In our society, a brand or product is validated when it’s publicly endorsed by another brand. Endorsement is a powerful marketing tool for both those seeking validation in the marketplace, as well as those with a proven track record. It’s a two-way street with mutual benefit. Endorsement is rooted in sponsorship, which is a tried-and-true marketing and business practice. The generosity and willingness to support – or endorse – a cause, product, service, event or organization furthers these entities’ purpose and even their very existence. The same is true for technology – anybody heard of Google?
In every market, your innovators jump in feet first willing to endure the bumps and bruises along the development path because they want to associate themselves with something new and “cool” for differentiation. After the innovators and early adopters, the early majority, have helped to prove the technology and work out the kinks, then the late majority and finally the laggards get on board. But from the beginning, a group of “investors” openly supported the initiative from the very beginning. It’s these investors/stakeholders/partners – also known as sponsors – who not only believe in the cause but also help bring it to life.
At Status Solutions, we know the idea/technology adoption model well; it’s even baked into our business strategy. That’s because we know that sponsors are critical to bringing to market the situational awareness technology platform needed by facilities everywhere for communication and access to critical information to prevent loss of life, property, business and convenience/comfort.
It’s thanks to the funding support of local, regional and national businesses that the adoption of the in-room multimedia and self-service kiosk – CATIE – is accelerating among senior living providers. According to the Pew Research Center, only 53 percent of seniors 65 and older use the Internet. We developed CATIE to help these members of society, specifically residents of senior living communities, stay connected to the world around them to ward off depression and enhance life quality because we know that isolation contributes to illness and early death. Owner-operators benefit by not only transforming their residents’ lives but also their business operations and level of service.
Companies like OrthoCarolina are backing the CATIE initiative because they view it not only as a good business opportunity but also as a worthy cause because of the significant societal benefits. Just this week, a study presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting indicates that the grandparent-grandchild relationship promotes better psychological health. But what if these two are separated by physical distance? Edna, a 94-year-old resident of a senior community in Florida uses her CATIE email with voice-reply to stay in regular contact with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But what of those without the “communication and access to information everywhere” capabilities provided by CATIE?
This is why we appreciate forward-thinking and philanthropic organizations such as OrthoCarolina, which supports CATIE’s deployment at Southminster in Charlotte, N.C. Its sponsorship includes digital signage and specialized content delivered via the touchscreen kiosk and a listing in the Green Pages, an e-directory of local businesses – from medical practices to restaurants and other service providers who want to reach the active and affluent senior demographic at Southminster.
“We’re thrilled about CATIE because it increases seniors’ access to our services and information about orthopedic care,” says Blair Primis, marketing director for OrthoCarolina. “This technology enables us to educate an important population about such topics as joint health and spine care and reinforces our brand in terms of leadership and innovation. We’re excited to work with Status Solutions and Southminster in delivering content the residents can use to improve their lives.”
Our goal is to build a network of like sponsors to help bring CATIE to other senior living communities across the country. Their financial support helps to offset the technology’s cost and make it available to residents faster because a portion of the sponsorship proceeds goes back to the community owner-operators, most of which are nonprofits.
The residents benefit and so do their friends and family, as well as each community’s staff, vendors and sponsors. When all is said and done, there’s an ecosystem of mutual benefit. Now that’s a true example of technology marketing with a real purpose.