By Susan Saldibar

They want help, but they need to find it on their own terms.

A couple years ago when I was researching assisted living communities for my mom, I blew through dozens of websites. Didn’t leave a contact number, didn’t request more information. I was stuck in my tracks and didn’t know what I needed at that point. In actual fact, I should have been ready to become a lead and move forward.

But I wasn’t.

About a week ago, I discovered there are roughly 525,000 people just like me out there every year. They’re what the folks at Roobrik call senior living’s “hidden” audience. And, that audience is more ready to act than you think.


Here Is What It Looks Like

Sarah Hamblet, Head of Data and Analytics for Roobrik (a Foresight partner) took a look at info from over 800 communities that are using Roobrik’s assessment tool. They discovered that every year nearly 3.3 million people will click on a CTA with questions like these:

  • Is it time to get help?
  • Is it the right time for senior living?

Of those, 1.3 million will spend 8-10 minutes going through a personalized assessment, and 525,000 will choose to share their results with a community, becoming a sales-qualified lead.

This Is Crazy

What this means is that every 24 seconds an older adult or family member is on a senior living community website and willing to spend 8-10 minutes to learn about their needs and options.

If that many people are already on senior living websites and willing to move forward, why aren’t they just picking up the phone, using chat, or filling out a contact form?

What Are You Doing Wrong?

Nate O’Keefe, CEO of Roobrik, attributes the inaction to the overwhelming complexity and emotion of decisions about senior living and care. Folks are simply getting stuck (like I was) contemplating what to do next.

More often than not, they’re mired down in one of these top three reasons to delay a decision: 

  1. “I don’t know if it’s the right time to make a change.”
  2. “I don’t know what life in a senior living community is like.”
  3. “I don’t know if it will work for me financially.”

While your sales team may be convinced that they can help answer these questions, there’s a sizable group of skeptics who want or NEED to find answers for themselves. And every salesperson knows that an educated prospect is a better prospect.

Help Them Learn About Themselves

But for this hidden audience, you can’t educate them by just pushing more information at them through articles, videos, and brochures. “A good digital marketing strategy will include many different tactics, but this audience needs help learning about themselves and what they want in senior living,” Nate says. “They will give, but you have to give something back. And if they feel like you’ve given them personal help, they’re more likely to move forward with you.”

This sure turns the tables on how most marketers operate. Rather than pushing questions at visitors, Nate recommends giving them a way to get more shape to what they want and need. That, in turn, can help boost them over the decision hump, making it easier to move forward. Roobrik, Nate says, was designed for just this purpose: “Our approach is based in medical decision science and has even been used outside of senior living, with groups like AARP, UsAgainstAlzheimers, and for clinical trial recruitment.”

Then Teach Them About You

What’s cool about the way Roobrik works is that it uses questions in a way that builds a conversation, rather than an information dump, so to speak. And, as Nate points out, the web visitor doesn’t have to leave contact information just to use the tool. It creates a personal assessment that they can take with them. Or, as Nate says happens more often than not, it results in them asking for more information.

I asked Nate for any closing words of wisdom for the “information pushers”. If nothing else, he wants marketers to understand that education needs to become a two-way street. “If you just use static content, you are teaching them about you, but you’re not teaching them about them,” says Nate. 

This may be a hard lesson for senior living to learn. But if you want to get your slice of those 500k+ leads, it’s a lesson worth learning.

Is Roobrik the answer to converting more of that “hidden” audience? Try it out for yourself and see what you think.