The older adult market includes those on a fixed budget. Creative programming, packaging and positioning can help you reach and serve this marketing profitably.
- Identify six ways to serve the fixed budget market affordably without forfeiting profitability.
- Create new revenue streams by leveraging existing knowledge.
- Explore partnerships with community agencies for mutually beneficial relationships.
Part I of this article focused on the variety of values, motivations, and ability levels of the mature market. You learned ways to diversify within this large niche to attract your ideal customer. You can use three categories to reach those already looking for you and increase the interest of those not yet aware that they need you.
What about the gap that exists between people who want your services and are motivated to get help but are on a fixed income? When money is the obstacle and you want to help how do you make a wise business decision? In this part of the article you’ll discover creative programming to help you serve that older individual on a fixed income.
Use one or integrate these six ideas to create opportunities for both you and your customers. You might just find you’ve found a way to serve someone who needs you and a new revenue stream.
Fix the Fixed Income Obstacle
1. Special Time of Day Options
During the middle of the day most facilities and most trainers are not at capacity. If you wish to serve the older adult market and like to be home for dinner, you’re in luck. If either you or your facility is not booked you’re losing money or time. By offering a special membership or special personal training service during a down time you can create a more optimal schedule for yourself and provide a much-needed service to those who otherwise couldn’t afford it.
2. Small Group Supervised Programs
Set up programs for fixed income adults that allow you to optimize space and time at a rate they can afford. If you can work with a group instead of one-on-one you can easily price for profit. Three-to-four week programs will allow you to charge a little more because the initial investment is low.
Target within your target. Reach out to a retirement community. Feature adventures or benefits they can’t already access. Transportation, which can be an obstacle for fixed income folks, will be less so if a group from a community has interest. If you’re targeting a high-ability group you can strategically create partner activities so that you’re able to supervise higher-risk movements.
Older adults welcome supervision and want to be corrected. Even an “open gym” with individuals coming to do a program independently with staff supervision available is a low-barrier entry. Establish the minimum number of participants needed at a rate that would be both profitable and affordable. Market programs as a “study” and measure then report before and after strength and attendance.
3. Offer Distance Learning
Older adults are online. They’re spending money there. In fact, they outspend younger adults 2:1. What are you already doing that you could offer in the form of an online program?
It could be by phone (a teleclass), computer (webinar), by book or video. Electronic books – ebooks – can include links to your website for access to videos. A growing number of older adults do use digital. A paperback available to buy when you talk to a group is also an opportunity. Create Space is an on-demand do-it-yourself publishing option is affordable and fast. If you’re sales are significant this can be profitable.
Under the health and wellness umbrella there are dozens of programs waiting for you to develop. Think outside your box in terms both of the type of programs you create and how you deliver them. You’ll reduce barriers to entry.
Create your product or service focused on your target market. It’s not “fixed income older adults.” It’s 50-70 year old women with bone density issues who are getting started, for example. How would these women want to best consume information? Would they prefer video? An audio? Would they be more likely to use a book with illustrations? Do you want to create all of them and bundle them into one big product?
If you begin with a clientele you already serve you have tested content and a process that works. You know the questions a customer will ask. You can create a program that they can consume without having to pay the one-on-one price.
4. Eliminate Transportation Costs
An in-home rate is a big obstacle. The previous example is but one option. Take your unique program on the road. If you deliver your service at three different locations during a morning however, you lose transportation time. Instead, plan to stay at one facility for the morning and target three different ability or interest levels during that time.
For example, you could spend an hour each leading an athletic-based pole walking class, a small group getting-started weight training session, and then work with those who need assistance on mobility and balance. Take the same program set to one or two other locations each week. You make optimal use of your preparation time and provide valuable expertise. Package the programs in an attractive presentation for administrators or landlords. Negotiate pay directly with individuals or with the agency or a combination.
Can you train someone else to deliver the program as an alternative to you doing it? You’re the expert. There are still a large number of retirement and residential communities that have activity or wellness staff members who aren’t fitness experts. Provide training for a specific program to staff members of such communities. Host a workshop at a central location. Package and price your training in a way that is profitable for you. Set up a quarterly or semi-annual training.
The stronger your brand the less likely you’ll be undercut by a trainer or instructor who isn’t a specialist. Be sure your training materials are presented and packaged attractively. Find the decision-maker and tell them what their residents need. Have session objectives planned and formats organized. Take care of all the details so you’re irresistible. Remember what administrators want: satisfied residents, an edge against the competition, and no headaches. Don’t focus on the fitness benefits in your business meeting. Make it easy to say yes.
5. Target Organizations Where Fixed Income Adults Belong
Churches, philanthropic organizations, and alumni associations have interest in the health and wellbeing of their members. To reduce your cost to members of these groups on fixed income flex your creativity.
- Offer group programming before or after regular meetings
- Pitch a shared expense option for the organization and its qualifying members. You earn your full rate while the organization supports the quality of living of its members with a “scholarship.”
Older adults on a fixed income are no more or less motivated to take advantage of your services. Keep your marketing focus on the end result your niche wants. The desired benefits are the same regardless of economic status. Affordability is a feature. No matter who you message they have to want what you’re offering first.
6. Partner with Grocery Stores, Pharmacies, or Other Businesses
Grocery stores may have the dietary part of programming covered. You can offer the fitness component. Ask for a flat fee from the store and a per head rate from individuals.
Grocery stores, like most businesses, are catering to the older adult market. They want that business. A grocer wants to enhance customer service to attract and keep older adult customers. An increasing number of grocery chains have educational meeting space. Your fixed income prospects shop for groceries. Meet them where they are.
Marketing to the older adult market isn’t easy. It takes more than featuring grey haired adults in your image. Understand your target older adult’s physical and emotional needs along with his values and you will be reach out with a strong marketing message.