Marketing to seniors

Mercy Health System

"If you build it, they will come." It's a slogan that works well in movies, but not in healthcare. Even the best programs that offer real benefits—at low cost—won't truly thrive unless they are supported by robust healthcare marketing campaigns.

And the most successful campaigns may not use a hard-sell approach. In fact, the most effective way to promote some programs is to give consumers content that supports—but doesn't explicitly detail—your program.

That's what the team at Mercy Health System, a member of Trinity Health, discovered as they worked on a print marketing product for their senior population.

Serving the senior community with Mercy LIFE

The Mercy LIFE program is designed for people 55 and older who qualify for Medicare and Medicaid. Mercy LIFE provides support to seniors who are in need of medical services and help with activities of daily living. The program is free for those who are eligible. The goal is to help vulnerable seniors stay healthy and active—so they can continue to live independently in their own homes. Each person who enrolls has access to a personalized care plan. And there are five adult day centers available, which put seniors in touch with a team of caregivers, including doctors, nurses, therapists and more.

A traditional marketing campaign would likely focus on the services and features of a program like this. But the Mercy LIFE team wanted to do something a little different. To them, the program is really about serving the community. A publication that shared that same goal—of being helpful—seemed like a better fit.

Communicating core values in print

The Mercy LIFE publication, More@Mercy, is filled with articles of interest to seniors as well as to their caregivers. Readers who open the publication will see stories about:

  • Nutrition.
  • Exercise.
  • Vaccination.
  • Budgeting.
  • Medication management.

These are topics the target audience needs to understand in order to stay active and healthy at home. And they reflect the kind of support readers might receive if they enroll in the program.

The printed piece also includes member profiles, which shed light on who enrolls in the program and what they get from their membership. These profiles aim to be entertaining, but they can also encourage people to enroll.

Measuring the impact

Each edition of the printed piece contains action items. Readers are encouraged to:

  • Visit the website and check out an online calendar of events.
  • See an online menu of meals served at the centers.
  • Call to determine whether or not they're eligible to enroll.
  • Visit social media channels for more information.

These calls to action give the Mercy LIFE team a great deal of information to measure. And the results have been spectacular.

According to Jenna Karwoski, Director of Marketing and Communications at Mercy LIFE, visits to the website rise whenever a new issue is released. Calls to the call center also increase.

"I can always tell when the publication is hitting homes, because I see requests for information rise," Karwoski says. "Since the publication's inception, we have enrolled many seniors in the program, and the ROI is clear to me."

A dedicated team gets the work done

As for many healthcare communicators, Karwoski's workdays are packed. While she believes in the value of the publication, she doesn't have a lot of time to devote to content planning and strategy.

So Coffey's custom writing team stepped in to help. Before each edition goes into production, editors develop an editorial plan and submit it to Karwoski for approval. With that plan in place, she can focus on the other parts of her job that need attention, while her publication moves forward as planned.

"The Coffey team is not only reliable and resourceful, they are 100 percent invested in the product," Karwoski says. "They are innovative and consistently create interesting newsletters that speak to Mercy LIFE's specific audience. Coffey's newsletters play a vital role in achieving our business goals."

To learn more about how Coffey can support your targeted marketing campaigns, contact us.

Custom editing

Annual reports

Infographic design

Marketing to seniors

Print ROI

Disease management content