Disruption and Innovation in the Aged Care Sector:
What does it mean for your marketing in 2018-19?
Disruption is happening right across the aged care sector and not just because of technology and changes to the way we care for older people in our community. Disruption and innovation in the aged care sector are buzz words but what is behind the trend? Disruption is mainly happening because of the huge wave of older Australians who will seek and demand care in the next 40 years. Take these statistics for example:
- In the next 40 years the number of Australians over 65 years of age will double
- In the same timeframe, the number of Australians over the age of 80 will quadruple.
This next wave of older Australians will also have very different expectations about customer service and in general, they will be much more discerning about the types of care they want as they age.
The enormous growth in numbers of older people, coupled with the unprecedented demand for services and solutions will inevitably disrupt and change most of the business models currently at work in the aged care sector.
Innovation will be the key to survival and success. Technology-led innovation will of course be ‘front and centre’. But so will innovation in the structure of service models and the efficient and effective delivery of those models to consumers. Government reforms and tighter funding for people who are ageing will drive much of this innovation – putting the power of choice into the hands of consumers.
There will be increased competition as more and more organisations of all sizes try to take advantage of the opportunities the change and disruption will inevitably create.
How to seize the opportunity to thrive
How should aged care providers adapt their approach and investments in marketing to seize opportunities? How can providers ensure their marketing endeavours help them stay ahead in the race to attract and satisfy the expectations of a growing wave of consumers – newly empowered by all the disruption and innovation in the sector?
Ongoing research and consultation with stakeholders (knowing exactly what they want) will be a key activity. Quality insights based on solid qualitative and quantitative research will deliver extremely valuable information and allow providers to adapt their business models accordingly.
Understanding the entire ‘brand experience’ of your prospects and customers will also provide invaluable guidance as to how you should offer and deliver services.
The efficient and effective delivery of new service models will have to include a much greater focus on robust marketing and communications, including:
- Deeper knowledge and understanding of consumer’s needs, wants and desires
- A more strategic and a less opportunistic approach to marketing
- A written and updated annual plan to underpin business strategies
- A strong social/digital marketing presence across a number of relevant channels.
You will also need fresh, relevant and targeted SEO content and digital messages to keep prospects and customers engaged. It will no longer be a ‘set and forget’ strategy – your digital marketing will need to be a living, breathing consumer-directed effort if you are to have any chance of success.
The tip here is to develop a bank of resources that you can quickly call upon to update content, and where possible automate your marketing efforts.
4 steps you can take now to set up a more robust marketing and communications presence:
- Resolve to be more strategic and less opportunistic – develop a strong marketing strategy and plan for 2018/19 as soon as possible.
- Leverage market research to understand what your most desirable customers want and adjust your business model to meet these.
- Review your brand and brand strategy to ensure it matches how you want your organisation to be perceived in the market.
- Ensure your digital marketing is up to speed and that you are leveraging the right channels to reach and engage your most desirable customers all the time.
Disruption and innovation in the aged care sector are hot topics and rightly so.
In summary, smart operators will take a more strategic view of their brand positioning, developing a clear and compelling brand – including key messages and good design. One of the most exciting aspects of these opportunities is that smaller, niche players can utilise marketing and gain strong returns on their investment – just as effectively as larger players.
Can we help you? Juntos Marketing is an aged care communications specialist – we know and understand the sector. We offer research services; we can help you with strategy and branding. Our work in social and digital marketing has achieved excellent results for our clients.
Give us a call, we can assist providers big and small respond to the demands of disruption in the aged care sector, with innovative ways to market and communicate with a growing wave of empowered consumers, tailored to your budget.
Call Jonathan Watcham on 0416 225 479, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org