Abundant Living is an Adult Family Home located in Stanwood Washington. It “offers assisted living services for seniors who need help with daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, mobility, and medication assistance. ” Their staff are “… specially trained to care for residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia” (Abundant Living Adult Family Home Care Corporation, 2013). It currently has only one house supporting six full time residents and has a meager online presence consisting of only a website.
The owners have recently bought another house with the goal of creating an additional adult family home and will soon be in need of six residents and at least four employees. Their current marketing strategies consist mainly of word of mouth and printed ads in local newspapers. This business could greatly bene? t from growing its online presence especially during this vulnerable time of expansion. There are currently over 73,000 residents in Snohomish County over the age of 65 (United States Census Bureau, 2013).
Online marketing would make it much easier and more economical to reach a growing customer base whose online focus and technological prowess continues to increase. The real customer is not the elderly person themselves. It is usually their children, often in their ? fties and sixties, who are in need of a safe environment for their parents or loved ones to live where they can be assured that a high level of personal care and medical attention will be available. The idea of expanding online would be to market the business to a larger number of target customers than current marketing techniques are able to.
An expanding customer base would allow the business to choose it’s residents based on level of care needed, matching personality characteristics with current residents, and those who can afford private pay instead of State pay. State pay residents often pay thousands of dollars less a month than those who can afford private pay; $4000-$1900 (M. Raymond, 2013). This combination of factors is important in choosing a resident as it maximizes the income that can be generated from the twelve rooms that are available to residents. The pgraded website would allow potential customers to see where they or their parents would be living, who they would be living with, and who would be taking care of them. It would increase awareness of the business’s new house and reach a much larger target audience. The website would be an online welcome mat for customers and advertise the business strengths such as a higher level of personal care, lower employee to resident ratios, increased independence, and a more stable atmosphere for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Also, a tab could be created on the website that would be a place for prospective employees to look for openings and determine if they would be a good ? t. Additionally, linking such social media sites as Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus, and Twitter it would better allow residents and their children or friends to keep in touch through photos and descriptions of recent resident special activities, events, business news, and daily occurrences. By creating social media pro? les for the business and linking it to the business website it would also greatly increase word of mouth advertising potential.
Customers would be encouraged to like or follow the business on a variety of social media outlets allowing their friends to be exposed to the business and create free online word of mouth marketing. Increasing the online presence of the business would also has the possibility to increase the number of applicants for new employee positions. Abundant living’s direct competitors include Josephine Sunset Home in Stanwood and A Holistic Adult Family Home, LLC in Marysville. Josephine is a combination Nursing Home facility and Assisted Living. It is a much larger facility with a larger staff and a greater number of residents.
Its major advantage is its availability to customers. With a larger facility and attainment by the state of Washington of a Skilled Nursing License Josephine is able to accept and care for a larger number of residents who also might require more intensive medical care. Its website is much more comprehensive, easier to use, and is more informative than Abundant Living’s. It also has a tab for employees. Josephine does have some key weaknesses though. The Skilled Nursing area is quite a bit more expensive than both Abundant Living and A Holistic Adult Family Home.
Their rates vary from $237 a day to $263 a day. (J. Aungst, 2013). These rates are nearly double that of Abundant living. Also the level of care residents experience is not of the same quality of an Adult Family Home. Employees of Josephine have many more residents to care for than employees of Adult Family Homes that are limited to only six per house. In fact, at times Josephine employees may be responsible for as many as 20 residents. (W. Flaherty, 2013). This larger ratio of residents to employees leads to a less personal interaction with residents and a lower overall quality of life.
A Holistic Adult Family Home is more similar in comparison to Abundant Living in that it is an Adult Family home with a Custodial Care license that is legally limited to six residents per house. Rates are similar to Abundant Living but still higher; $5100 a month versus $4000 a month. (E. Moody, 2013). Holistic already has two houses up and running doubling the capacity of Abundant Living. With all of these things in mind the marketing strategies that Abundant living should use are people, price, and product. Abundant Living’s ? e employees are one of its most valuable resources and can be extremely helpful in the marketing effort. They should be encouraged to spread awareness about the new house that will be opening soon and that every interaction should be treated as an interaction with a potential customer. Employees should be encouraged to embrace the business’s brand values of compassion, empathy, and professionalism. These employees could also be potential customers as they have parents of their own who are only getting older.
Steps should be taken to increase employee morale as having happy and satis? ed employees increases the likelihood of having happy and satis? ed customers. Abundant Living’s main advantage over the competition is that they offer a level of care for their residents that is equal to or better than the competition for substantially less cost. With a waiting list of 25 customers in line for an availability the business should employ the market skimming strategy. The business should charge slightly higher price than they are now, around $4500 a month, for the ? rst residents to ? l the new house to recoup the costs of expansion and then reassess once those costs have been recouped. This will increase the return on investment while still maintaining competitive rates. The ? nal marketing strategy that could be used focuses on the actual product.
Online marketing should concentrate on Abundant Living’s high level of care, low employee to resident ratio, and their success at the current house. Marketing efforts should focus on the augmented product of increased independence, a proven track record, and the creation of a stable environment for those with Alzheimer’s and ementia, helping to set the business apart from the competition This marketing can be accomplished by posting positive consumer reviews on the business website as well as comparing the business’s strengths to the competition’s weaknesses. By expanding online marketing techniques, focusing on the business’s product, price, and people, and setting itself apart from the competition Abundant Living will be poised to experience a very successful expansion and increase in market share.