By Susan Saldibar

A retired doctor struggled with deciding if he was ready for assisted living and wondered how to find out more without his privacy being invaded. He was one of several leads that had gone cold for one community. Then they changed up their marketing methodology. Not only did they warm him up again, they got his move-in.

What did they do to turn this cold lead around? The answer to that question is just one of the lead generation touchpoints that were covered in a recent presentation at SMASH, conducted by Valerie Whitman, VP of senior living for LeadingResponse (a Senior Living Foresight partner). The presentation is being repeated in an upcoming webinar, October 24th.

Consumer Behaviors Have Changed, but Have Your Marketing Tactics?

The presentation, of course, covered more than stories of retired doctors with cold feet. If you know about LeadingResponse, you’re aware of the many surveys they’ve conducted over the years with their growing base of seminar attendees. Here are just a few results of their surveys shared in the presentation you might find interesting:

  • Direct mail is yielding a strong 8-10% inquiry to move-in rate.
  • Digital leads emanating from SEM and paid referral aggregators are yielding an estimated 3-5% inquiry to move-in rate.
  • Educational events are better attended than themed events.
  • Clear preference expressed for neutral off-site versus on-site events.
  • Learning pricing up front is important to prospects.

If you’re surprised by any of the above, Valerie will tell you that you shouldn’t be. Consumer behaviors have changed dramatically over the last ten years. And they’re changing the marketing landscape as a result. Emerging new prospects are much more information savvy, expecting more options, and drawn to events that are educational and not a waste of their valuable time. They want frank, open discussion and are less apt to be swayed by old school marketing rhetoric. Finally, they are far less likely to walk through your doors until they have a solid sense of who you are, what benefits you bring to them, and what it all costs. 

Tuning Into Consumer Behaviors Increases Lead Volume and Conversions

Having been to many presentations over the years, it’s always more compelling when actual clients participate. LeadingResponse had three clients on hand to share their experiences. And the numbers they are getting with their off-site, educational dinner events are impressive. What I liked is that these numbers came from actual apples-to-apples comparisons between onsite and offsite events. So these clients experienced, first hand, the very different numbers associated with each.

In each case study, the clients pointed out the importance of taking consumer behavior into consideration. One of the clients spoke specifically to the increase in lead volume and conversions since implementing consumer behavior strategies with LeadingResponse.

A Relaxing Environment Optimizes Openness and Engagement. That Shouldn’t Be Surprising.

Valerie has spoken before about the need for community marketers to do a deeper dive into consumer behavior. “You have to incorporate consumer behaviors, such as what this audience wants to learn about, when (best days and times), and how (format),” she says. “Last, but not least, find out where these consumers want to learn about senior living,” she adds. And, their results find that the most relaxing environments that encourage openness and engagement are dinner events held at popular local restaurants.

Again, there is so much more to this presentation, including topics that are most successful in attracting attendees to your event, as well as how attendees want to be informed and how they prefer to respond and get more information. You can register for the October 24th webinar here.

For more information about LeadingResponse, please visit their website.