When marketing to seniors and their families, outreach is a key component of engaging with those who can benefit from your services. However, in the digital world in which we live, this dynamic looks much different than it did in the past—since the use of data helps inform your efforts. By integrating the following three key principles into your outreach efforts, you can make your marketing more effective.
1. Embrace outreach fundamentals.
In its Community Toolbox, the Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas provides guidance about how organizations can use outreach to increase access: “People use the word ‘outreach’ to describe a wide range of activities, from actual delivery of services to dissemination of information.” It is most often geared toward accomplishing objectives that include:
- Directly delivering healthy services or products
- Educating or informing the target population
- Educating or informing people who interact with the target population
- Establishing beneficial connections between people and/or organizations
Within this context, it’s essential to analyze your target population to determine who your prospects are, what needs they have, and the most effective ways to reach them. Gathering such data will help to focus outreach efforts on individuals whose needs match the services and/or products you offer. After all, in order for your organization to attract prospects, they must know that your offerings exist and can fulfill a felt need.
2. Adopt an outreach-as-marketing mindset.
While marketing may sound like a stuffy business term, it’s basically a form of outreach that helps to educate prospects about your services and how to access them. On some level, prospects need you to fulfill an unmet need—and you need them in order to fulfill your organization’s mission and nurture your bottom line.
Embracing an outreach-as-marketing mindset can help you get there. As noted previously, this process starts by gaining an understanding of who your target audience is, what needs they have, and the best methods for reaching them. Planning and implementation should also include:
- Defining the purpose of outreach for your initiative
- Determining which services or activities you want to focus on
- Considering potential partners who can help you achieve your goals
- Assessing needed and available resources to support your efforts
- Making the most of your outreach by using the most effective tools
3. Optimize your efforts within a digital world.
The Community Toolbox notes that follow-up and repetition are key to effective outreach: “Remember that people need to hear about something three to seven times before they act, so outreach needs to be varied and constant. In addition to ‘Follow-up, follow-up, follow-up,’ the keywords for an effective outreach program are, ‘Repeat, repeat, repeat!’”
Additionally, it is important to be flexible in your outreach approach. This will allow you to customize your efforts for specific initiatives, reach a targeted prospect base, and adjust strategies based on marketing results. Digital marketing tools are the most effective way to accomplish all three, since they provide:
- An agile and adaptable mode of delivery for marketing messages
- Strategies informed by real-world and often real-time data
- Measurement of results via analytics that help to optimize marketing efforts
The use of digital tools for marketing is also beneficial for reaching your prospects most effectively. Older adults use digital platforms more than is often presumed, and the Baby Boomer generation— who may be family members or prospects themselves—are some of the top users of technology.
Image Source: Statista: Baby Boomers Embrace Technology. Used with permission via a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License.
In this context, it is essential to partner with a marketing organization with digital expertise—like AMG. Our organization owns the largest healthcare audience in Alabama through our own online sites and publications, and we use HIPPA-compliant tools to gain condition-specific and needs-based insights into the local market.
By using AMG insights in combination with our digital marketing expertise and owned media outlets, you can better focus your digital outreach efforts through social media platforms, digital advertising, and other options to reach prospects in your area. If you would like to learn more about how we can support your marketing through outreach, let’s talk.