by Stephanie Vecchiarelli


A marketing team collaborating.

Imagine this: The team has gathered around the meeting table to discuss a new campaign. It’s early, but the smell of fresh-brewed coffee is in the air and several members of your team from sales to marketing have arrived in a shared collaborative spirit. Everyone is clear on the company’s big important goal, objectives and strategies that will give them the traction to succeed. The energy is high, and you know that the brand has been developed to represent the true essence of the organization. It’s clear through differentiation that your competitors have got nothing on this team and what you do for your target audience.

The discussion commences and the team’s creative ideas start flowing. You’re referencing the brand messaging, mood board and brand guidelines for inspiration. Doing so helps everyone envision the next steps in vivid detail by bringing their words to life. Soon enough, a visual campaign begins to take shape and the team agrees on a clear path forward.

This joyous flow state of creative energy thrives when your team is collectively aligned to reach a set goal. When everyone is clear on the ins and outs of your company’s marketing plan and the strategies therein, you too can set the stage for powerful and creative collaborative sessions that stand out from the competition.
At Big Buzz, we set the stage for successful visual campaigns for our clients in the healthcare industry by offering five key strategies:

1. The Marketing Objectives Workshop (MOW)

The MOW first focuses your team on the science of marketing (the highest goal) and the objectives of marketing (the destination). Once the team agrees on the top three destinations the organization will need to reach to achieve the big important goal (BIG), collaboration is facilitated to prioritize all marketing strategies and tactics related to each destination. By completing the MOW, your organization will see instant action that builds the quantifiable momentum quarter by quarter to reach the objectives and the BIG.

2. Brand Development Strategy

The critical phase of developing a brand strategy starts with surveying your best (and most replicable) customers and internal stakeholders. This fruitful data is then translated into a strong brand messaging platform, which houses the organization’s new brand essence, positioning statement and three unique differentiators. These elements are used to bolster all copy concerning the marketing efforts aligned with reaching the BIG. The brand messaging is also paired with a brand archetype, sparking the initial creative vision for your organization through the means of a mood board. Built specifically to convey the general idea or feeling about the brand, the mood board is used internally to provide inspiration and continuity in the visual direction of all marketing.

3. Target Market Strategy

Align your team on the 1-2 target audience(s) that present(s) the highest overall value for the organization. During this collaborative session, the team rates a set of 3 to 5 target audiences against five levels of criteria ranging from which represents the organization’s largest potential market share to which represents the highest potential lifetime value. This gives your organization a clear path forward when creating the visual campaigns within the strategies that build momentum towards achieving the BIG. The better you can speak directly to the people you serve, the better you can visualize an effective campaign.

4. Competitor Research Strategy

Beyond setting your organization apart with a strong brand messaging platform, you must ensure your three differentiators do not closely echo those of your competitors. To meet or exceed your most ambitious goal, blending in is not an option, visually or otherwise. Assign a member of your team to research the websites and marketing materials of 5 to 10 of your most threatening competitors. Have them catalog the top three differentiating factors from each, and cross-reference theirs with yours using a matrix or spreadsheet. If you see too many overlaps, it’s time to revisit the consumer data and home in on why consumers chose you over them.

5. Brand Guidelines Strategy

As a result of the cumulative efforts of the strategies above, your organization is ready to embark on the creation of a brand guidelines book. This document includes key summaries of your most important messaging components as an organization, including your:

  • Mission
  • Vision
  • Values
  • Brand messaging
  • Brand archetype

It also includes a visual guide to your organization’s brand featuring elements like:

  • Logo usage
  • Color schemes
  • Font usage
  • Mood board
  • Any other examples of visual identity used throughout marketing communications

The purpose is to ensure alignment – that every piece of visual content produced for your organization conveys an accurate message that reaches the correct target audience and pushes your objectives to meet the BIG. Launch stronger visual campaigns to attract warm leads. Complete the strategies above to fuel the visual campaigns related to each destination within the BIG. The true momentum you seek lives within the data.

Our clients often find that reviewing these five key strategies makes their most ambitious goal seem far more attainable by compartmentalizing them into less intimidating steps. As you complete these strategies, the path toward your BIG will become even clearer. Jagged rocks will become smooth cobblestones, steep inclines give way to gentle hills and the clouds will part. Analogies aside, doing so will also help you envision the campaigns and marketing materials you need to arrive at your ideal bottom line.

Does the path toward a successful visual campaign still look murky? Big Buzz can help put things into perspective. Contact us today to get a complimentary, no-obligation initial session.

Big Buzz is a marketing agency delivering a steady stream of move-in-ready leads to teams serving the senior living industry. For more than 15 years, Big Buzz has helped senior living marketing and sales teams nurture leads to increase occupancy, grow and scale. CEO Wendy O’Donovan Phillips is the author of the book Flourish!: The Method Used by Aging Services Organizations for the Ultimate Marketing Results, has been published in McKnight’s, has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and has been quoted in The Washington Post, ABC News and Chicago Tribune. The Big Buzz leadership team regularly lectures in front of audiences ranging from 25 to 3,000 attendees, including at Argentum and various LeadingAge chapters. Agency awards and accolades include recognition for excellence by the American Marketing Association, Gold Key Award Winner by the Business Marketing Association, HubSpot Academy Inbound Marketing Certification, and Top Advertising and Marketing Agency by Clutch.

by Stephanie Vecchiarelli



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