Reach the prospect and you’ve reached the target, right? Not so fast.
While seniors may make the final decision on where and if they move to a senior living community, there are a number of people in their lives that also influence that decision – and none more significant than their children.
The adult child – frequently the adult daughter — is most often the primary influencer – but there are many questions that surround their role in the process:
· What is their motivation?
· How much influence do they really have?
· Where do they get their information?
The Power of the Adult Child.
A study from the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that older adults often changed their care preferences based on the concerns of family members or to not be perceived as a burden to their children.
In our own research conducted in conjunction with a Chicagoland Life Plan community, we found that 80% of respondents had children active in the decision-making process — with the majority of them being supportive of their parents’ decision to move.
However, this isn’t always the case. In fact, children and family are often a barrier to making the move. Many adult children worry that their parents will run out of money, some think it would be cheaper for them to receive care at home, while others have guilt over not being the one to care for their parents.
But influence is influence whether positive or negative, and the role of an effective marketing team is to understand the adult child’s perspective and use that knowledge to persuade their opinion.
Savvy But Secondary
While the adult child may be the one asking the questions in many instances, never forget that the prospect is still the ultimate decision-maker.
In a ProMatura Group study of seniors in an independent living community, 28% of respondents said they, along with their spouse, had made the decision to enter a community independent of their adult child(ren).
The level of involvement of the adult child does depend on the level of care their parent requires, but the role of both child and parent need to be considered when choosing how you market.
What Do You Do Next?
Identifying the decision-making power of both the adult child and prospect in choosing a senior living community means you have to cast a wider marketing net. Prospects are increasingly becoming digitally savvy but specific messaging should be crafted for both the adult child and the prospect.
There are so many options for connecting with your senior living customer once you’ve identified them – and DHD can help. We can help create a customized plan for your community to generate leads, increase sales and build your brand.