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Are You Making This Mistake?

A blog post by D.K. Raymer, Patient Protections Advocate.

Founder - Confident Aging For Attorneys

​I'm talking, of course, about marketing to The 5%

The most common mistake I see among Elder Law & Estate Planning attorneys is taking action on the persistent belief that speaking to the needs of 5% of the population is the right way to go. It may be working for you, but you’re likely repelling 95% of your prospective clients. Let me explain.

We’ve all seen data supporting the idea that a large number of Seniors end up in nursing homes or other institutional care facilities. Some insurance companies selling long-term care coverage claim that well over half the population will find themselves in some sort of institutional living facility over the course of time.

As a Patient Protections Advocate, the population data I rely upon comes from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Is it flawed? Certainly. Do people hide under the porch when a census worker comes to call? Yes, some do. But since they go door to door in every city, town, hamlet and chicken coup in the country, I am more inclined to believe their numbers over data sourced for the insurance industry.

The last Census was conducted in 2010. And this is what they reported about the aging population: Slightly over 5 percent of those 65 and older occupy a combination of nursing homes, congregate care, assisted living, and board and care homes, and about 4.2 percent are in nursing homes at any given time. And that number was a drop of 50% from the previous census.

If you’d like to dive into the whole 192 page report (last updated in 2014), go here.

So, my question to you is this: Why would you devote the majority of your marketing time and dollars to address the needs of Seniors who go into nursing homes, when that group only occupies 5% of your potential market? What about the needs of the other 95% who will never need a nursing home or other related care facility? From a statistical perspective it makes no sense.

On the medical side of U.S. government initiatives, there is a concentrated effort to support older adults in living independently, at home. The federal government does not want to pay to warehouse the nation’s elderly in nursing homes. It’s too expensive. In light of this information, perhaps it is time to rethink the way you message to Seniors and their families.

I offer you these questions to kick start your creativity:

  • What are some other topics of conversation you use to engage clients?
  • Can you think of some other challenges you could effectively speak to for the vast majority of adults who want to live independently, at home, for life?
  • What information and/or services can you offer to support them in reaching this goal?
  • Do you know what your ideal potential clients are really concerned about?

If you’d like help developing some new topics of interest to Seniors and their families, let me know. I’d be happy to explore the possibilities with you. Let's schedule a time to talk.

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