Question for providers: Do you know your consumers’ path to purchase?
If you are marketing to aged care consumers, you definitely should.
As the federal government reforms continue to be implemented (with the new round of changes beginning 1 July), aged care providers need to look to the future and start making conscious decisions now to get ahead of the pack and be competitive in this new world of consumer directed care.
Every health and aged care provider should be visible at each point in the consumer’s path to purchase, with a differentiated value proposition.
Recent research conducted by Ellis Jones showed that if searching for an aged care or disability service in the home, older people appear to rely more on sources with close relationships, such as GPs, family members or local councils.
Younger people go to more “macro-level” sources such as Google search on Internet, government website, online service directory and consumer/industry associations.
Interfaces on the pathway to making health and aged care decisions.
With more information available on the Internet, there has also been a rise in websites listing aged care providers and offering the opportunity for users to review individual facilities (see example here and here). Checking these websites when looking for an aged care home could become as normal as checking TripAdvisor when booking a hotel.
Computers, tablets and smartphone’s have also changed the way consumers view information. We scan the information, screening it via our selected feeds. How much do consumers actually take in and retain? Where are the touch points for their decisions?
Media coverage, word-of-mouth, commentary on social media – these are all factors that influence consumers along the path to purchase, and should be considered by providers in their value propositions and marketing.
What are aspects of your organisation that make it unique? How are services delivered? Think about how your people and systems work in your favour. Remember that price does not define value for most people. It’s the experience you create as well as the service quality. This is what people will be looking for, it’s what they will be asking their friends, family and neighbours (physically and virtually) about.
The ultimate purpose of an organisation is to produce and deliver a service or product that is useful and more effective and/or desirable than the alternatives.
Think about how you want to be represented when consumers look for information and make sure you have a presence that sets you apart.
If you want to continue the conversation, see Rhod Ellis-Jones at the LASA State Congress tomorrow in Melbourne.