Home care and home health agencies are often looking for ways to connect with referral sources, prospective caregivers and potential clients. Fortunately, the Holiday Season is awash in outreach and home care marketing opportunities! A multitude of holiday-related events and announcements justify in-person sales calls, social media campaigns and email blasts, while a general sense of goodwill ensures that prospects are receptive to the efforts.
Here are the best holiday marketing techniques for agency owners hoping to capitalize on the season.
Co-Market with Other Healthcare Leaders
The Holiday season is a great time to join forces with marketers from companies that provide non-competing services. They often share similar referral sources, and the power of multiple voices can prove very effective. Of course, combining marketing budgets doesn’t hurt either!
Specific ideas range from focused in-service presentations to more casual Holiday events. The most important consideration is finding the right partner that shares similar corporate values while providing complimentary products or services. Good options often include hospice agencies, durable medical equipment (DME) companies and assisted living facilities (ALFs).
Partner with Charitable Organizations
While the afore-mentioned co-marketing activities usually involve for-profit companies that provide healthcare services, charitable organizations can also offer great partnership opportunities. One of their advantages is that they’re usually well-respected in the community and therefore help the brand of any associated agency.
Home care and home health companies should also be prepared to bring something to the table, however. Usually, these contributions come in the form of marketing budgets and referral source relationships. While charities enjoy great respect, they often lack the financial resources to fund lunch events and other activities. They’re also short on marketers and may not have many “contacts.”
Host Parties, Dinners and Happy Hour Events
The great thing about the Holiday Season is that it affords companies with opportunities for less formal marketing activities. In-service presentations and speaking engagements are terrific, but agencies can also build strong referral-source relationships over cocktails and appetizers.
Marketers should be bold and use the season to their advantages. Referral sources are more likely to attend social events that are associated with one of the major holidays, so hosts can really drive attendance.
Agencies should also promote the activities through social media, which yields two benefits. First, it helps to further promote attendance. Second, the online activity can improve SEO and direct website traffic.
Sponsor Referral Source Holiday Events and Parties
Here’s some out-of-the-box thinking… Why not offer to sponsor a hospital’s case management Holiday lunch? Depending on internal policies and legalities, lucrative referral source targets may be more-than-happy to accept the financial support. Also, savvy marketers can leverage the good will in order to secure the opportunity for a brief “pitch.”
Home care and home health agencies that explore this holiday season marketing strategy need to exercise judgment. Once again, there may be company policy or legal limitations. Marketers must always be careful to maintain their integrity and reputations. Also, any request for a “pitch” opportunity should be limited. If a marketer asks for too much solicitation time, her offer will be seen as “having strings attached” and may backfire.
Create Urgency by Focusing on “End-of-Year” or “New Year” Messaging
Some benefits of marketing heavily during the Holiday Season are psychological while others are more tangible. Regarding the former, most folks are generally in high spirits around that time and are more open to solicitation, attending events and collaborative efforts.
For example, savvy home care and home health marketers can push to finally secure elusive in-service opportunities at hospitals and other referral sources. The pitch is basically, “Jan, you’ve been promising me an in-service for months. Can we please get this on the books now so that it doesn’t drag into the next year?”
On a more pragmatic level, the Holiday Season can be leveraged for “end-of-year” and “start-of-year” pitches relating to contracts and partnerships. Many companies are looking to spend their remaining budgets at the end of the year. So, there may be funds for new contracts, speaking engagements and other activities.
Also, some organizations are looking to add new contracted “providers” for the following year. So, marketers don’t want to miss out on the narrow window, or else they may be forced to wait an entire year for their next opportunity! These situations often involve government institutions, MSSPs, senior organizations, MCOs and insurance companies.
Your Holiday Home Care Marketing Strategy Takeaway
Most home care and home health agencies face significant competition. Sometimes there may even be dozens of competitors within one larger city. Timing is everything, and companies can’t afford to miss out on opportunities.
The Holiday Season is a critical time for marketing and should always be prioritized as much as possible. Agencies that plan ahead for Holiday Season marketing activities will realize maximum ROI, while those that don’t will be left flat-footed!
If you’re an agency owner seeking cost-effective home health or home care marketing solutions, you should also consult with the industry’s best resource today!