The challenge initially was to design and build a suite of websites for each of Canford’s homes that would demonstrate their superior quality to customers. The goal of the websites was to demonstrate that their price point (usually 20%-30% more than competitors) was worth it for the extra care and service.
The sales cycle for places in these homes is narrow – just a few days usually – recommendations usually come from doctors or family members, but then the customer will visit the site to check it out. It was important to connect with the customer when they are ready – ie. When perhaps a parent has had a fall and needs accommodation immediately.
Aside from the obvious need to be very visual, and to allow customers to see very clearly the care and facilities their loved ones would receive, the website also needed to express the ethos of Canford and their other activities – such as an outreach service and Meals-on-Wheels. The company also had a problem finding good staff.
After researching the business, and how people make buying decisions in this space, we realised that older people, and particularly current residents, made the best ambassadors for the brand.
But we also realised that most people who ultimately buy the service hear about it from a health professional or family member, then check out the website, and finally visit the facility. The website is an important part of that process. Therefore, the strategy was to convert as many of those leads as possible into an enquiry. When a lead heard about Canford as a possible home for their parents or found it online, we wanted to convert as many of those leads as possible into actual real-life visits.
Reaching the customer at the right time was vital – so SEO was also a vital tool in terms of bringing in customers looking for nursing home services.
We also wanted to improve the chances of a healthcare professional, resident or family member recommending Canford in the first place by using social media, email and the website itself.
We built a website that featured a lot of visual – including video – to give the ‘feel and look’ of the Canford facilities to the online reader. It demonstrated the quality of a Canford Home while justifying the extra cost by pointing out the extra facilities and care being provided.
We trained staff in each facility to use social media to get out the message about the quality of life enjoyed by residents.
We also used email campaigns to make other referees aware of the ‘premium’ nature of Canford – referees could include doctors, home-help staff, residents and their families or other people with the healthcare sector.
After working with Canford for a while, they made us aware of difficulties they had in recruitment, so we also set up for them a scalable recruitment campaign across the group (using software and content) to help frame Canford as an employer of choice.
Canford is now a highly sought-after solution for a family of elderly parents who need care. While we have completed several projects with them, they have come back to Emarkable to increase their digital footprint and to draw new customers.