Marketing Your Home Care Business: The Difference Between Consumer and Referral Marketing

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In the home care industry, we focus on two types of marketing: consumer and referral. It’s important to understand the difference.

In the home care industry, in order to have a successful, profitable business, you need to have a steady stream of new clients. With this in mind, wise business owners put time and effort into marketing. Marketing doesn’t need to be a difficult, daunting task—but you do need to have a focus and a plan. Throughout the month of June, we will explore various marketing strategies for your home care business, arming you with some tried and true marketing methods you can implement or improve on in your business.

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To begin with, let’s talk about the basics. In the home care industry, we focus on two types of marketing: consumer and referral. It’s important to understand the difference, so here is a quick overview:

Consumer Marketing

Consumer marketing refers to your marketing efforts that are aimed directly at your potential clients. As with all marketing, the goal of consumer marketing is to let people know you exist and help them understand the services you provide, hopefully converting these prospects into new clients.

Some examples of consumer marketing are newspaper ads, TV ads, radio ads, billboards, a sign on your car door, your website and SEO (search engine optimization), speaking at senior events or attending health fairs, and having a listing on a consumer outreach website, like a franchise website or BestofHomeCare.com.

Depending on your location and your business goals, some consumer marketing methods may work better than others, but there are some methods that seem to work better than others for most home care businesses. According to a past edition of the Home Care Benchmarking Study, an annual study of the home care industry conducted by Home Care Pulse, the top consumer marketing method was SEO, which refers to methods used to help consumers find your business online. We will discuss this method and other top consumer marketing methods later this month.

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing includes all marketing efforts aimed directly at current clients, doctor’s offices and other referral sources, as opposed to potential new clients themselves. By reaching out to these referral sources and building a relationship of trust with them, they are happy to recommend your services to those they know who are in need of home care services.

Analyze your current consumer and referral marketing strategies. Are your methods bringing in enough new clients? Check back this month for more in-depth articles about the top marketing methods you can implement to see better results and gain new clients.

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