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The Caregiver's  Home Companion

July 5, 2006
Identify Your Market for Effective Use of Messaging and Media

May 10, 2006
Marketing Your Services Means Covering All the Bases

March 29, 2006
Selling Value Over Price Is Worth Every Effort

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Posted: May 31, 2006

Professional Caregiving

3-Ms for Success: Message, Market, Media

The most successful marketing of professional healthcare services happens when an organization matches the right message with the right market, and uses the right media to accomplish their goals. Sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s harder than you might imagine.
Have you ever thought about what your “message” really is? Actually, it’s a combination of many things, starting with your “unique selling proposition” and continuing all the way down the path to the person who answers the phone in your office.
A “unique selling proposition” is a statement that sets you apart from your competition. For instance Wal-Mart is “THE Low Price Leader,” and Folgers Coffee is “mountain grown.” Every business should have a USP. What’s yours?
The rest of your message tells a compelling story about your business, your mission, your vision, and the people in your organization, and your irresistible “offer.”
Offering to provide quality eldercare, unfortunately, is NOT an irresistible offer -- that’s a given. You want people to believe that they would be absolutely crazy to do business with anyone but you. Offer them something they can’t resist. What’s your irresistible offer?
Finally, a very clear message is conveyed by the person in your office who answers your phones. Regardless of whether you have a big staff, or you work on your own, the phone is probably your first contact with a consumer who is either shopping for services or is in complete crisis with a family member. Their first impression of you and your business starts the minute your staff says hello.
Make sure the person who answers the phone is compassionate even when the office is incredibly busy. If you need to script out a conversation, go ahead and do it, but don’t tolerate a bad phone personality.
For some of us, our market is clearly defined, but for others it’s so broad that we have difficulty knowing how to tap into it effectively. The media we use to convey our message to our market is important, too, and it can range in price from extremely expensive to well within our budget. Stay tuned over the next several weeks where we will discuss market and media.
Finally, remember that above all else, your customers are making a conscious and hopefully well-researched decision to buy your services. Therefore, in order to understand WHY Mary Smith buys WHAT Mary Smith buys, you have to see the world through Mary Smith’s eyes.
Keep that in mind every time you market yourself in your local community.


Valerie VanBooven RN, BSN, PGCM, is a registered nurse, professional geriatric care manager, author, and professional speaker. She is a leading expert on long-term care planning and crisis management. Valerie is president of Senior Care Solutions, a private geriatric care management practice in the St. Louis area. Her books include Aging Answers: Secrets to Successful Long-Term Care Planning, Caregiving, and Crisis Management and her website is She can be reached at .

© 2006 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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