‘Senior citizens respond well to digital marketing mediums’

‘Senior citizens respond well to digital marketing mediums’

‘Senior citizens respond well to digital marketing mediums’In a country like India with a large population going through lifestyle changes every day and families running as nuclear in urban towns, the idea of senior care communities like the one at Columbia Pacific Communities is quite a catch.

Columbia Pacific Communities is a part of Columbia Pacific Management based in Seattle, US, which is a one-of-a-kind senior care community builder. Instead of being an old age home, it is more of a society trying to make life less lonely and more meaningful for the older generation.

The goal of the company, the recent campaigns and what marketing medium works or doesn’t for people over the age of sixty were shared by the Senior Vice President – Marketing at Columbia Pacific Communities who was speaking on this.

How did Columbia Pacific Communities start?

We started the Senior Living business in India in the last year. We acquired a company that was already into senior living. The company is based in Chennai and has operations in other parts of India. The company was formed in India after we took over Serene. We don’t mean old age homes that don’t have anything to do with old age. Independent seniors can choose to live in these retirement communities. We want to get international standards of senior living with international standards, healthcare incorporated into it, and build communities for seniors across the country.

The demographic of senior citizens and people around them are being marketed to. Is digital an effective medium for older people?

There is a myth that senior citizens can’t be reached through digital means. I’m talking about senior citizens in the city. A different kind of picture might be presented by rural India. I don’t think reaching out to senior citizens through digital means has been an issue for us in the cities that we are targeting. Post-pandemic, 70% of our spends are allocated to digital, we only do 30% on offline. 70% includes email marketing and YouTube. Senior citizens like to use technology. The government relations program that was launched in India is going to get better and we will continue to invest in it.

Newspapers still work with this generation because they are fond of reading a newspaper with a cup of tea or coffee. The mediums that don’t work on senior citizens are outdoors. We’ve invested a lot of money in expos. People do not go to an expo to look for senior living facilities. Ultimately, it is about telling a story. Seniors respond more to narrative than direct messaging because there is an emotional connection. Emotions are the focus of this category. You need emotion to sell this category.

Is television a medium? Does that work for you?

We’ve tried television as a medium before. The whole point of real estate marketing is that it’s local and not national. We try to avoid a lot of wasted money because our budgets are very strict.

What have your campaigns looked like over the years?

We are always trying to solve the problems of senior citizens and that’s why the campaigns are more focused. According to the data we found, about 65 per cent of seniors in India were feeling lonely and isolated, which is why it was important to eradicate loneliness for senior citizens. We are proud of the way this year’s campaign turned out. Why can’t we find jobs for them to use as they please? The campaign has received a great response.

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