Senior Living Advertising – Which Medium is Best for You?

Trapper-Collova-26619_90x90Senior Living, like any other industry, has tested virtually every advertising medium at one time or another. You might even assert that your community itself has tried every possible advertising venue. This is usually the way that process goes: a) cheery advertising rep talks you into their product, b) creative is complete, the ad is in motion, c) a few months pass and you only have a handful of substantiated leads and finally d) you cancel the contract and decide that particular medium isn’t a fit.

Chances are you made the right decision when you cancelled. The reason I say that is because only select mediums truly benefit senior living communities and- beyond that –only certain outlets in that medium will work for you. Taken a step further, the message and creative have to match you, your goal(s), your audience and the format presented by the selected medium.

Something I learned early in my career, when I was marketing director for a small chain of retail stores, has proven invaluable over the years. Namely, when you’re dealing with any representative for any medium, they have one product to sell – theirs. That friendly adult contemporary FM radio rep has the best fit for you and luckily it’s his station. Same for that magazine rep you’ve seen at functions; she can give you 10 reasons her magazine is a great match.

Advertising Research

If you aren’t armed with exhaustive quantitative and qualitative data both for the medium and your demo, you’re simply guessing. If your placement isn’t well-researched and properly negotiated, you have another obstacle working against you. Finally, if your creative and message don’t deliver precisely to your audience, even the best placement can’t truly help.

There’s a substantial and never-ending debate concerning how many ads we absorb each day. The range is 3,000 to 10,000+, depending on what is deemed an “ad.” As I write this just a few hours into my day, I know I’ve seen a dozen TV commercials, heard another dozen radio spots, passed 40+ billboards and encountered over a hundred ads just checking my Gmail and Facebook pages. This saturation increases daily as does the need to skillfully and methodically choose the medium, placement and message that works best for your community.

Speaking of advertising, here are some of the best commercials from the 2013 Superbowl. Enjoy!


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