The United States remains a highly transient society with nearly 12% of American households relocating every year—a figure that triples among younger, upwardly rising singles living in apartments. Research shows that the choices of restaurants, dry cleaners, banks, supermarkets and other businesses new movers make within the first 30 to 60 days establish habits that remain so long as they live in the area. The opportunity for urgent care, by marketing to “new movers,” is to capture a patient may be unfamiliar with the various health care options, who does not have a primary care provider, to introduce them to your center and create a loyal “fan.”
Good evening, this is Alan Ayers and I am Just Checking In outside of new home construction here in Rockford, Illinois—the perfect location to talk to you about relocation. As an Urgent Care provider, your opportunity is to reach people as soon as they move into the community. Now, why is this important? Well when people move, they get hurt. The physical act of moving their furniture, moving their boxes, they can incur injuries. But moreover, when people are new to a community they typically are not familiar with that community’s healthcare resources; they typically are not tied into primary care. So when they have a medical need—and a medical need is certain to arise at some point—where are they going to turn? Well, through marketing if you can get your name, get your message and raise awareness for your center among new movers within the first 30-60 days, you have an opportunity to be that consumer’s preferred Urgent Care provider for the duration of their stay in their new residence.
Now, when we look at the United States, our nation is highly, highly transient. According to U.S. Census Data, about 12 percent of American households move every year but those numbers are not equal across the board. So, if you look at people who own their own homes—older citizens—they move at a rate of about 5 percent, and are more likely to stay put. But the younger generation—particularly those out of school, those starting jobs, those living in apartments—move at a rate of about 34 percent. Well, if you look across our society – who is active? Who needs urgent care? Who uses urgent care? Who doesn’t have a primary care physician? It tends to be that younger generation. And research shows that within the first 30-60 days of when somebody establishes a new residence, they pretty much pick their service providers and create their habits for the duration of when they live there. So for instance, I recently relocated from Texas to Northern Illinois. When I moved, I had to find a dry cleaning store, I picked restaurants that I wanted to use, and I needed a veterinarian. So as I pick those businesses within the first 30-60 days, unless something is seriously wrong with them overtime I will be loyal to those initial service providers that I chose.
Well, it’s interesting. When I moved from Texas I received relocation packages, or information in the mail, from two of the three large hospital systems: Swedish American, which is part of the University of Wisconsin; and OSF, which is a Catholic health system. Both of them operate Urgent Care Centers. Swedish American calls theirs Immediate Care and OSF calls theirs PromptCare. Well, within the first month in my new home I received information from these hospitals educating me about their services – there was a response card that they would help find a primary care physician, there was information about their Immediate Care and Prompt Care included as well. And if I sent the direct-reply/ the direct-response back by mail, in one case it was a free first aid kit and the other case was a free thermometer. Clearly, the goal of those sales systems was to get me tied to a provider, to their health system, and create some loyalty to their health system as a new resident to the community. So the advantage of going after a new mover is if you can grab that person right when there new in the community, you can create a loyal fan who will stick with you. Otherwise, if they go to a competitor, you’re going to have to spend extra money on marketing and you’re going to have to depend on that competitor to stumble or to offer bad service before you can win the new mover back to your Urgent Care.
So, how do you reach new movers? There are a couple ways to go about doing it. First off, because I mentioned that apartment dwellers tend to be the most transient, you can work with apartment complexes directly. Typically, when someone moves into a new apartment there is a welcome kit or some kind of folder. See if you can get your magnet or literature in that new resident kit that the apartment hands out to everyone as they move in. Alternatively, you can ask to get your magnet put on the refrigerators so when someone moves into the new apartment the magnet is already there on the refrigerator, and then they think, “Hey, I may not need Urgent Care today, but whoops! I’m injured. Where do I go? Oh, where did that magnet say to go?” So working with apartment complexes is certainly one way to do it. You can also interact when apartments have resident appreciation day or pool parties or other opportunities to engage the residents. You can actually partner with the apartment complex to be a sponsor of those things.
So, getting involved with apartments is one way, but there’s also syndicated services like the Welcome Wagon and others, or you can order mailing lists to direct-mail to new movers when they come to the community. Managing a direct-movers campaign yourself can be a little burdensome and a little cumbersome, so you can also work with the chamber of commerce or other governmental agencies in whatever type of relocation guides they produce or whatever resources they provide to new movers in the area. So the point is there is a huge marketing opportunity to grab new residents and particularly that 34 percent of the U.S. population who is young, transient, single, upwardly-rising, and living in apartments that move at the rate of 34 percent per year. When they move into the community, raise awareness of your Urgent Care, get them into your center, create loyalty, and if you do a good job and provide good service you should have a fan for life.
So again, if you’re looking for additional ideas, be sure to check out our website at Practice Velocity. I would love to hear from you and any questions you have please email the address on your screen. Again, this is Alan Ayers - Just Checking In.