By Harriet Swatman (3 minute read). iStock photo ID: 695502570.

Aged Care marketing is a dynamic space to work in because the aged-care industry is changing rapidly. Increasingly, people are deciding to move into luxurious but simplified independent living arrangements at the start of retirement with a view to maximizing their active leisure time. At the same time, the Government has set out policy that supports all retired people to stay in their own homes- or independent living arrangements- for as long as possible.

Some of the most forward-thinking designs now include aged care as part of mixed-use, public transport -orientated developments (even in Brisbane!). These are the sorts of sustainable developments northern Europe has been doing for a long time. People are also becoming interested in the long-term affordability of housing and some projects are now initiated, funded and built by the community, rather than by developers.

Design and funding changes mean retirement village providers and aged-care services are having to think carefully about their customers, both those they need to attract now and those they want to attract in the future. More sophisticated customer research assists them with business planning, including the design and delivery of new accommodation.

Another challenge aged care providers face in the more competitive funding landscape is ensuring the culture of their organisations is 100% customer-focused.  Research done by firms such as KMPG shows that many organisations are missing the mark, even from the first phone call or enquiry. Startlingly, the research shows that up to 80% of retirement living providers in a sample exercise failed to answer calls from prospective customers.

Even if the first interaction is positive, however, the process from enquiry to buy-in is fairly long in this industry and so every customer touchpoint must excel at communicating the benefits of an accommodation or service.

Joining the dots and highlighting communication gaps is what Edmonds Marketing does very well. It is not a consultancy that provides repeat-prescription formulas for communications; instead it looks carefully at where marketing processes or people skills need improving.

I have come to Brisbane marketing consultancy, Edmonds Marketing, from a background in property communications and architecture and I’ve brought with me a love of how design can solve clients’ problems and create opportunity. I have been able to help the team understand more about community consultation as well as how to market property plans effectively.

It is exciting to use my experience in aged-care marketing where good design and changing markets are fueling a new picture of what it will mean to grow older in Australia.