A Marketer’s Approach to Coronavirus: The Normandy Senior Living Case Study

As most of you know, the past few months have been a challenging time for all. As marketers, our priority has been to shift our focus and adapt our marketing and knowledge base to help our clients through this time. The following is a case study on how we helped our client, The Normandy Senior Living, a Senior Living Campus that combines top-notch amenities and a connected community lifestyle to provide a continuum of care for every stage of the aging process, not only survive during the COVID-19 pandemic — but thrive.

What Problem Was the Client Facing?

Senior living establishments were arguably hit the hardest during COVID-19. Visitation was prohibited, residents are the highest at risk, and mentally and emotionally this took a toll on many residents and their families. As an essential business, they were tasked with caring for the most high risk population, making huge safety decisions for admittance, and trying to keep residents, staff, and families connected, safe, and healthy in the middle of a pandemic. There was a lot of logistics to work through, and regular updates and messaging to disseminate.

  1. How do we still allow prospective residents to tour the property and sign leasing paperwork? 
  2. How can we best communicate and implement new safety measures?
  3. What do we do about visitation and how do we maintain a connection to the outside world and people’s families?

What Did We Do to Help Them?

  1. We quickly implemented a new sales strategy, with a COVID conscious twist. Landing pages, social posts, and ads reflected a switch to contactless tours and leasing options. Prospects could take a virtual tour, sign up for a private FaceTime tour and go through the entire leasing process virtually. Although FaceTime tours were a hit, some individuals either couldn’t find the time to fit in a virtual tour, didn’t have the technology, or just wanted a quick preview before they booked a time slot. This is where virtual tour videos came into play! We encouraged staff at The Normandy to send over pre-recorded videos — exactly how they would during a FaceTime tour, that we could post to socials, emails, and their website. Not only are these videos great during COVID-19, but they’re also the perfect call-to-action to drive traffic to their website year-round!

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  2. Keeping residents’ families and friends updated every step of the way has been one of our top priorities. We have been sure to be posting, sending emails, and updating their website whenever new information comes through from the client or CDC — whether that be new precautions, changes on visitation rules, or just helpful COVID-19 related tips. In addition to regular updates, we created a dedicated page on the website for COVID-19 related information.

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  3. There were a number of ways we worked with the client to address maintaining family connection and ensuring families their loved ones are safe.

FaceTime Calls

With visitation prohibited, we wanted to be sure residents and their families could receive some face-to-face time. This has been a scary and potentially lonely time. Recognizing this, we mobilized pretty early on to spread the word about scheduling FaceTime calls with loved ones.

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Personalized Easter Card Emails

Easter was an especially tough time for all, as many were not able to spend the holiday with their family members. The Normandy’s staff took photos of each resident and had us design and personalize Easter themed emails that went out to each resident’s loved one (which can be seen below).

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Written Messages from Residents & Staff

Many of our residents’ loved ones like to stay connected through The Normandy’s Facebook page. We identified a simple way to send well wishes was to ask staff to have each resident at The Normandy write a personal message to those thinking of them and snap a photo. Some were encouraging and sweet, while others left a little joke for their family and friends. These photos were a hit for The Normandy’s followers — an easy but effective way to keep spirits up during these tough times.

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Video Submissions

One of our biggest concerns when promoting FaceTime calls with residents and their loved ones was the lack of technology. This is why we also amplified the option to send residents personalized video messages over email and social platforms. These were especially helpful for when times got tough, rewatching the videos reminded residents that their loved ones were always thinking of them.

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St. Bernadette Elementary Letters

The Normandy often partners with St. Bernadette Elementary students when visitation is permitted. The children color pictures, write letters and keep residents company. Since visitation was prohibited — the students instead mailed these photos and letters over. This small gesture meant so much to residents at The Normandy. Not only were the residents touched, individuals around the city were as well. We also decided to write a press release to give a special thank you to the students and it was featured on a local news station!

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What Were the Results? 

The Normandy continued, and continues, to bring in new residents and now visitors that feel safe and confident, despite the concerns of COVID-19.

Generated 111 NEW LEADS over the first three months of the pandemic.

Emails generated a 11% conversion rate during this time as well.

Website visitors continued to grow, with a 37% increase in traffic during this time.

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