It’s no secret that the decision to move into senior living is both highly personal and life-changing for most senior adults and their loved ones. Your senior living marketing team is responsible for aiding this process with delicacy and sensitivity. These two factors require a basic understanding of how consumers make decisions.

Let’s take a look at three key points that help explain the behavioral psychology behind purchase intent and how they impact your senior living marketing strategy.

Consumer Behaviors and Their Impact on Marketing Strategy

Behind every successful marketing strategy are two key components: innovative expression and a comprehensive understanding of human behavior, economics, and psychology. There are four models that define consumer behavior and inform marketing strategy.

Theory of Reasoned Action: This theory relies on the importance of pre-existing attitudes that come up throughout the decision-making process. It assumes that consumers make rational decisions and act in their own best interest when making a purchase in order to either create or receive a particular outcome.

Engel, Kollet, Blackwell (EKB) Model: Consumers use a five-step purchasing process – input, data collection, information processing, comparing input to past experiences and expectations, and decision making. Marketers have the opportunity to heavily influence the input and comparison stages.

Motivation-Need Theory, or Hierarchy of Needs Theory: This assumes that people fulfill their needs based a five-step hierarchy system – survival, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization. This theory is especially useful with luxury items, because most marketers work to create an artificial need for high-end amenities and products.  

Hawkins Stern Impulse Buying: This theory works to show a more accurate and complete understanding of the average consumer: that people make both rational and impulsive/uninformed purchases. These purchases are driven by external stimuli and can range from a candy bar to a car warranty or hotel room upgrade.  

Defining Purchase Intent in the Data Age

You rely on first and third-party consumer data to inform your ad buys and targeting strategy, but do you know the origins of the data you are using? Are you confident that the data you use reaches in-market consumers, or are you just assuming you have the right data for your needs? Regardless of where and how you use consumer data, it’s essential to know what defines purchase intent in the data age, and how it will best work for your senior living community.

First, identify how you want data to work for you and which types of data will ladder to key performance indicators (KPIs). Next, understand what qualifies potential leads as “in-market”, so that you know how to reach them throughout the buying process, even when they are not actively searching. Finally, look for ways to access a broad range of data points from multiple websites, product pages, categories, etc.

Influence of Consumer Reviews in Older Adults

Decisions Support Systems, an academic journal that addresses theoretical and technical issues in the support of enhanced decision making, recently published an article that outlines online purchasing decisions in older and younger adults. Research shows that older consumers are strongly influenced by a product or service’s attributes. Their decision-making may also be influenced by a single negative review, but not by average online ratings or single affect-rich positive reviews.

This differs from how younger consumers interact and rely on consumer reviews to help them make decisions. Younger adults use all of the above to obtain information throughout the decision-making process: product attributes, average ratings, and both positive and negative single affect-rich reviews.

Putting it All Together with a Front-End Marketing Partner

When you input consumer behavior, purchase intent, and the impact of online reviews in the data age, it shapes your communication strategy for reaching seniors and their loved ones. G5 is a front-end marketing provider that can assist you with every stage of the marketing journey –  from analytics to AI-powered digital advertising. G5’s Intelligent Marketing Cloud outperforms other real estate digital marketing solutions by 2.5 times for digital ad click-through and website conversion rates.

Ready to start? Our Impact of Bad Leads ebook for the senior living industry outlines how to reshape your sales and marketing teams to convert more leads to leases. This outline will help you maximize a lead’s personal purchase intent efficiently and effectively. Download the ebook here.