SeniorVu, a groundbreaking new lead generation and nurturing platform.
By Susan Saldibar
SoftVu, a Senior Housing Forum partner, generated plenty of buzz at last month’s Argentum conference in Denver, with the release of SeniorVu, a groundbreaking new lead generation and nurturing platform.
I caught up with SoftVu’s COO, Tom Goldman, for a little Q&A to get the backstory on the technology that appears to be changing all the rules of lead acquisition.
This is a matching model. Can we call SeniorVu the “Match.com” of Senior Living?
Why not? We’re matching, in real time, over 40 million seniors in our database to the over 15,000 assisted living and memory care communities to determine the best match for them both. Our goal is to create a win-win for both the prospective resident, their family and the community.
Why hasn’t anyone else done this yet?
There’s a high barrier of entry to achieving this level of functionality nationwide. Not only do you need a lot of data on both sides of the equation; you also need a functional infrastructure and a set of complex algorithms to support the data and make it work. We’ve been collecting data and building up our database for well over a year; and we keep adding to it every day. Plus, we’ve been providing marketing automation platforms since 1999; so we had all the tools and skills needed to make SeniorVu happen.
How much data has SoftVu collected?
We have the relevant data on over 40 million seniors in the U.S.; who they are; where they live; contact info and public information that helps us understand their likes and dislikes in addition to, in many cases, information about their adult children. On the other side, we’ve done a deep dive into more than 15,000 assisted living and memory care communities to understand the demographics and ‘persona’ of each.
The pricing methodology is different from aggregators, such as Caring or A Place For Mom. Where did that idea come from?
Actually, we’re one of several industries which have transitioned to this pricing model. In our case, we had personal experience with the lead aggregator model in the mortgage industry, where they were paid with a large check at the closing table. The industry revolted about 7 years ago and forced the lead aggregators into a model in which they pay only a modest amount for the leads upfront. Senior care lead aggregators still use the old model; one that, based on our research, not many senior communities are happy with. So we applied the same successful model from the mortgage industry to the senior living space. And we’re getting a lot of great feedback, especially from smaller independent senior care providers. It has helped level the playing field.
As for pricing, any community can be part of our ecosystem for only $20 per month with no long term commitment. They then pay a small monthly fee of $10 for each lead. That’s it. Included in that fee is all the marketing automation and appropriate follow-up, including direct mail, email, social media, call center, etc. So, as an example, even if a community purchases 10 leads to get 1 move in, they will likely spend less than $500 total for that move-in, versus typically more than $3,500-$4,000 for an aggregator, such as A Place For Mom or Caring.com.
SoftVu is known for your prospect-centered approach to marketing. How does SeniorVu embrace that concept in the automation piece?
The nurturing piece of the platform is engineered to emulate a very human-style interaction sequence that begins engaging targeted individuals before they even have the need. Step by step, the system is taking care of all the lead nurturing, almost as if the sales rep is right in front of them. And no lead is allowed to hit the ground. Every lead stays in the nurture/develop loop from beginning to end.
The interface is reminiscent of buying something off Amazon; but you’re actually buying leads. How does it work?
Our thought was “Why not make it just as easy as using Amazon; something everyone is already familiar with?” So that’s what we did. Of course there is a lot of data management happening on the back end that the user won’t ever see. That means we won’t throw 10,000 names of all the seniors in a geographic area at a community. Instead, we’ll target the 200 or so people who are good matches, based on a “persona” that we’ve created for the community, along with what we already know about the senior. So there is already targeted pre-qualification happening on the front end.
Then, it’s up to the community how many leads they want to put into their shopping cart and check out. The fees are amazingly low. And it’s all very simple to use and understand. In fact, that’s one of the things people point out to us; how easy it is to get a full profile of each prospect. There is no question left unanswered. You know exactly what you are getting and how much you are paying.