By Susan Saldibar

You know that old saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? It’s overused, I know, especially in articles like this one. But it’s an easy trap to fall into, especially when harried marketing folks dust off last year’s so-so programs and run them again for so-so results. So it’s great to witness the results a senior living provider can achieve when they find the guts to try something different.

Valerie Whitman, VP of Senior Living for LeadingResponse (a Senior Living Foresight partner), sat down with the SVP of one of their clients for a short Q&A interview about a change-up to their traditional events marketing programs and how their gutsy move paid off.

Here are just a few of the questions and responses. You’ll want to catch the full video which you can view at the end of this article.

What was your greatest challenge in attracting qualified potential leads to events?

The biggest challenge was to get out of the trap of using traditional methods of purchasing mailing lists and sending out thousands of event invitations to geographic areas with little else to go on. “We were often limited to basic demographic information they would provide, but it just wasn’t enough”, their SVP of Marketing/Sales says. “We needed to be able to target the adult children as well as the seniors themselves. And we needed more accuracy from the financial side to be respectful of the client and not waste their time.”

How has LeadingResponse been able to solve that challenge?

This brings us to the gutsy move by company leadership to try something different with their event marketing by working with LeadingResponse to create a series of off-site educational dinner events on topics of interest to their demographic group. Formal invitations were mailed to a highly targeted database. And here’s the thing. The list was calibrated to invite only those individuals who were most likely to become move-ins and who were financially qualified as well.

The SVP credits LeadingResponse’s markedly different approach to evaluating demographic data to making the difference. “They have this capacity to do heat source maps that show us where the adult child lives that has the potential to provide some financial support if needed,” he says. And the data also reveals how the senior is connected to that adult child. This adds layers to the data LeadingResponse is able to provide that past methods weren’t able to do. “We get 3,000 people as potential recipients of our invitation to attend an event that are truly qualified, versus 30,000 where we get no one,” he explains.

How has LeadingResponse impacted your overall marketing strategy?

In the long run, it’s all about results. And LeadingResponse has had a powerful impact on the health and wellbeing of these communities. As the SVP explains, “About a year ago, we were having some challenges in specific markets with relationship to new communities coming on board,” he says. “Through the traditional methods, we were not hitting the client base we needed to hit so the deposits we needed to stay on the right trajectory just were not there.”

And he acknowledges that it isn’t the fault of the sales team. Leadership wasn’t giving sales the best opportunity to succeed. The difference was what LeadingResponse brought to the table. A deeper information set that enabled the sales team to almost surgically target the ideal client base. “Bringing LeadingResponse into the mix allowed us to get a client base that was financially qualified and age appropriate, but more interestingly, it showed us how far off we were with who we should have been targeting,” he says.

The numbers speak for themselves. They have averaged 5-7 deposits out of each dinner event. And they’re always offsite. As the SVP explains, “It’s a different way to approach it; less about us, more about them.” And he says the offsite events helped them save three communities that had been struggling. The relationships that they have with event attendees are stronger right from the start because they are already highly qualified. And the leads tend to stay warm. “We don’t see these leads that are generated through LeadingResponse fall off,” he says. “So I don’t know where we’d be with some of these communities right now without LeadingResponse.”

For more information about LeadingResponse please visit their website.

Check out the entire video below: