Case Study – Marketing and Service Integration Strategy for Social Care
An interim contract required development of a marketing strategy to enable improvements in occupancy and to support the due diligence of a venture capital company considering investment. By simplifying and consolidating the marketing and business development efforts across all business areas improved occupancy was achieved.
The social care business delivered a wide range of different services to a broad range of service user needs; from learning disability to emotional and behavioural disability, from children through to adults, and from short term to lifelong service provision. Additionally there were a wide range of clients whose needs were to be met: the service users, the local authority clients, the parents and families, social workers, and the community.
Each service had operated as if a separate company and marketing and business development was undertaken in an uncoordinated and disparate way, sometimes undertaken locally and sometimes involving the central resource. This provided an inconsistent message and often caused confusion for local authority clients and weakened the marketing message and good reputation earned by the business.
Business development and client service was undertaken in an ad hoc way that did not consider which clients had the least number of barriers to convert to sale, or just how much each client was actually worth to the business, and the effect on the business if a local authority client should leave.
An integrated marketing strategy was developed that provided consistency and quality of message and brand, and recognised all clients’ needs. Lots of good and effective marketing initiatives were already being undertaken, and these were built upon. All business units were advised to involve the central marketing resource whenever holding events or communicating with the public to ensure brand consistency and appropriate message.
Business development strategies were developed to ensure that existing clients were managed and cared for in a better way to ensure their on-going commitment to using the service, and to ensure that the business continued to meet their needs. A framework was developed for a monthly report that would assist in the strategic targeting of potential clients and servicing of existing ones. Structure and support was provided to the business development team to maximise their effectiveness.
The marketing and service integration strategy was implemented by the organisation and the Chief Executive confirmed that occupancy had increased significantly as a result and it had delivered significant benefit to the business. Investment was also offered by the venture capital company.
Gaynor Gravestock is a business specialist and director of Synergy and Strategy Limited.