By Leigh Ann Hubbard

When you go to your first marketing session with Wendy O’Donovan Phillips, watch out. Because your head will spin. And you will utter this sentence: “I’ve never, ever considered it this way.” It happens pretty much with every new client.

That’s because Wendy, CEO of Big Buzz (a Foresight partner), is a senior living marketing anomaly.

Instead of upfront selling you on a bunch of ad hoc services — you know, turning on Google ads, updating the website, doing other stuff you’ve been trying for years — Wendy goes straight to the core. She finds the problem, not the symptoms of the problem, and builds the fixes from there.

As a result, clients find her methods to be more effective and longer-lasting.

How does she do it? Well, that’s a trade secret.

OK, we’ll spill some stuff.

Don’t tell her we told you.

Here’s an exercise you can try on your own.

 Find the Weakness in Your Funnel

Let’s say you need to increase census. (I know, unlikely these days. Just imagine.)

Which of the 50 types of marketing should you invest in? Branding, content marketing, direct mail, events?

One way to gather some clues is to examine your sales funnel. As people move through it, what’s happening? Where is everything falling apart? Pinpoint that, and you’ll know where to start improving.

 Below are the basic components of your sales funnel. All of your marketing efforts fit into at least one of these three:  

  1. Top, or awareness. People entering the funnel are just realizing your community exists. Maybe they pass you on their commute or a friend moved in last week.
  2. Middle, or nurturing. Further down the funnel are warmer leads interacting with your marketing materials. For example, they’ve downloaded something from your website or clicked through to different areas to learn more.
  3. Bottom, or conversion. Spilling out the bottom are folks who are actively searching for solutions and need you now.

Let’s say that after considering all the marketing strategies you use to usher people through that funnel, you’ve figured out that your weakest link is: Leads aren’t converting into tours.

That means you’ve got yourself a nurture issue.

Now what?

Set a Specific Goal

Here’s a goal not to set: “Get more move-ins!”

Here’s a goal to set: Improve nurture marketing to increase census from 80% to 100% by December 31, 2021.”

By setting such a specific goal, you’re telling your team not just what you want but the best way to get there and by when. Instead of throwing darts in the dark, they’re able to focus and succeed.

(By the way, nurture marketing might include things like content, videos, and social media. Wendy helps people pinpoint the exact types of nurture marketing — and marketing for other areas of the funnel — that will work for their specific community.)

Why Not Just Flick on Ads?

Let’s go back to Google ads for a second. It’s not that they don’t work. They can. It’s that communities so often default to them as the immediate fix.

“What ads do is get people to click to your website,” Wendy explains. “But then, what’s the website going to do with them?” Ideally, it inspires them and nurtures them into a strong lead over time. People don’t move in based on Google ads alone.

Step 1 to Thinking Differently About Marketing

Want to polish your marketing funnel so it’s consistently delivering piping hot leads? You don’t have to do it alone! Wendy offers free strategy sessions with the Big Buzz team. This crazy generous offer includes a SWOT analysis — strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats. That alone is worth big bucks.

So why is the session free? Because Wendy does things differently! This session allows you to get to know her team — and her team to get to know you. You can make sure this partnership is a good fit before you even shake hands. So grab your slot here. Just remember: You’ve been warned. It just might turn everything you thought you knew about marketing on its head. Prepare for some new perspectives!