goals? What are your competitors offering and doing that is different from you? Do you know how they are selling against your community? Is your sales team using current best practices to identify prospects and turn them into residents? Are your promotional messages compelling, and do they highlight solutions to your prospects’ problems, concerns, needs and preferences?

These days, what you don’t know can hurt you. Conversely, applied knowledge is power and when used to direct your sales and marketing strategy it is precision-guided power. Having a clear, 360-degree view of your market environment puts you in the driver’s seat and enables you to make critical, evidence-based decisions about your community’s growth strategy and tactics—significantly improving your probability of success.

Today, ground level market assessment tools are used by leading companies in all sectors of business and industry. Senior living is no exception.

Malissa Illiano, Senior Account Manager and Director of Market Research for SageAge Strategies says, “With a highly competitive marketplace and increasingly diverse providers, more and more communities have realized the value of mining relevant marketplace information that can transform the way they do business and operate in the surrounding environment. To aid communities in need of census enhancement, we frequently provide a complete competitive analysis, including both internal and competitor mystery shopping, as well as a detailed sales and marketing assessment. Together, the results provide the ideal platform for developing data-driven strategies that enable communities to not just survive, but thrive.”

One such community is Arbors of Hop Brook in Manchester, CT that was having challenges in achieving their census goals despite having an excellent reputation. The Arbors, an entry-fee CCRC, was surrounded by several highly competitive rental communities. SageAge Strategies worked closely with The Arbors and their Director, Chanté Drasdis, MHA, NHA, CASP, in conducting a thorough competitive analysis and a sales-marketing review. Specifically, the evaluation included:

  • Gathering competitive market intelligence to identify not only what was happening in the market, but also to establish the Arbors’ competitive position within.
  • Creation of a detailed demographic profile of target prospects and what they were looking for in a CCRC.
  • Identification of service opportunities in the marketplace as well as points of advantage and differentiation for growth.
  • Completion of both community-based and competitor-based mystery shopping to evaluate customer service reception, sales discovery techniques, sales presentation and tour techniques, the provision of collateral materials, database management and follow-up activities.
  • A thorough fee analysis as well as identification of pricing flexibility and key price point.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of the sales and marketing operation including staff time, task allocation, sales and marketing functions and programs, customer service, lead/sales funnel management and data analysis, competitive issues, admissions, discharges, market share, brand identity, marketing communication and community awareness/perception.

The culmination of the research process was the development of a new and comprehensive strategic marketing plan that precisely targeted the needs and concerns of profiled prospects, incorporated public events for lead generation, emphasized traditional areas of strength and established a highly competitive pricing structure.

Commenting on the results of this effort, Ms. Drasdis said, “After partnering with SageAge, the year-over-year comparison review shows that we experienced a 50 percent increase in the number of new inquires. I can tell you that working with SageAge has certainly related to increased exposure and move-ins with our occupancy increasing from 85 percent to 93 percent in a year’s time. Based on the market opportunities identified in the research, we were also able to successfully add a memory care assisted living component to our community.”

Proven Market Research Expertise Is Available to Guide Your Growth Strategy

If you are a senior living community considering the need for assistance in assessing your competitive marketplace to identify strategies to enhance your census, we encourage you to contact us for more information. SageAge Strategies is an award-winning strategic growth and marketing organization that operates exclusively in the senior living industry and was recently named one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America. For more information, please call or e-mail Adrienne Mansfield Straub at 570-601-1720 ext. 202 /

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