|As you are aware, beginning next year, the nation’s 9.4 million “baby boomers,” the generation born between 1946 and 1965 that comprises almost a third of the total Canadian population, will begin turning 65 and thinking more about retirement communities and services like home care.Add that to the fact that, currently, the majority of health care workers are baby boomers themselves, and it becomes no secret that there is a looming health care conundrum before us. Your health care organization has likely begun to consider where and how to serve this influx of patients, no doubt developing plans to recruit new staff, expand facilities and refocus service lines.|
It’s also time to begin considering the details that will ensure your health care organization appeals to these growing older audiences. For example, many Canadian nursing homes have begun offering perks like bowling alleys and top chefs to attract the increasingly discerning tastes of today’s seniors. It’s not uncommon for newer retirement communities to come equipped with flat-screen televisions, resort-like pools and on-site bars. Even if your organization is poised to deliver on these amenities, one key barrier to success will still remain: Getting your message heard.
Many advertising researchers are pointing out another interesting challenge posed by the boomers to the health care industry: The same old marketing tactics won’t work on them.
“Seniors, particularly baby boomers, each believe they belong to a market segment made up of exactly one person,” Blaine Branchik recently told the New York Times. Branchik is an associate professor of marketing at Quinnipiac University who has studied the history of selling to the elderly. “Many believe the only thing they have in common is that they are all so unique that they have nothing in common.”
Don’t let your message go overlooked—prepare today for marketing tomorrow:
Instead, play up the service lines and amenities that are most likely to appeal to them as people, not as an aging demographic.
Whether you’re ready or not, they are coming. Prepare both your facilities and your marketing today and you’re sure to be grateful you did tomorrow.
“Shifts in the population size of various age groups.” Statistics Canada. 02 September 2010. Web.
“The Baby Boomer Healthcare Crisis.” Leaders in Healthcare. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.
Bourdeau, Annette. “Inside today’s luxury retirement homes, the eating is good.” Comfort Life Magazine. 02 September 2010. Web.
Duhigg, Charles. “The New York Times.” The New York Times. Web. 02 Sept. 2010.
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