Online Marketing

How senior living marketers can bridge the digital-to-offline disconnect and increase leads – Marketplace Columns – McKnight's Senior Living

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Digital marketing efforts, especially paid search ads, can drive a lot of leads for senior living marketers by engaging in-market customers. And because senior living is a considered purchase with a longer sales funnel, this customer journey likely involves a phone call.

That’s why it’s so important for marketers in the industry to gain transparency into how their digital ads affect offline conversions. When marketers take steps to track a customer’s various touch points, from online to offline — from viewing a paid search ad to visiting a landing page to making a call to scheduling an appointment — they’re able to get a better understanding into which ads and ad channels work for their organizations. Then, they can make more informed marketing optimizations and drive more quality leads.

Digital is an entryway

Senior living marketers are spending an increasing amount on digital channels. According to Lotame, for instance, marketers spent 25% more in 2018 to target boomers aged 65+. This was a smart choice. As Pixability reports, those 65 and older are the demographic most likely to click through social video ads.

Because senior living and care are highly considered, deeply personal purchases, websites often are entryways to more information. High-consideration purchase decisions convert offline — for instance, through phone calls — at higher rates than lower-priced goods and services.

DialogTech’s research shows that 70% of senior living customers rely on phone calls during the consumer journey. For marketers in the industry, this can create serious attribution challenges. When phone call conversions are ignored, successful marketing efforts are underreported. Without technology to connect the online to the office, digital ads appear to not convert or generate a positive outcome when, in fact, they may be converting at high rates offline. Campaign adjustments based on this faulty information can do more harm than good.

For example, a top-performing senior living ad may be driving phone calls to set up appointments 50% of the time. If these conversions go unaccounted for, then this top-performing ad can appear to be a giant waste of spend. Misguided marketers may turn off these ads and inadvertently halt a steady stream of inbound calls. Marketers who fail to factor in offline conversions may be underestimating how well their campaigns are working and be incorrectly measuring the actual cost of each lead.

Connecting online and offline

Because phone calls inextricably are linked to the senior living and care customer journey, they must be tracked and analyzed. That’s where a conversation intelligence solution comes into play. Through a conversation intelligence platform, marketers can connect online marketing strategies to inbound calls. They can discover what marketing channels are driving these calls, what ads prospects are engaging with, what is said on the calls, whether callers are qualified leads, whether the calls convert and so much more.

Then, marketers can more accurately measure the success of online advertising campaigns, correctly credit ads for driving leads and, as a result, more effectively optimize those ads to drive even more qualified leads.

Marketers can leverage a conversation intelligence
platform by:

  • Tracking callers from marketing source to conversion and spending more on the types of ads that drive the best results.
  • Integrating call data with their customer relationship management, or CRM, and existing martech stack to better understand the customer journey and allocate budget accordingly.
  • Targeting past callers and “lookalike” audiences with the right ads; conversation insights provide a wealth of targeting data you can use to better acquire new customers and retarget callers.

By connecting online ads to offline conversions, senior living marketers can create more effective and efficient digital marketing campaigns that increase leads, convert at higher rates and keep costs low.

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