Knowledge Is Power: How Market Research Helps You Be and Stay Competitive

Investigor researching

Apr 11, 2019 | Marketing & Branding

If you’re a fan of The Simpsons, you may remember an episode where Homer’s neighbor, Ned Flanders, quits his job as a pharmaceutical salesman to pursue his dream of opening a store providing products exclusively for left-handed Springfieldians. Ned, who is left-handed himself, opens The Leftorium in the Springfield Mall and sees the business struggle for customers from day one.

Of course, this being an animated sitcom, everything worked out for Ned in the end, but the marketing lesson behind the episode is a good one. Ned had a dream of owning a business that was based on his own personal experience, and he made the assumption that a sufficient number of Springfieldians would have the same need. Unfortunately, he had no idea how many left handers lived in the city or if there was any demand whatsoever for what he wanted to sell.

Poor Ned wasted a great deal of time and money, which could have been avoided if he had acquired some market research-generated knowledge before moving forward with his left-handed emporium.

Market Research Made Simple

Pretty much everyone has at one time or another heard the phrase, “Knowledge Is Power.” And it is definitely true that knowledge is a crucial factor in empowering people to achieve great things.

To acquire the kind of knowledge needed to be relevant and competitive in the marketplace, many successful businesses rely on targeted Market Research. No matter what stage of the game you’re in – whether you’re just starting off or you’ve been in business for years – market research is vital to making the correct business decisions and allocating the resources required to optimize its potential.

In the senior living space, SageAge Strategies has become a leader in taking the guesswork out of high-stakes market investment decisions and providing actionable information that communities need for planning purposes.

“SageAge looks at market demand a little differently than typical market research firms,” says Malissa Illiano, Vice President of Market Research for SageAge Strategies. “Because we know and intimately understand the senior living industry, we are able to apply this real-world knowledge to our demand assumptions and approaches, providing our client-partners with both realistic and reliable demand results.”

As the Boomer Generation moves into the senior living space, more and more communities are taking a proactive approach to understand how the industry will need to change for their future. “We’re seeing a lot of clients focusing on understanding their future residents, putting together a plan on how to change for the future and building a master plan for the next 5-10 years,” Malissa says.

This is particularly important for older communities, she says, because there has been such a boom in new development over the past few years. “Even the best communities can be blindsided by the shiny new kid on the block that has your prospects dazzled,” she says. “It’s important to be proactive, understand what your next steps need to be and make efforts to meet the needs of your current residents, as well as the residents of the future.”

Here are just a few examples of the marketing research services SageAge provides to clients:

Market Feasibility Studies

Before any senior living project gets financed, a feasibility study is required to prove it can be a viable success. Market Feasibility Studies help us determine the demand for your community’s services in your primary market area before you ever break ground. We take demographic and competitive perspectives, run the numbers and come up with an analysis of how your community can stand out in the marketplace. Is there a need in your market for independent living and assisted living, but not memory care? Is there a “sweet spot” price point that will give you the greatest ROI? Our market feasibility and demand analysis services provide you with an accurate picture of the potential of the market and enables you to make data-based decisions on the value of an opportunity and the projected return on your investment.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Intelligence (CI) is a vital element in the assessment process used by leading communities to update and sharpen their business plans. It identifies not only what is happening in your market, but also your competitive position in the market. Very importantly, it also helps to identify opportunities for advantage and growth.

Competitive analysis involves more than simply identifying your competitors and gathering data. It is a formal, dynamic process that assesses competitors’ capabilities, strategies, activities and behaviors to support and improve decision-making. Whether you are a single community or campus, our CI services provide you with essential information for strategic planning, marketing, pricing, advertising, restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and research and development.

Mystery Shopping

Ever wanted to know what prospective residentsreally think about your community? Sure, you can ask them yourself, but they may not respond (or respond in a way that’s helpful). Enter the SageAge Strategies Mystery Shopping Team.

Our mystery shopping services can provide senior living communities with valuable, objective evaluations of the services offered by competitors and/or those provided by your own staff. We produce insights into critical components of your sales and marketing program, such as customer service reception, sales discovery techniques, tour and brand presentation and the provision of collateral materials, database management and follow-up activities.

Our professionals report on each aspect of their experience, including initial telephone interaction, the interpersonal skills of staff, the accuracy of information they provide and physical surroundings, as well as those intangible factors that affect your ability to attract new residents and retain the residents you have.

Marketing Sales Assessments

Senior living organizations sometimes have marketing and sales operations in place, but question whether they are organized, staffed and managed for maximum results. As experts in mature market growth strategies, SageAge conducts formal independent and objective analyses for client-partners to determine if their sales and marketing functions, in their present configuration, are fully meeting the organization’s needs.

We often find it takes an outside, independent team to identify the cause of problems within a marketing and sales program. By working directly with your internal staff, our team will observe and evaluate operating methods and relevant factors such as facility appeal and environment, resident amenities and services. Whether you are a single facility or a multi-site organization, our audit process will help identify the internal factors that impact the achievement and growth of your occupancy levels.

As market research experts, we at SageAge Strategies believe our job is to provide our client-partners with the information and insights to make the most effective decisions possible. Ensuring that you have the knowledge you need to get your community built, branded and filled in a more cost-effective and successful way is a win we find very gratifying.

And who knows … if Ned Flanders had hired SageAge Strategies before launching The Leftorium, he might not have been forced out of business by competition from the Southpaw Superstore.

SageAge Strategies: Leaders in Integrated Marketing, Consulting and Lead Generation Solutions for Senior Living

At SageAge Strategies, our marketing team excels in helping senior living communities target prospective residents using a combination of traditional and digital techniques to develop an integrated marketing strategy that generates results. If you need assistance in any areas of marketing and integrated growth strategy to improve your business results, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our proven strategies that have transformed other senior living communities like yours.

SageAge Strategies is a multiple-award-winning, strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Jason McCloud at 614.795.7373 / You can also visit us on our website at

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