What is a Market Analysis?
A market analysis is a detailed and thorough, data-driven assessment of the present market in any given industry. Such an analysis can help assisted living organizations to plan new projects and developments that will be most beneficial to the residents they serve. A good assisted living market analysis will utilize both qualitative and quantitative data to offer a well-rounded and highly relevant insight into issues including:
- Customer segments and how their buying and decision-making processes differ.
- What your direct and indirect competition are doing (and how you can stand out).
- The economic environment and how this affects your potential customer base.
Why Conduct an Assisted Living Market Analysis?
The benefits of carrying out a market analysis to gain an in-depth overview of your clientele and industry are aplenty. Using real, tangible data, this exercise will allow you to set your business up for continued growth, in a way that simply relying upon assumptions and guesswork will never facilitate.
Market analysis will identify the people who need you and what they want, based on everything from current economic trends and technological advances right through to your customers’ personal values. In turn, this will allow you to develop and invest strategically, rather than simply throwing money at the wall and seeing what sticks.
3 Vital Areas to Explore Within Your Market Analysis
- Your Market Area. Before analyzing your potential customers, it’s important to know where they are coming from and where they are likely to come from in the future. Think about the local community’s draw, while also considering emerging trends. For instance, some assisted living communities have noticed that potential residents are willing to travel further for the right community in recent years.
- Your Ideal Customer. Collecting demographic data can help you get to know your target customer and their needs in the current social and financial climate. That is, who wants your services, who needs them and who can afford them. For example, collecting data on the average home value of potential clients might help you understand the percentage of those target customers who would be able to afford your entrance fees. In turn, this could be used to inform fees, alongside other vital data like competitor pricing. If you are struggling to build census and find that only 5% of your target customers are likely to be able to afford your fees, lowering them slightly may open your doors to a wider demographic. Alternatively, if 90% can afford your fees, and your competitors are charging much more than you, it might be beneficial to raise your pricing. Alongside demographic information, you may also wish to collect data on things like the buying behaviors and psychographics (e.g., likes, dislikes and typical personality traits) of your target customer.
- Your Industry Competitors. What are your competitors doing to meet the ever-changing needs of your shared target customer? Are assisted living facilities in your area utilizing technology more than previously, for example? In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many seniors and family caregivers have become more comfortable with and competent in the use of modern technology. In turn, senior living communities are increasingly incorporating technology into a range of areas. Perhaps your competitors have launched resident portals for service management and communication with caregivers, or maybe they are offering virtual reality or gaming-based recreational activities for residents. Looking into what your direct and indirect competitors are providing can offer valuable insight into the best ways to develop your community and appeal to a new generation of seniors.
Taking extra care to ensure that your assisted living market analysis is methodologically sound is absolutely vital. Getting this right from the start will allow you to conduct a more valid and reliable assessment that leads to useful results worth your effort and investment.
Things to consider
- Make sure all data collected are actionable. Don’t waste your valuable time, money and resources collecting data with no identifiable purpose. When deciding on the data you need to collect, always think back to how it will be useful and what it will add to your market analysis.
- Think about how quantitative data will be split. How will you segment data to clearly identify trends? For example, when considering your target customer, a 10-year age segment of 61-70 will likely encompass both seniors who are just starting to consider retirement living, as well as many who are ready to move in immediately. Therefore, it’s likely that this group would include a diverse selection of individuals with a range of priorities. Splitting this segment into two (or more) distinct categories may offer a more useful insight into the characteristics of seniors at each stage in the journey, without relying on data extrapolation.
- Avoid relying on projections, estimates and assumptions. Base as many of your findings as possible on real-life data. Though estimates, projections and assumptions can all be useful to build a bigger picture, the foundations of any market analysis should be based on actual data. When using projections or estimates, consider where these have come from and carefully assess the accuracy sources.
How can a Marketing Consulting Agency Help?
If the prospect of carrying out an in-depth market analysis seems daunting, working with a specialist marketing consulting agency could be the ideal solution. If you are ready to start your assisted living market analysis today, SMCG are experts in all aspects of assisted living marketing and sales. Get in touch to find out more about how we develop excellent market analyses for our senior living and healthcare clients.