This is the second post in this series about Learn and Launch. Click here to see the first one about the genesis of Life Circle.
Life Circle Senior Services provides subscription-based professional caregiving and home nursing services to chronically ill and bed-ridden seniors in India. While the launch of Life Circle has allowed us to successfully confront an emerging health issue in India, our services are still not reaching all potential care seekers and caregivers.
Life Circle joined CHMI’s Learn and Launch program to tackle this issue. Learn and Launch was a peer learning opportunity to address practical challenges that prevent innovative healthcare organizations from growing and reaching more people with quality care.
In early December, Life Circle Senior Services participated in the Learn and Launch Kick-off event organized by the Center for Health Market Innovation and ACCESS Health in Mumbai. This event brought together a selected group of health innovators to find answers to the common marketing-related challenges in this industry including: pricing a service for bottom of the pyramid consumers, training and motivating your staff, and understanding your target market. It was the perfect opportunity to share, brainstorm, test practices and develop new approaches to address our greatest marketing challenge: how to better attract and retain both caregivers and care seekers to Life Circle? The discussions with our peers and experts during the meeting helped us to tackle this challenge effectively.
Initial Objectives and Strategy
Life Circle participated in the Learn and Launch program with two initial objectives in mind:
- Increase the number of hours of home nursing and caregiving services to seniors who are bed ridden and chronically ill
- Attract and retain Caregivers to Life Circle
During the Mumbai kick off meeting, we learned a lot from the different marketing presentations, especially one about “Internal capacity-building and consumer service experience.” This presentation was particularly relevant for us as it focused on topics such as staff retention strategies, consumer services and experience, ethics and staff incentives.
What’s more, we realized that the Life Circle website was not very engaging, as it did not clearly articulate our positioning and mainly encouraged visitors to give us a call. We decided to improve our website to become a platform between caregivers and care seekers. By giving both caregivers and care seekers a new way of accessing our services, we hope this will dramatically increase engagement. We developed the following strategies to achieve the objectives mentioned above:
1. Use social media to funnel potential "Care Seekers" and "Caregivers" to Life Circle website
2. Use the Life Circle website to engage and retain potential "Care Seekers" and "Caregivers".
Life Circle receives a large volume of calls and website visits, but the conversion rate of potential new customers has remained low. Thus, we adopted a three-step approach to help us overcome this challenge:
- Create a user experience strategy for potential “Care Seekers” visiting the Life Circle website: We hired an agency specializing in website user experience to help us with this task. After a series of meetings, we agreed on a User Experience Strategy (UES)
- Create a Life Circle website design based on user experience strategy: Once we had finalized on the UES, we moved to the next stage, which was creating a website layout. During this stage, we also interviewed our existing patients and caregivers to get their input. After testing the various design options, we finalized the design for our website
- Build engagement application: To move beyond providing information to care seekers and caregivers through our website, we also built a small engagement application linked to our website. The engagement application helps a potential care seeker to initiate an enquiry from the website and choose from a list of caregivers. In a similar way, a potential caregiver would be also be able to apply for a job using the website.
Looking back at Learn & Launch and lessons learned
During the three month program, we decided to focus our actions on what was the most important thing for us: building a more engaging website to help us secure more customers and providers.
Today, we have gone beyond that initial implementation by also formulating a proper digital marketing strategy. First, we are going to focus on only three specific digital marketing areas that will help us achieve our initial objectives: email marketing, social media and content development. After this initial phase and once we have seen some impact, we will then hire a marketing specialist who will build on our efforts and initiate new ones such as developing our search engine optimization (SEO) system and launch Google Ad Words campaigns.
The Learn and Launch was useful to programs such as ours, but there are some areas of improvement:
- The kick off plan was really good as it brought all the participants together. It would have been good to have a mid-project meeting as well with the same set of participants.
- It would be good to have mentors, apart from peers, joining the program.
- Paring two companies together with aligned goals from the Kick-off could make the learning process more effective.
That said, all of what we have learned from the Learn and Launch initiative has allowed us to set new goals and launch new marketing-related actions with confidence. Life Circle would be very pleased to take part in another similar initiative.