This is the first installment in my new blog series about how to market your facility and organization more effectively. During this series, I’ll outline the entire long-term and post-acute care marketing playbook so you can do it yourself.
The first phase of any engagement with a client is an assessment of their current situation, which evaluates six elements; Metrics Trends, Evaluation of Marketing Team Performance, Competitive Advantages Determination, Physical Plant Evaluation, Reputation Assessment and Evaluation of Competition. Let’s examine what you should be looking for in each of these areas.
1. Metrics trends
Ideally, we like to evaluate three to four years of data for the following information. If you don’t have this type of data, start tracking it. Most organizations will have some or all of this information, it just takes some time to pull it together from its various sources. Here’s what you should collect:
Nursing home metrics: Admissions, Discharges, Referrals per month, Referrals per month by source/channel, Declines, Lost Leads and Conversion Ratio.
Assisted living/independent living metrics: Move Ins, Move Outs, Referrals per month by source/channel, Conversion Ratio, Tour/Referral Ratio and Move In/Tour Ratio.
For each category:
- Are the metric trends positive, flat or negative?
- What are the referral trends for individual referral sources (health of our relationship) or channels (effectiveness of tactics such as advertising and special events)?
- Are conversion ratios at bench marks? For SNFs we look for a 50% overall conversion ratio and Declines and Lost Leads at 20% or less of total referrals. For AL/IL we look for a 25% overall conversion ratio, a Tour/Referral ratio at 50% and a Move In/Tour ratio at 50%.
Metrics are a critical management tool you need to track and understand. They provide insight into which strategies and tactics work (or don’t work) and on how your team performs during critical phases of the referral generation and conversion processes. Referral data gives you insight into the health of your professional referral relationships, while conversion ratios can be an indicator of your reputation in the community.
2. Evaluation of marketing team performance
Observations of admissions and marketing team members while they are executing their day-to-day activities are conducted to evaluate their sales and marketing skills. We evaluate their abilities by observing contact with referral sources, contact with prospective patients/residents and interaction with other team members. During this phase of the assessment we also evaluate the entire team’s performance with turn-around time on referrals (SNFs) or the approval process for prospective assisted living/independent living residents.