Long-Lasting Impact

A senior brand worth elevating.

Senior Care
Paid Media
Social Media
Earned Media

The challenge

Walker Methodist is a senior living organization with 20+ community locations throughout the greater Minneapolis, MN area. They serve the 55+ population and specialize in assisted living, memory care, and independent living. The organization also supports the Walker Methodist Foundation, established to provide a vibrant donation platform for funds to be used to support programs, services, initiatives, and capital needs for residents, patients, and staff.

Walker Methodist approached Vye in 2015 with a multi-faceted goal. Ultimately, they wanted to drive more qualified resident leads online. But as a subset to that overall goal, they wanted to elevate the Walker Methodist brand, increase brand awareness in the twin cities region, and draw attention to some of their differentiating programs. This involved:

  • Overhaul of their existing website
  • Enhanced and optimized content strategy
  • Brand campaign for their memory program
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The solution

When dissecting a years-long partnership, it can be challenging to pinpoint just a few strategies that led to measurable success. That said, a few bubble to the top. Our strategic marketing campaigns over the years have included a variety of tactics, including:

  • A website built on HubSpot’s CMS platform
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub implementation
  • Audience and competitor research
  • Optimized video, blog, and pillar page content
  • Downloadable, gated offers
  • Revamped social media strategy
  • Paid media targeting
  • Nurturing email workflows
  • Brand architecture
  • Creative branding campaigns
  • Earned Media

A fresh start

This partnership, like many, started with a revamped website. To create a lead-generating machine, we knew that major changes would need to be made to the existing website. We restructured the experience to focus on the user journey, based on audience research we had conducted. Since 2015, the website has evolved to continue tapping into specific user desires. Throughout that time, a huge focus has been on crafting compelling content. Perhaps the most impactful example of this story-telling is the high-impact, editorial series we conducted based on some of their most interesting residents. You can see an example of one of these stories here.

Music & memory

Early in the relationship, our team was tasked with helping the Walker Methodist team launch a brand awareness campaign to raise money for a program called Music & Memory. This 2-month long inbound-based campaign was built to tell the story of how music positively impacts patients with memory loss. It generated $6,546 from 49 funders - all donations went to providing an iPod shuffle, headphones, and music to residents at Walker Methodist who needed it most. But more importantly, it raised awareness among those dealing with memory loss, the senior living industry, and local communities. More on that campaign here.

Brand architecture

Walker Methodist is over 70 years old. As you can imagine, the process of growth, internal and external programs, and many acquisitions over that time period has led to some brand consistency issues and complications. In an effort to negate the lack of awareness stemming from these consistency issues, our team put together a brand architecture strategy.

Brand architecture is the organizational structure of a company’s portfolio of brands, sub-brands, products, and/or services. Done effectively, brand architecture includes an integrated system of names, symbols, colors, and visual vocabulary informed directly by the consumer’s thought process.

Our work with Walker Methodist on their brand architecture is ongoing. Our ultimate goal is to provide clarity around their offerings and how they are understood by consumers. We also aim to influence customer behavior by maximizing the transfer of brand equity between brands and sub-brands.

Crisis mode: Raising critical funds & spirits

The pandemic of 2020 (and beyond) affected every business in one way or another. As you can imagine, Covid-19 was particularly impactful on the senior care industry. Suddenly, there was chaos and the threat of an impending crisis affecting every community, its residents, staff, and families. There were many unknowns as the organization responded to state mandates and preventative measures to keep thousands of people safe. In order to create and launch a plan that would address those key areas, Walker Methodist reached out to Vye to pivot from the existing campaign strategy to develop a new plan stemming from Covid-19 implications.

Together, Vye and Walker Methodist created Well Wishes for Walker, an outreach program designed to honor essential employees and add levity and gratitude to their lives through messaging and encouragement. In the three months, the campaign received 331 views with 119 submissions for a conversion rate of 35.95%. 42 new contacts were established and $40,000+ was raised for Walker Foundation.
“Our partnership with Vye changed quite a bit when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The goals we had for ourselves going into 2020 flipped very quickly, and they’ve adapted very quickly as well.”
- Sarah Benbow, Director of Marketing & Communications at Walker Methodist

Key results of our marketing efforts

Donations Generated
Our COVID-19 focused Well Wishes campaign led to $40,000+ in donations in three months.
Website Sessions
July 2014 compared to March 2021 shows a 348% increase in website sessions, totaling 907K since the partnership began.
Blog Views
July 2015 compared to March 2021 shows a 6,920% increase in blog views.

Coming back to the well

We want to give you a peek under the hood. We had a strong partnership with Walker Methodist from 2015-2018, during which time we helped elevate the brand and drive measurable results for their sales and marketing team. Then the Walker Methodist team decided to make a change. They wanted to pause efforts and invest elsewhere. There was no dramatic or specific event that led to this decision, but in 2018 our partnership came to an end. 

Fast forward a few years, the team at Walker Methodist re-engaged with our team. They had found that some of the measurable success they’d seen during our partnership was dwindling during the pause. Most importantly, the ideas and innovations we were able to drive through cross-team collaboration was missing. They needed a support structure not only for execution, but also to help guide innovation. 

We’re delighted to have Walker Methodist as a client again. Walker Methodist is mission-driven and working to have a lasting impact on the residents they serve. Our team is grateful to play a role in this vision, and look forward to years of impact to come. 

Looking for a winning partnership with measurable results? 

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