When we go online to research a senior living community, we don’t typically pick a website, go to it, and call for more information. We will Google something like “assisted living in [city, state]”. Then we’ll scroll down and have a look at our options and make a few selections, visiting various pages for each. Then we may decide to look at in-home solutions or technology to enable seniors to stay at home. Then maybe we’ll circle back and search all over again for assisted living. The point here is that we don’t take a direct point-to-point route to make the decision to talk to a senior living representative. We meander around.
25% More Conversions at 15% Less Cost per Click, but Only If You Know What You’re Doing
How much meandering do we do? According to G5 (a Senior Living Foresight partner), people will make about 20 stops along the way before they make a decision. Why should you care? Because in today’s world you need to know what those touchpoints are and optimize exposure of your community to as many of them as possible.
I spoke recently with Celene Canode, Marketing Campaign Manager for G5, who shared with me some of the basics of what we call “predictive marketing”. They have written a pretty comprehensive article about it, which you can access here.
While it may seem a little complex to describe, it’s important that people understand at least the essentials of predictive marketing and how robust the infrastructure to this amazing behavior model is. When used effectively, it does two pretty cool things: it results in 25% more conversions, at a 15% reduced cost per click. It is important to note that these are stats from G5 clients, so if you try all this yourself you probably won’t get these kinds of numbers.
Here is what technology can now do. (Be prepared to be pleasantly confused and blown away):
- Attribution modeling. What this does is assign a set of rules that determine how credit for sales and conversions are assigned to the various touchpoints along the path to a conversion. Here are the most common:
- First Interaction Attribution: Assigns credit to the first touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. This model is useful when you simply want to identify how customers initially come into contact with your brand.
- Last Interaction Attribution: Often referred to as last-click or last-touch attribution, this model assigns full credit for a conversion to the last touchpoint in the buyer’s journey. It is most effective for determining which channels are most effective at converting leads.
- Linear Attribution: Unlike first or last-click attribution models, linear attribution evenly distributes credit to each touchpoint a customer engaged with before converting. Although easy and straightforward to understand, this model lacks the nuance of time decay attribution.
- Time Decay Attribution: Time decay attribution is similar to linear attribution in that it also gives credit to each touchpoint in the customer journey, although not equally. Instead, it takes into consideration when an interaction occurred and gives more weight to the interaction that happened closest to conversion. This is an exciting new model that is helping marketers better target prospects where they are in the process of making a decision.
- Probabilistic Multi-Touch Modeling. Add probability to attribution and you have what is termed “probabilistic multi-touch modeling”, the latest and most accurate form of digital marketing. And, while it’s admittedly complicated to understand, it is what G5 says is a marketer’s best friend. What differentiates this from multi-touch attribution is that it uses a data science model called Markov Chains that measures what happens to other touchpoints if you remove one of them. That helps to weigh and rank the touchpoints based on their impact on conversions.
Is This Scary or Mind Blowing? or Both?
So what does all this mean? Here’s a way to look at it. Imagine if you could sit right next to a prospect and see exactly what they’re doing online. Imagine they were telling you what interested them and what they were thinking as they clicked from one page to another. While nothing can quite duplicate an in-person experience, probabilistic multi-touch modeling comes a lot closer than anything else heretofore.
What’s mind blowing is to imagine the power of being able to get your message in front of these individuals, right at the very point where they are most open to learning more about your community. If you can imagine that, then you can start to understand the power of these deep, multi-touch attribution models and why it makes sense to take the time to learn more about them.