We could assign Amanda many different titles. Creative Content Creator. Systematic Storyteller. Education Enthusiast. Organizer of Disorder. Connoisseur of Internet Culture.
And, apparently, Advocate for Alliteration, according to Amanda….
But here at LMC, we call her our Digital Communications Coordinator.
With a background in graphic design, journalism, video editing, web design, blogging, social media, public relations, event planning, and brand management, she’s an invaluable creative asset to LMC and to our clients. Plus, she tolerates our endless, ‘punny’’ (sometimes unfunny) humor. In our defense, she did come up with her own ‘Harry Potter’ rap from Lupin’s point of view. We’re just saying…
Besides her marketing superpowers, Amanda enjoys acting in community theatre productions, photographing nature and architecture, drawing with ink or charcoal and, of course, watching British movies such as Bend it Like Beckham or lesser-known comedies such as Irish Jam. (Yeah, you’re gonna want to google that).
What will her day-to-day look like at LMC? Well, a little bit of anything and everything. From writing, to logo design, to page layout, she’ll be doing whatever our clients need. But we also absolutely love her for her methodical organizational skills. She’ll be handling much of the internal task lists and helping to ensure client satisfaction by routinely touching base with our wonderful partners.
So now that know a little more bit about Amanda, have you met the rest of the LMC team?
Today we’re talking with the brilliant mind behind the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit. Mary Furlong is a serial entrepreneur, and a leading expert in entrepreneurship and the aging and technology market. She is the owner of Mary Furlong and Associates, a consulting company that advises firms in the longevity market, and that puts on this important annual conference.
Q: Hi Mary. Thanks for talking with us today. Can you tell us a little about the What’s Next Boomer Business Summit?
A: This summit was the first of its kind, and it’s the nation’s leading event for companies, experts, and thought leaders in the aging market. It brings together groups from every part of the industry to network and learn. We’ll have market overviews, industry analysts talking about trends in technology, in senior housing, in caregiving, in financing. We’ll have a pitch competition. It’s like getting a mini MBA in the longevity market.
Q: Who is it for? Who would benefit from attending?
A: It’s an intentional mix of entrepreneurs, investors, business development people for major organizations, top executives from non-profits, regulators, thought leaders, and industry analysts. We bring together people from tiny startups and from Fortune 100 companies, all the players who are successfully targeting the largest and most lucrative consumer demographic in the world. And we also examine the perspectives of the millennials and their role in shaping boomer priorities.
Q: This conference is now in its 14th year. How did it come about originally?
A: Before I started my consulting company I’d already been in this business for 17 years. So I had a lot of relationships. The longevity market is growing. It’s sized at over $260 billion in the next four years, so just look at the enormous opportunity. I’d written a book on how to make a profit in this industry (Turning Silver Into Gold). I could see that people needed a guide for how to bring products and services to market, and to accelerate their traction. I could bring groups together, to help facilitate the conversation, and to get more innovation in the marketplace.
Q: How has it changed over the years?
A: In the first year, we did print marketing, a brochure. We don’t do that anymore. Now we launched a video. Our email list has grown to 15,000. I keep saying that the longevity market today is where the Internet was in 1994. So if you’re getting out of school now, you’re coming into a market that is solely a growth market. It’s not like other markets that have hiccups, like Venezuelan oil, for instance. It’s immutable that there’s a large and growing group of older people for the foreseeable future.
There’s a phrase, “riches in the niches.” We point to people who find their niches to make money. Think of Lori Bitter, who is a marketing and development consultant, or Laurie Orlov, an industry analyst. Where are the places to make money serving this market? You can be a large technology firm, a non-profit, or a new entrepreneur, but it makes sense to pivot into the market and to really understand your customer. David Inns, the CEO of GreatCall, who is leading a panel on the future of Senior Care, is someone who really knows his customer. So if you can have a conversation between experts like that, they all are drawing a detailed portrait of the consumer. It helps people understand who the customer is, how to reach them, and what are the riches in the niches. We’ve had people who used to be volunteers at the summit, who have gone on to launch businesses and have come back to the conference as attendees or speakers.
Q: This summit is such an important force in the industry. Why is it still the event to go to?
We work really hard to curate content, to select the leaders. We also have great facilitators. The conference is embedded with reporters who are covering the age beat and know the issues. We have analysts to point you in the direction of the issues.
We have met so many people through the years, and they recommend new talent. So talent gets crowdsourced by people in the What’s Next community. We have a private client practice, and those clients point us to the more innovative things. We take each slot seriously in the program. Plus, there’s a legacy to this conference. People know to look for us if they want to meet an expert in an area, or find a technology they can take home with them.
We leverage by location, so this year, we’re holding the summit in Chicago, where we have many deep relationships. I’m out in Silicon Valley, where we look at aging as an opportunity, instead of looking at aging as a liability. I like rephrasing the question, asking how we will improve the role of older people, helping them be creative, engaged, and contributing in our culture, enhanced by technology, as opposed to seeing them as people who are draining the system.
Q: Is there a benefit for a newbie to the market?
A: For a new entrepreneur, we have sessions about creating a business plan, figuring out what is your niche, what you can uniquely do in market that will serve a need, and what is your go-to-market strategy. We help them refine their business model so it scales, help them find the right support and financing, and to identify useful partnerships. We’ve helped companies raise money and get pilots done.
I’m a natural entrepreneur, but I’ve recently started calling myself a cartographer. We help people understand the landscape, and provide a roadmap for going to market. They need to know what doesn’t work as well as what does. We help them sharpen the business model around what they want to do.
For those of you who can’t make it to this year’s summit, Laura Mitchell will be there, doing her social media magic and bringing highlights to you live during the conference. If you’re going to be there, ping Laura Mitchell to set up a live interview, at email@example.com.
What’s Next Boomer Business Summit
March 23, 2017
Chicago Hyatt Regency
Find out more, and register, at www.boomersummit.com.
Use discount code wn17LMC20 for a 20% discount on your registration.
Laura Mitchell Consulting is a strike team of marketing and growth strategy experts in the aging and technology industry. To find out more, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today LMC welcomes guest blogger Jessica Kane, who shares her thoughts on – you guessed it – blogging. Thanks Jessica!
Blogs are critical for establishing your firm as thought leaders. Zipping out your first 8, 10 or even 20 blogs can be a breeze when you are bursting with ideas and enthusiasm for your new project. Somewhere along the line, however, the ideas can start to dry up and your content can start to feel stale – like you are just rewriting the same thing over and over. Sometimes, it’s not even a matter of getting out those first 8, 10 or 20 blogs; you don’t even know where to start in the first place. Whether you’re just starting out or are running out of ideas, here are 5 tips for creating great blog content.
1) Steal concepts, but not content
Whatever kind of blog you write, it’s a good bet that someone else writes a similar blog. Don’t be afraid to keep tabs on what other people are writing about and write on the same topic, but from your own perspective. Think of the media: there’s only so many newsworthy stories to cover and most channels are essentially reporting much of the same news, but with a slightly different take and different spin. You can do the same with blogging.
2) Use guest writers
Providing a wide variety of fresh content is key for any great blog. Sometimes, however, we can feel stuck in a rut or like we just keep beating on the same drum over and over. Asking another blogger to write content for your blog is a great way to inject new life into your content.
3) Contract fresh material
Having a guest blogger write content for you is one way to spruce up your blog with fresh, new material, but another way to do it is to contract someone to write content for you. With content services like Fiverr, you can actually contract a number of different people to create fresh, new material for you.
4) Use a mix of content, like video and infographics
Videos are rising in popularity and infographics have been proven to add significant “weight” to almost any article involving statistics, numbers or figures. You can hire someone to shoot a professional, high quality video if you have the budget for that, but you can also shoot your own “selfie” blog video. You do want it to be as professional as possible, however, so do some research on how to create a great video and maybe invest in a “selfie light” such as this one.
5) Design your content with your demographic in mind
Studies have shown that most people do not read blog content, but merely scan it instead. Conversely, however, that still leaves a specific demographic that actually prefers long, juicy, meaty content to sparse, easily scannable content with key points highlighted. What constitutes great blog content differs by audience, and this is why it’s important to know your audience. If your target audience is readers who are “book-smart,” they are far more likely to read long, meaty content that gives them a lot to think about. If you write a business blog, however, you’re more likely to attract followers if you offer concise, easily digested information, including pictures, diagrams and infographics.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.
Happy Valentine’s Day to our staff, our clients, our industry colleagues, and to our loved ones!
Join us at What’s Next Boomer Summit
LMC will be hosting live exhibitor & attendee interviews from Chicago. Watch us live on Facebook. (#LMCMktg #BoomerSummit) Register with this 20% off discount code: wn17LMC20
Some Highlights from a few of our Clients!
RCare Launches BCube Nurse Call
“There are virtually no technology options designed for small senior campuses,” said RCare CEO Myron Kowal. “We saw an opportunity to take all of the features of our flagship nurse call technology and scale it to a smaller package, priced just for this market.”
GrandCare in Senior Living Communities
GrandCare’s large, intuitive touchscreen will connect residents with their families using one-touch video chat, messaging and photo/video share. Features for senior housing providers include community activities schedules, dining room menus, event flyers, group messaging, emergency broadcasting and more. Optional activity and telehealth sensors can be added for any resident.
Michael Orban is a nationally recognized speaker on healing from the experiences of combat. As a Vietnam combat veteran, he gained his insights through his own personal experience. He captured this moving story and his healing in his book Souled Out: Conquering Combat PTSD. We loved the book and you will too and as a speaker he inspires and engages audiences throughout the U.S.
CDS is an American owned and operated market leader in the racing data acquisition business. They lead the
industry in technical innovation, providing high quality, easy-to-use products, priced aggressively, giving their customers the best value and highest performance/price ratio on the market.
Check out their new website
What happens at CES...certainly doesn't stay there!
We saw hundreds of wearables, from activity and biometric sensors to smart exercise equipment and chronic disease management devices. Sleep technology was a new hit this year, from smart beds to smart pillows to stand alone devices that track sleep and give tips on getting better rest. A highlight included a venture into the BeautyTech Summit (see video).
And we saw a lot of innovations and programs designed to help address opioid addition. Everything about the Digital Health Summit suggests we are all in good hands as we age, move and work in a connected IoT world.
Live Video Interviews
from the Digital Health & Fitness Summit
Check it out. All of the live interviews with the movers and shakers of the Digital Health & Fitness Summit’s Digital Health Live 2017 studio presented by United HealthCare are live on the Digital Health Summit YouTube page.
LMC worked the Digital Health live studio conducting interviews and we also got a chance to hit the show floor in the Digital Health Summit, BeautyTech Summit, and BabyTech Summit. Did we snap your booth? Watch a few of our on-the-floor LMC guerrilla videos to find out.
Sometimes when taking stock of a customer’s marketing materials we come to the conclusion that they can maybe…use some help. It can be an unpleasant and uncomfortable discovery for the customer. But it’s an important one. (And, with our help, a temporary one.) But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander, so we took a little inventory at home.
We asked ourselves if our own website was still communicating what we do in the most effective way possible. And the short answer was no. It wasn’t. It wasn’t emphasizing our core competencies the way it should. So we decided to make it better. Then we decided that “better” just wasn’t going to cut it. So instead, we made it a lot better.
Behold the all-new Services section of the LMC website. In it you’ll find many things. Things we’re uniquely great at like business development and strategy ideas, creative campaigns that our customers rave about, industry-specific things we know a lot about and much more. Did you know that we can help you get noticed when launching new products and services at tradeshows and other events? Check out our shows, events, and product launches. Did you know that we have dedicated software developers on staff who are skilled in LAMP, Java and other witchcraft? Did you know that we can help you write and perfect your business plan, your go-to-market plan, capital raise or sales pitch strategies? We do all these things and more. And we do them well.
Establishing who to target and then communicating effectively to them is a key to any business. Getting it right is important. And this communication may need updating now and then due to changes in the marketplace, new technologies, or emerging opportunities. Is your website, your blog, your social media, your PR, your collateral or your tradeshow presence effectively amplifying the correct message? If you’re not sure, let us help. Give us a call.
And, for now at least, we at LMC can rest assured that if consultants Bob and Bob ever come around to our office to ask us that fateful question (or to test our knowledge of Michael Bolton songs), we’ll have answers.
Really? Why do I need a website?
You’re a small business owner. You juggle a lot, and you operate on a shoestring. And when you’re looking for ways to cut costs, you might ask yourself:
“I have a Facebook page and a blog. Is it really necessary to have a website too?”
Yes. It’s the cost of doing business in this day and age and you can do it without breaking the bank.
A few of the most important reasons.
- CREDIBILITY!!! If you want people to take your organization seriously, you need to have a legitimate website. It doesn’t have to be large scale, but it does need to be there, be modern and be up to date. In this day and age, your website is ONE of your virtual business cards, only with a much greater and wider reach. It’s also your brochure, your product manual, your demonstration, your resume and your virtual storefront.
- The number of potential customers who are online is so much bigger than the number who aren’t. You make your business available to more people with 24-7 access by putting it online. Even for businesses that are extremely local in scope, a lot more potential customers are going to run across you online than by physically walking past your building, or taking your business card. For sheer visibility to potential customers, you need a website.
Any other reasons?
- With a website, you’re always available to your customers. You can provide them what they need during business hours and off hours too. You provide information about your business and about your products and services that can answer their questions. You can tell your story. And a website gives customers a way to contact you if they need to know more.
What makes a good website?
Your website is often the first impression people have of your company. Make sure the content is well labeled, well organized, tidy, grammatically checked and uncluttered. No typos.
Make sure it tells the story you want to tell. Include an About page, so that the customer can make a connection with you, your history, and your story. It humanizes your business, and lets you connect with the customer on a personal basis, even though you’re not face to face.
FUN FACT: The About page is one of the most visited pages on a website.
With your website, you give your business credibility. So, do you really need a website?
Yes. Yes you do.
Are you going to CEDIA 2016, the world’s premier showcase for home technology? While you peruse the latest and greatest in home automation, renewable technologies, smart home renovation, and cutting-edge entertainment technology, we invite you to join visionary industry experts who have been hand-selected to deliver 20 minute “TED”-like talks. Learn about emerging trends and home technology integration in the expo hall, CEDIA booth #4710.
Laura Mitchell, founder of LMC and co-founder of connected health veteran, GrandCare Systems, will be presenting on the topic of “Disruption: How Enabling Technologies are Addressing the Aging Tsunami.” Laura has spent over a decade pioneering and helping to drive awareness to the “digital health” market and the enabling technologies designed to address and empower this market.
Learn about the latest industry trends and the products poised to change everything. Topics will include crisis management, medication, activity monitoring, connected health, caregiving robots and more. Learn about the future of caregiving technology and how you can get in front of these trends as a reseller/dealer of caregiving products.
Laura will speak at 11am on September 15th live from the CEDIA booth. Thursday, September 15
11:00am – 11:20am
CEDIA Booth #4710
Free to all CEDIA expo attendees!
The CEDIA conference runs from September 13th through 17th, with the exhibit hall open from the 15th through the 17th.
When you think of Louisville, you probably think of horses, bourbon, and bluegrass. But you may not realize that Louisville is also a world center for aging care innovation. With 23,000 employed in the field, and $50 billion in revenue, Louisville has the nation’s largest concentration of aging care companies. And it is the home of the Louisville Innovation Summit.
In its third year, the Louisville Innovation Summit is the defining national event in the aging care industry, bringing together 500 healthcare executives, technology entrepreneurs, industry experts, and thought leaders, to provide insight, share expertise, and explore new avenues to create the future of aging care.
Laura Mitchell is proud to be a member of the advisory board for this conference, and a speaker at this year’s event.
As baby boomers retire, the nation’s population of seniors is expanding rapidly, and innovation in providing care for the aging is crucial. This summit was created to help redefine the future of aging care, to open new avenues, identify more resources, foster innovation, and encourage new approaches to aging care to help serve this growing population and the challenge it represents.
A collaborative event presented by many of the nation’s leading healthcare organizations, the program includes distinguished keynote speakers, panel discussions with prominent guests, Innovation Spotlights from health tech startups from around the world, and an Innovation Competition.
The Summit also hosts a Startup Pitch Event. Each year, entrepreneurs in the senior care or digital health industries are invited to pitch to the summit’s attendees, which include large contingents of angel investors, and C-level executives at major healthcare/senior care companies.
The presenters who are selected to pitch receive publicity for their budding companies among decision makers and industry leaders. Two winners will be selected, one national and one from Kentucky, to receive cash prizes, and the chance to work with a major corporate sponsor for guidance and product pilots. The deadline to apply is Friday, July 29th at 11:59pm CST.
The Louisville Innovation Summit will be held October 9-11, 2016 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown, in Louisville, KY. For more info: www.lisummit.com.
The Envelope Please…
We like to give back to our community, so when we had the chance to donate something to a local charity auction, we decided to donate our time and our small business/strategic growth and marketing expertise. We were excited to help out a small, local company here in West Bend by offering a consultation. It was intriguing to us to see if they had done growth hacking and some of the guerrilla marketing techniques that we love.
Here’s the thing. You might think that we have a lot of preconceived notions when it comes to our clients. But we generally don’t. When you come to LMC, we don’t take anything for granted. We want to know who you are, what you’re selling and where you see your company going. We don’t decide that for you. We talk. We listen to what you have to say. Because in order to take you where you want to go, we have to meet you where you are and roadmap the journey together.
But we confess. We did carry some preconceived notions when we donated to this charity auction. We had no idea if we would be starting from scratch with the local business owner. We guessed that it might be a brand new seed start up that needed everything. We wondered if the company would have any marketing expertise, or a marketing budget, and what kind of education in strategic growth that the small organization would have. Frankly, we’d expected to provide the most basic support and infrastructure for starting up.
Boy were we wrong.
The winner was Dr. Krysti Wick, owner of River Shores Chiropractic. And the first thing we learned about Krysti is that she is not a stranger to marketing. Not at all. She has a detailed website. She’s active on Facebook, and she does sponsored posts. She strategically picks her targets.
And that’s interesting. When you pick your targets on Facebook, it means you already know who your target market is. And Krysti certainly does. When we asked her who she is trying to reach with her business, she knew. She knows what types of jobs they have, what they like to do in their spare time, and where they spend their money.
She also knows who her competitors are. And, she knows how she’s differentiating herself. She knows how she is targeting the market for chiropractic services differently, because she knows who she is, and who her audience is.
For example, she knows that her focus is on wellness and preventative health. Like her competitors she does pain management, but one of the things that makes her a little different is this wellness focus. And it’s reflected in her customers. While her customer base is diverse, on average they’re people who care about, and invest money in, good health. They’re folks who buy organic produce and local foods. They breastfeed their babies and use cloth diapers.
Because Krysti is already thinking about these things, it means that when we sit down for our marketing consultation, we can start much further down the marketing path. When we sit down with her this week to ask her where she wants to go with her business, she’ll get a lot from the meeting, because she already knows where she is. And she did it without a huge marketing budget.
Laura Mitchell Consulting is a strike team of marketing and growth strategy experts. If you’re ready to grow, contact us at email@example.com. We’d love to help.