Marketing is about Relationships

Over the course of my career I have been asked more than once “What is marketing?” or “Why do we need marketing?” Allow me to share this perspective. . .

At St. John’s, we know that the family members, who helped select St. John’s Home for their loved one or the senior residents, who chose St. John’s Meadows or Brickstone by St. John’s to be their next home, did not make this decision lightly. We also know that they had many provider options from which to consider. Overall, we would like to think that this decision was based on an initial connection—the beginning of a meaningful relationship—between their family and our St. John’s family.

That is what “marketing” is in my definition. It is about seeking, forging, and nurturing relationships. What the St. John’s Marketing Team does every day is help to bridge connections/conversations between St. John’s and those in the market for senior services. We also seek to connect potential staff members, volunteers, and donors with the St. John’s family.

Thinking about the marketing process in terms of a continuum of steps in “building a relationship,” our team’s emphasis on storytelling may also make more sense to you now.  If you as a family member started the long-term care admissions process wondering, “why did they ask me for a signature to approve the use of my loved one’s photo?” or if as a St. John’s staff member, you are puzzled that the marketing team wants to interview you about your unique hobby of music box collecting—think about how you get to know a stranger. As you share common experiences with that stranger and you hear stories about that person, a relationship starts to build.

Through newsletter stories, social media photo galleries, or event videos, the marketing team hopes we are helping seniors, families, human services professionals, among others, to get to know us. During tours or events, we also have the opportunity to share common experiences.

The decision to find the place for your next home, to volunteer precious time, or to build your career, is an important one. At St. John’s, we know the significance of your choosing us. We are grateful you joined our family and chose to grow a relationship with us.

That is this marketer’s ultimate proof of success. . .

This blog, authored by Jennifer Lesinski, St. John’s Vice President of Marketing, is part of a series of leadership perspectives featured in our Family and Friends newsletter. 

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