Do you know the three major stages from which you can determine the best way to approach your prospects?

By Susan Saldibar

As a baby boomer adult child of an aging mom, I know I’m part of a key target demographic group for senior care providers. But when I spoke recently to Ashleigh Hinrichs, Marketing Campaign Manager at G5 (a Senior Housing Forum partner), she told me four really interesting things I didn’t know:

  1. I will probably consult at least 20 sources before arriving at a decision for senior care for my mom. Now, I may go back to the same sources several times. But about 20 sources is the average for those searching for senior housing for a parent.

  2. About 20% of all online search is conducted through Facebook for my demographic group. So I’ll probably check out various communities there.

  3. I will actually spend most of my time right in the middle of your funnel while I work towards a decision. That’s the proving ground where you will either gain or lose my trust and either build or reduce my confidence in your community.

  4. And, finally, even when I think I’ve made my final decision, I will still go back to do some last-minute research. I will consult Google 2-3 times again before making a purchase.

There are plenty more stats and information where those came from. G5 has been collecting and analyzing marketing data for a long time. And they have made it a science to understand the behavior of buyers. So they’ve gotten proficient at forecasting to a good degree of accuracy what steps each prospect will take along the way.

G5 has organized their buyer behavior into three major stages. From these stages, you can determine the best way to approach your prospects. They are as follows:

I.  Awareness

This stage is focused on addressing buyer’s pain points. Your prospective resident or adult child might not know they have a problem yet, and/or might not realize they need your service yet.

At this stage, it is best to drive awareness through:

    • Content, such as blogs, that informs and enlightens

    • Organic social media and Facebook targeted ads

By doing the above, when the adult child or prospective resident begin the interest phase, your community will already be top-of-mind.

II.  Interest

This stage begins the process of conducting deeper research. Now the prospect has some information under his or her belt and is looking to get specific questions answered. This is your chance to nurture these leads and establish trust.

Where they will be looking/where to meet them:

    • Customer reviews

    • Search (Pay-Per-Click “PPC”)

    • “Near Me” searches (which, according to Ashleigh, have increased 146%!)

    • Industry reports/white papers

III.  Consideration

During this period, the buyer will return to prior research, review and search Google again. Their purpose at this point is to:

    • Make comparisons

    • Consult Google 2-3 more times to see if a company can address their pain points

    • Be able to justify a purchasing decision

Where to meet them:

  • Pay-per-click advertising. It is important to keep your advertising program current and active. While you may originally conduct PPC ads to draw attention and capture initial interest, now you need to keep your visibility strong. PPC during this period should focus on more personalized messaging and/or in-depth ad copy rather than drive brand awareness.

  • Remarketing, targeting those who have already visited your site and have expressed interest in your company. This audience has considered your community but still needs one last nudge.  

Ashleigh is careful to note that not every tactic will work perfectly for every prospect. “Every buyer is unique and you need to learn how they are unique. Only then can you begin to track their journey,” she tells me. “Once you are able to determine where they are in the awareness process and what their online patterns are, you can use digital marketing to attract prospects as they enter the initial discovery phase, throughout the interest phase and keep in front of them in the consideration stage.”

G5 has created a great infographic that has additional statistics. You can download the graphic by clicking the button below:

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