by Evan Franklin


Unifying teams around marketing goals for senior living

Your organization has accomplished mighty feats in the senior living industry. You have a strong marketing budget and you have assembled a knowledgeable and committed team whose members excel in their roles and rise to challenges. Why, then, do you continue to struggle with accomplishing your highest organizational goals?

You and your team may be dealing with misalignment. This is by no means a criticism, and you are in good company. In fact, according to research conducted by FranklinCovey, “only 15 percent of employees actually know their organization’s most important goals—either there are no goals or they have too many goals.” By either not communicating a unified message from the top down and across departments, or by creating too many targets for everyone to feasibly hit, you create fractured strategies. This fracture causes your best efforts to lose potency. The disconnect can be exacerbated still by an inconsistent approach to project management that makes collaboration between teams or departments difficult to manage. The good news, however, is that you have diagnosed the problem and you can take solace in the fact that many organizations have overcome these hurdles deftly with an undivided and synergistic approach.

Unifying Communication

In an environment with so many moving parts, consolidation and a collective understanding of your goals and efforts are both crucial components to success. Again, even stationary targets can become insurmountable in great numbers. To circumvent this, create a singular, ambitious and clear goal for the year. Be sure to include the starting metric, the goal metric and the deadline. For example, “Increase occupancies from 78% to 90% by December 31st, 2021.” The purpose of this format is twofold:

1) To create a cut-and-dry goal that is easily communicated with every team, department and employee involved in its achievement

2) To more easily compartmentalize the goal and break it down into attainable steps. These steps can then be delegated to those best suited to complete them in order to provide everyone with absolute certainty of whether or not they are on course to meet the goal throughout the year. This also allows teams to course-correct before an issue arises, as the goal is being monitored through lead and lag measures.

Once you have created your singular goal, you’re ready to begin with the Strategic Planning Model, which will allow you to take a deep-dive into exactly how you will position for a win by your deadline.

Tackle Projects the Right Way

First things first, it is not recommended to outsource project management. This role is generally too nuanced for a vendor or external party; effective project management often requires a deeper understanding of the organization (as well as its operations, infrastructure, and most importantly – individuals) than is possible with outsourcing. Next, you must assess the tools in your toolbelt and those at your disposal. The ideal approach is through a unified software hub such as Trello or Everyone may have immaculate time management skills and attention to detail across the board, but if efforts are siloed across teams or departments, it becomes increasingly difficult to complete a project smoothly and effectively.

Pictured below is an example board courtesy of Trello. As you can see, tasks can be intuitively segmented in such a way as to make next steps and mission-critical items crystal clear, with additional columns for completed or roadblocked items. Platforms like these help provide project managers with a centralized and organized location for projects of any scope while giving employees a clear and consistent roadmap of their components, complete with deadlines.

Project management tools for senior living

The aforementioned platforms allow projects to be delegated easily to the appropriate party company-wide, all with one simple interface. What’s more, everyone involved in a project can see how projects are coming along, with updates or edits communicated easily through tagged posts and the ability to upload files directly to the site.

Unity is the driver to success, and clear communications provide the firm foundation. By creating clearer and more focused communication efforts, your organization can function like a well-oiled machine with every member clear on the precise steps required to meet your loftiest goal.

If you’d like to learn more about improving your tactics or get a free, no-obligation assessment of your current marketing strategy and how to optimize it to drive occupancies today, contact Big Buzz to get scheduled.


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 Evan Franklin



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