NEW CANAAN, Conn. – As the director of marketing for New Canaan’s Waveny LifeCare Network, Kristin Sinatra gradually positioned her business in the digital environment. She discussed her the marketing direction of her business recently at Google’s New York City headquarters as a case study for the powerful search engine.
The conference was titled “The Patient Will See You Now,” and Sinatra discussed a health care organization’s journey into digital marketing.
“It showed how on a not-for-profit budget, you can be nimble and reallocate things,’’ she said. “Over the course of a decade we went from conventional marketing to one that redirected toward digital advertising and away from direct mail and Yellow Pages.”
Sinatra and her Waveny team developed an integrated marketing plan that includes social media, a revamped website and hyperlocal news providers, such as Daily Voice. Sinatra said the comprehensive strategy has been worth the effort.
“In health care, you need to be findable for people who need you most,’’ she said. “Often when people have questions, they don’t know where to turn, especially if they are in a crisis situation. The first place they’re going to turn to is the Internet.”
Distributing news and information through media such as Daily Voice has been one of the key pieces to Waveny LifeCare’s digital marketing plan, along with its increased emphasis on social media. She said at the conference that Daily Voice “was one of a few highly credible companies that they rely on.”
“It’s a big piece of the puzzle,’’ Sinatra said. “You want to position yourself where people are looking for their news. A lot of people are looking to the Daily Voice for their news. I don’t think any person in a marketing category should take that for granted, especially a not-for-profit. We have to be very savvy and very conservative. Being able to partner with places that will share our news is invaluable.”
Sinatra said Waveny LifeCare Network’s digital strategy was particularly important late in 2013 when it rebranded. The new name coincided with the launch of a new website.
“The rebranding was perfect timing for us to revisit our website,’’ Sinatra said. “We launched a new Waveny.org that was highly searchable, highly shareable and a very intuitive layout. There was a lot of material and presented in a non-overwhelming way. You can glean as much or as little as you want. Our marketing mission is to help people stay informed in a variety of ways with regard to their changing preferences. It’s a mission-driven marketing strategy.”
Sinatra said she knew 10 years ago that increasing Waveny LifeCare’s digital presence would be beneficial, even in a business that caters to seniors. “We still do a lot of conventional advertising, including print media to reach seniors who don’t use the Internet,’’ Sinatra said. “But it’s just as important to have online media sources as it is to have the paper. It’s crucial to be positioned in both if we want to reach the many audiences we serve.”
Some Waveny seniors are even learning more about how to use the Internet. Sinatra said young volunteers teach them how to use Skype, iPads and other resources to stay connected with family. One recent story about two Waveny LifeCare Network residents who turned 100 years old drew a lot of attention. The story in the New Canaan Daily Voice is here:
“The outpouring of support was incredible,’’ Sinatra said. “It’s just one more way to use the Internet.”