We’ve all probably moved houses at some point. Moving generally makes packing a mid-size sedan into an everything-you-own-tetris-extravaganza. When there is 0.0 available space in your car for anything else (except you, the driver), you can’t see out the back window of your car. Your car now has massive blindspots. Your Prius now feels like a 16-wheeler, and changing lanes is terrifying.

Repeat after us: marketing. should. not. feel. this. way. 

You should know what’s working, feel organized, and aware of what’s going on around you, so that when (not if) you need to nimbly change tactics, you can with ease. Craig Branstad, Solutions Architect at G5, recently spoke at CALA with Christy Van Der Westhuizen, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at MBK Senior Living. They identified common marketing blind spots, and shed some light on what IS working in senior living. ICYMI, here’s the blog-version recap of their presentation. Let’s go!

Marketers Are Assessing Their MarTech Options

Ten years ago there were ~150 MarTech solutions, fast forward to now when there are over 8,000 MarTech solutions. No marketer can possibly do their due diligence to find out if their tech solutions truly are perfect for their needs. Marketers feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of marketing data, and marketing solution options. It’s like standing in the always-overwhelming toothpaste aisle trying to find the right paste…but your job is attached to it. Yikes. 

Here are three more MarTech facts to wrap your mind around: 

Bottom line: marketers need not a data deluge, but data insights. They need data that isn’t stuck in siloed, walled garden tech solutions. They need data to be useful. And, if it isn’t they’ll leave and work with partners who make open-platform solutions a priority. 

Marketers Need to Know: Where Are Leads Coming From?

Since data, and data insights are so important to marketers, we dug into our own data to share senior living insights. We asked our data science team where quality leads were coming from and they answered with a box and whisker plot (translation: complicated graph) so detailed that it demanded a thirty-minute Q+A session just to break this down for you. 

Here’s the breakdown: First, this wasn’t a dinky little survey that they sent to their ten childhood bff’s for “data.” Our G5 data science team dove into our first-party data to analyze the most effective and consistent digital marketing channels for senior living marketers. Their data pool included over 6 million user journeys and 60 million touchpoints. Wowza.

The top three digital marketing channels are as follows: 

And once you’ve optimized for all things Google, runners-up included Facebook, Bing, and the ever-so-expensive ILSs. 

Dynamic Duos

Of course, it is helpful to know who our digital marketing channel front runners are, but marketing doesn’t happen in a one-channel-silo, so we also wanted to know the most powerful combinations of channels. The thing about dynamic duos is, the sum is greater than the parts. What do we mean by that? Instead of 1 + 1 = 2, it’s more like 1 + 1 = 6. We know, this isn’t actually how math works, which is why the cumulative impacts of optimizing your marketing strategy for multiple channels is critical to marketing success. In fact, when marketers combine these channels, on average, we see a 75% boost in performance. Our top three combos are: 

As you can see, once again all things Google, particularly Google My Business rules supreme in the digital marketing world. 

Drop the Silos

We talk a lot about eliminating data-silos, so let’s spend a little time thinking critically about operational silos. Often, we assume or think of customer journeys as linear. First, a senior and their loved one will magically know it’s the right time to begin their research journey, then they’ll calmly Google “Senior Living Near Me,” browse your website once, call, schedule an in-person tour, and then drive to your community. The truth is, before any Googling happens there is probably a precipitating life event that changes a senior’s care needs. This is often a stressful, and emotionally straining time for all family members involved. So instead of a calm, three-step process, the average senior living customer journey is 32 days in length, and includes 17 digital touchpoints or interactions, according to G5 data. All of this happens before a senior or their loved one reaches out via website form fill or phone call to your community. This means that a prospect digs through your website online, visits your GMB profile, and reads online reviews, and only after they’ve done their digital due diligence and self-qualified will they reach out. To be blunt: the more a prospect understands about your community and what it has to offer, the further they can walk themselves down the sales path. 

This is a long-story-long way of saying that the senior living research journey is complex. It often crosses over between marketing and sales channels. Working to bridge the gap between marketing and sales with meaningful technology integrations, ensures a smooth customer experience, and provides the kind of thoughtful care senior living communities should provide from digital-day-one. Use the graphic below to visualize what a simplified research path might look like. 

Partnership That Performs

When the pandemic started, MBK’s marketing tactics didn’t waver. They didn’t drop their digital marketing spend. While this is a brave and bold move given the circumstances, it led them out of the initial pandemonium of the pandemic with higher than industry average occupancies. Check out our recent case study to learn more about MBK and G5’s marketing partnership.