Winning at the Sales and Marketing Game

Customer and resident referrals are the top sources of leads for sales and marketing professionals in senior living, according to a recent survey conducted by Senior Care Growth and sponsored by SMASH, the industry’s leading sales and marketing summit.

This and a plethora of other useful data can be found in the 2019 “State of Senior Care Sales and Marketing report.” Here are some of the highlights:

  • Lead generation is the top marketing challenge, followed closely by how to differentiate the value proposition of individual communities.

  • Paid referral aggregator services, referrals from residents and their family members, along with professional partner referrals (hospitals, physicians, attorneys or wealth counselors) are the most effective lead sources leading to move-ins.

  • More specifically, referral sources primarily came from move-ins, admissions, and patients followed closely by internet searches, professional partner referrals, and paid referral aggregators.

  • Only about 31% of leads are converting within the first 60 days. “This speaks to the need to nurture and stay in touch with leads for a longer period of time. More than 40% of leads will take three to six months to make a decision.”

  • Despite lower occupancy rates and an apparent need to produce and nurture more qualified leads, marketing budgets are remaining flat or increasing only slightly, according to the survey. So, in essence, sales and marketing teams are being challenged to do more without much in the way of new resources.

  • Even though current trends in sales and marketing suggesting digital marketing is effective and worthwhile, 67% of respondents indicated that those line items are either the same as last year or will see only a modest increase.

  • Traditional media spends are on the decline, with 62% of respondents indicating that investments in print magazines/newspapers, directories, outdoor, TV, and radio are decreasing in 2019.

  • Spending on paid referral aggregator services and paid lists will also decrease as senior living organizations become savvier at generating their own leads.

Stiff Competition . . .

Most senior living communities are facing stiffer competition and lower occupancy rates. This likely explains respondents’ concerns about differentiation in a more crowded marketplace. This typically begins with marketing collateral. “Many communities ‘look’ the same to prospects, considering marketing collateral — including websites — all look the same,” the report points out.

“Senior care and senior living organizations — especially midsize and small organizations — have websites that are simply brochures, providing information but not giving them clear opportunities to move forward.”

Winning at the Sales and Marketing Game

Faced with these challenges and little to no additional budget to address them, what does a sales and marketing leader do to achieve what can be daunting goals?

Attending SMASH is an excellent start. The annual summit brings together sales and marketing experts from within and outside of senior care, offering insights in areas ranging from branding to lead generation, digital marketing, differentiation, and repositioning.

Marketing teams are being pushed to change it up and get much more from the resources they have. Getting a new playbook at SMASH is a smart way to cultivate new ideas and make good things happen.

To learn more about SMASH or to register for the event, visit the program page.