How To Develop A Marketing Strategy for Home Healthcare and Home Care

This blog focuses on how to develop a marketing strategy for Home Healthcare and Home Care businesses.

Recent research by Advance Market Analytics reports on the booming market for Home Healthcare providers.  While this report focuses on Home Healthcare specifically, others have reported similar growth projections for Home Care (non-medical) providers fueled by several of the same market drivers.

With the market in your favor, is your Marketing Strategy for Home Healthcare and Home Care ready for today’s booming markets. Is your brand and marketing aligned to your audience and their evolved needs?

How To Develop a Marketing Strategy for Home Healthcare and Home Care: Today’s Growth Drivers

Driving the demand for Home Healthcare and Home Care are an increasingly aging population wishing to remain in their home, and the growing prevalence of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, respiratory, orthopedic conditions and more that require ongoing care. Home Healthcare and Home Care services are both viewed as effective and cost-efficient alternatives for this care. Also, this growth has been further propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic driving a preference to stay in the safety of one’s own home, and by complete or partial coverage by the government for in-home services, these sectors continue to grow at a rapid pace.

While this is all good news for the Home Healthcare and Home Care sectors, understanding the diverse and evolving needs and motivations of today’s consumers remains an opportunity for many providers of Home Healthcare and Home Care services.  Let’s see why…

Developing a Marketing Strategy that Addresses Two Commonly Encountered Challenges

With decades of marketing experience including many in the Healthcare and Home Care sectors, I frequently encounter two marketing challenges. They are:

-A ‘sea of sameness’, and

-Branding, positioning, and messaging that all look and say the same, yet are used to market to different audiences, each with their own and different needs, motivations, and drivers.

Now put yourself in the consumers’ shoes. How can they possibly differentiate your brand and offerings from competitors or alternatives in the market when you all look and say the same things? How can they distinguish your unique brand and value you uniquely provide? In most cases, it is nearly impossible to do.

Developing a Marketing Strategy: Taking a Closer Look at this ‘Sea of Sameness’

Rather than pointing out the ‘sea of sameness’ among businesses in the Home Healthcare and Home Care sector, please look for yourself.  Select 3-5 competitors or alternatives that first come to your mind.  Then, visit each of their websites and social media pages.  While there, please pay close attention to not only what you see, but also what you are reading.  Look at the photos, the overall brand look, feel, positioning, and messaging. Also, keep in mind that what you see here is often replicated in the other ways they market themselves in print, ads, socials, etc…

What do you see?  Do you see many similarities among the 3-5 brands in language and appearance?  If yes, you can now understand what I mean by the ‘sea of sameness’ and the lack of differentiation among brands and for consumers to then figure out on their own.

A recent whitepaper written on this subject shows its effect in the telecommunications industry.  Although a different industry, several of the takeaways are transferable to the Home Healthcare and Home Care sectors.

Developing a Marketing Strategy: Differentiating Your Brand from the Sea

Distinguishing your brand and offerings from the “sea of sameness” is a key opportunity for Home Healthcare and Home Care providers.  Differentiating your brand is not a ‘nice to have’. Your brand must be distinctive from other alternatives.

A key objective in asking you to visit the website and socials of 3-5 others is to have you see for yourself this “sea of sameness” in the industry. Moreover, to understand the challenge it presents for consumers, and referral sources too.  As marketers, we are leaving it up to the target audiences to decipher how our brands stand out from each other. We must take it upon ourselves to do this work for our audiences by providing clear differentiation.

Developing a Marketing Strategy: Implications of Marketing the Same

Let’s take this a bit further. If you take a second look at the same 3-5 brands.  This time paying close attention to each brand’s value statement, positioning, and messaging.  Do you see anything that appears truly unique among the 3-5 brands?  Now, how do they compare to your own in these areas?

I’ll be the first to say “kudos” to your brand or any other where a clear distinction is apparent.

Developing a Marketing Strategy: Aligning with Audience Needs & Motivations

Onto the next observation. This time we’ll focus on the consumers that you and the others are attempting to resonate with. Having a consumer/customer-driven marketing approach is imperative to staying relevant today. In fact, a recent article in HelpCrunch offering five steps to creating this approach spoke to the importance of adopting a customer-driven approach to stay relevant today.

To adopt a consumer/customer-driven approach, we’ll first need to peel this topic back further. Let’s consider each audience and their respective key drivers, motivations, needs and interests.  Many find it easier to view this visually, so consider using a table format like the example below.  In a vertical column list your audience by type. This will include the potential care recipient, the spouse/partner, child/ren, sibling, another loved one, or even the healthcare provider, case manager and others you wish to engage.

When doing this, please keep in mind that each audience type likely shares some common denominators with the others. Yet, each also has its own unique drivers, motivations, needs and interests.  Therefore, as marketers, we cannot assume that the same value proposition, positioning, and messaging will resonate equally and be compelling to each of these audiences. We must recognize that each is viewing our brand, value, and offerings from their own vantage point.

Developing a Marketing Strategy: A Closer Look at Your Audiences and Messages

Now let’s create a second column across in a row listing the various services/solutions you provide. For example:

For each audience listed in the vertical column and moving across by each care offering, complete each box with the following information:

– What is the value proposition that is most important to each specific audience and at each specific care option?  While doing this ask yourself, “How do I know this is true for each audience?”

Next, continue by reviewing your current brand positioning. Does it uniquely address each audience? And the care option that each is most interested in? If yes, how?  If no, this becomes a ‘need to fix’ area.

Finally, look at your primary, secondary and tertiary brand messages. Are they identical for each of these audiences? Are the messages also the same for each care offering? Again, please keep asking yourself “Am I certain that these messages are the most important to each audience and also by care offered?” If not, this may also be a ‘need to fix’ area.

Developing A Marketing Strategy: Being Everything to Everybody

A key takeaway that often becomes apparent with this disciplined exercise is that it’s impossible to be “everything to everybody”.  Trying to brand and market the same thing in the same way to everybody when everybody is not the same just doesn’t work. Your branding, value statement, positioning, and messages require alignment to your audience and care solutions to resonate and be compelling to each audience.  Attempting to say the same thing in the same way to everyone is contrary to a winning branding and marketing strategy and approach.

You just can’t be the same thing to everybody when it comes to marketing success!

Developing A Marketing Strategy: Exacerbating the Marketing Challenge

Regardless of the care solutions you offer, in today’s times, you must also market the operating procedures and protocols you follow for keeping all those in your care safe at home. Marketing your ability to provide excellent health care and home care services while addressing the health and safety concerns of those considering your services is yet another aspect entwined to your branding and marketing challenge.

Developing A Marketing Strategy: Marketing The Most Important

How do you balance your marketing?  What takes priority?

Balancing the marketing of all the services you provide either medically or to support the activities of daily living support is no small task.  Where does the focus belong? It depends and varies.

This is how and when the previous table serves an important role.  At the intersection of each audience type and care needed column lies what is most important to your branding and marketing.  Identifying what is most important at each intersection, and then developing the strategy and approach for branding and marketing each is the unique challenge faced by Home Healthcare and Home Care providers.

Marketing Strategy: Addressing the Challenge Head-On

After dedicating the time, attention, and thinking to each of the areas covered here, your branding, marketing and communications team may be well positioned (no pun intended) to address the challenges related to separating your business from the other providers in the “sea of sameness”.  The team may also now be ready to develop or refresh your strategy and approach to branding, positioning, and messaging. A consumer-centric approach that resonates and is compelling to each audience type and tailored to their care solution needs is required to standout in today’s market.

Today’s booming market offer tremendous growth opportunities.  Please don’t let these common challenges interfere with your ability to achieve even greater success!

Need some help?
Some businesses need a bit of extra help from an objective resource.  If you find this to be true, we’re here for you.  Just let us know .

Marketing Matters based in Stamford, CT in Fairfield County serves diverse businesses and organizations including Healthcare, Home Healthcare, and Homecare providers in CT, NY, NJ and throughout the US. We help clients with their marketing strategy and across the entire marketing spectrum from gaining research and insights, developing strategy and plans, branding, traditional and digital marketing and communications, and enabling sales to drive growth and achieve results in today’s evolving market.  For questions or to learn more, contact us by phone at 203.329.7773 or online.