Consumer directed care (CDC) offers the public greater choice and more control when it comes to choosing an aged care provider. In response, the industry must evolve and adapt to the change if they are to remain competitive. Marketing and communications will be increasingly more important to aged care providers as the onus will be on them to appeal to their stakeholders through their reputation and brand in order to stand out against competitors.
Three key must-knows about CDC from a communications perspective:
- Consumers will have a broader range of choices as to the types of services they receive, their delivery and who provides them. Thus, granting them more control. From a communications standpoint, providers will have to market their product or service to consumers in an effective way, cutting through the noise in an increasingly competitive market.
- For community aged care, individualised allocations of budget per client will be somewhat controlled by consumers. With greater control, recipients of community care services are becoming more aware of the care options available to them, and by increasing consumer awareness, the industry will be even more competitive.
- For residential aged care, CDC will require providers to start thinking about what seniors and future residents want in an aged care provider. Communication channels such as the Federal Government’s Gateway Service Aged Care website will force providers to be transparent about their service offering, including costs, so it is more crucial than ever for providers to create a point of difference through their brand experience and offerings.
For aged care providers, the main challenge is to effectively position their brand in the market whilst simultaneously anticipating the introduction of industry deregulation in approximately five years time. It is vital that aged care providers begin thinking about their brand positioning now if they wish to transition seamlessly into a consumer-centric aged care world.