Norterre is the first master-planned, multigenerational community of its kind where college students, young families, active adults and seniors can live, heal and play together in one neighborhood. Built on 17 acres in Liberty, Missouri, Norterre serves Kansas City residents through all stages of life. The company’s goal is to bring people together rather than isolating them by age, ability or state of health. On a broader scale, Norterre strives to inspire other real estate developers and investors to reconsider how communities are organized across the nation.
The first challenge we faced was the need to communicate a totally new concept to multiple layers of B2C and B2B influencers two years out from opening. Initial market research revealed that to avoid skewing the perception of Norterre to senior living and gain acceptance from all age demographics, the communications strategy required a focus on the whole rather than the specific service lines. The Health & Wellness Center became the center of attention—the core attraction, as it transcends all ages and gave us a broader platform to communicate health, wellness, fitness and nutrition. The residential and rehabilitation components became secondary in the overall messaging strategy. The second challenge was to competitively position Norterre against three sets of service offerings in a highly competitive market for fitness centers, assisted living facilities and rehabilitation clinics while accommodating a shifting opening date. The communications needed to ensure that none of the service lines overshadowed the others.
Our business goals were clear: drive occupancy for assisted living and memory care residences; generate referrals for short-term rehabilitation and long-term recovery guest suites; and stimulate membership for the health center. Five distinct target markets were identified and messaging goals were designed to cross multiple channels to elevate Norterre’s brand awareness and deliver a multi-tiered message. The integration of a multifaceted, multidimensional communications strategy with PR, sales collateral, social media and digital marketing provided a stage to communicate the complexities of Norterre in phases while building momentum and engaging the audience in advance of the opening.
The key to successfully introducing Norterre was to ensure that the public (B2B and B2C) understood the concept and started talking and writing about it in a holistic way from the start. The foundation of the campaign was driven by a content strategy of purposeful and sequential PR and media relations to generate interest and keep the broader audience informed as we leveraged our press relationships to tell the full story. A comprehensive website portal was designed to present Norterre as a whole and provide landing pages to showcase the individual components for multiple audiences. This became the hub of information, where health and wellness blogs were used to keep the content fresh and highlight the unique characteristics of Norterre’s service offerings. Facebook became a primary vehicle for keeping prospects engaged throughout construction. LinkedIn was added to connect to the B2B audience, providing a productive way to version the message strategy and capture the referral market. To round out the messaging strategy, we deployed a segmented email campaign to nurture website leads from the initial point of contact to the handoff to the sales team. Sequential messaging allowed us to stay in touch with prospects and drive conversion in advance to opening. Every piece of communication followed a consistent look and feel in order to reinforce the connection between multiple target audiences and service lines. This content strategy served as the heart of all communications, enabling a full continuum of consistent messaging across all channels: social media, PR, newsletters, website and sales collateral.
The fully integrated communications platform has resulted in over 1,000 memberships and 25% occupancy prior to opening. The impression-based digital campaign reaches over 2.5 million prospects with an average of 15,000 unique visitors each month. Facebook serves as our foundational social media channel with over 5,000 followers and the strategic email campaign continues to achieve a 52% open rate. Most importantly, people understand and embrace the concept of Norterre being a multigenerational community—the first of its kind with more on the way.
Integrated Services exercised in Norterre