“Why don’t I just contact my own database provider and get my own targeted leads?” The answer to that question is, “You can!”

“Why don’t I just contact my own database provider and get my own targeted leads?” That’s a question that Tom Goldman, COO of SoftVu, a Senior Housing Forum partner, hears all the time. And the answer to that question is, you can. But it’s not as simple as some make it out to be and you should think about your objective. For most communities, the challenge isn’t getting more leads, they already have too many. It’s about collecting fewer, higher quality leads. So, buying you own list, a bunch of stamps and shotgun blasting them out is guaranteed not to meet your objective.  

Fact: Technology has changed the way we use data.

Two disruptive elements have come together to shake up traditional marketing and sales models. They are: big data and marketing automation platforms. As Tom explains, “Now that disruptive technology has finally reached the world of senior living, there is only one productive way to deal with it. Embrace it, use it, and move forward.”

I caught up with Tom to provide some clarity to those who continue to use traditional methods of database marketing, rather than taking advantage of today’s automation platforms. Here is our Q&A:

The concept of “big data” has been around for a while. Why are senior living communities not doing more with it?

Newer communities are, actually, because they are building out their technology platforms before they even break ground. But for existing communities, it’s sort of chicken and egg. They don’t believe the benefits until they see the bottom line results firsthand; but that’s when the light bulbs go on. If you run a community and are still purchasing huge “one size fits all” lists, you will be at a disadvantage. Because we can now focus, not only on the details of prospective residents, but their families as well. There is a lot of data out there and we are leveraging some amazing intelligence out of it.

So, what’s the answer to those who ask: “Why can’t I just get my lists and create my own programs?”

The short answer is “you can.” How effectively depends on a couple of things. First, you need to be aware of what is needed on the back end. You can have the best database in the world, but if you don’t have the proper automated marketing platform to take the data, organize it and calibrate it to your audience and your media channels, then the data won’t do you any good.

Second, you need to have the skills, people and discipline to work the channels to get the leads and the conversion ratio you need to remain competitive. And you can’t expect your sales team to do all this. Frankly, they don’t have the time; and it’s a waste of their talents. Especially when the technology is out there to handle all the front end work.

How does automated lead generation and nurturing pay off?

Well, with SeniorVu, we’ve automated everything from data mining to the creation of highly targeted, multi-channel sales programs that deliver qualified leads to sales. So the sales team doesn’t get stuck performing a lot of low-value work. Instead, they are focusing their talents and energy turning already-qualified leads into tours and move-ins. And the model is inexpensive. Much more so than A Place for Mom or Caring.com. No long-term contracts to sign. Instead of a big lump sum on the back end, you will pay a monthly fee of $20 per community, plus a $10 per month fee for each lead that you choose to nurture. That’s it. And we include all the back-end automation pieces in that price; direct mail, email, social media targeted ads, call center, etc. No hidden fees!

Any last words of advice for the skeptics out there?

The whole point of disruptive technology is that it renders old methods obsolete. Why try to do it yourself when big data and automation technology providers have already done it for you? Find a provider who will automate as much of your process as possible. Then put your talented team to work, doing what they do best; converting qualified leads into move-ins. Instead of scrambling to fill beds, you’ll soon find yourself managing a waiting list.

Connect with SeniorVu and never let a lead hit the ground again . . . ever. Call 816-759-2586 today.