The Marketer’s Challenge: Q&A with Deb Howard of Senior Living Smart
If you’ve ever met Deb Howard, the CEO of Senior Living Smart, you know that she’s got tons of insight into marketing and sales for senior living communities. So much so in fact, that when we had a conversation with her about the challenges our mutual clients face, she gave us so much great info that we had to make this a two-part blog post. Take a look at Part 1 here for her empathetic take on the challenges marketers face today.
Q: You work with a lot of communities across the country. What are their primary concerns?
A: Being a marketing or sales executive for a senior living community can be very challenging, and honestly, somewhat uncomfortable. Communities are always looking for more leads sure, but what they really want are more qualified leads. They understand that not every lead is the same so they want to know how they can sort through them and prioritize. How can they triage leads so that they’re working with the folks that most need their help without losing the earlier stage families that need a little bit more nurturing.
They’re also looking for information that will help personalize the sales experience. They know that when they reach out to a prospect that they’ll have a better conversation sooner if they know their situation, their top concerns and have an idea of what’s most important to their family situation.
Q: We’re biased, but we think that Roobrik can help with that. What’s your take?
A: I agree and here’s why. I think that the Roobrik assessment takes data and turns it into a story. And sales people love stories. And it really paints that picture of that person at home, what they’re struggling with and what’s working, what’s not working. And that’s going to help the sales person be more successful and ultimately reflect back to the marketing lead. Conversion rates rise if sales has all that background information.
Q: After a person takes the Roobrik assessment, they get their report and can opt to share it with a community. How does that report differ from what a typical contact form generates?
A: It’s fascinating really. I was a VP of sales and marketing for my whole career. When I look at a Roobrik report, it’s honestly better information and deeper insights than 90% of my sales people got during a discovery phone call. Sometimes they’d be on the phone for 20 minutes and not get those details. And it’s not because they didn’t try — it’s just that conversations can take on a life of their own. But an assessment that someone takes on their own, in their own time? One that’s anonymous until they decide to share it? That’s where you can consistently uncover relevant details that tell a complete story.
Q: How does that “story” deliver measurable success?
A: Typically the VP of sales and marketing is being held accountable for increasing the ROI of their digital spend. They want and need to know their cost per lead, their cost per qualified lead. Those are the kind of conversations that they’re having with the C-Suite. In my experience with Roobrik, we can break down the cost per lead to about $40 to $50 apiece. That’s a great price point for a qualified lead that’s shared all this tremendous information. So that story — assembled from 20+ data points — becomes a measurable tactic. Depending on the community, we can also look at move-ins and calculate our cost per move-in on a Roobrik lead versus a third-party lead aggregator or another tactic.
Q: So you’re saying that Roobrik helps the marketer manage up, right?
A: Yes, but because marketing basically has to manage up, down, and sideways, I appreciate Roobrik even more. For the C-suite it delivers measurable ROI. For sales it makes conversations so much more productive. So whether it’s a phone call or a scheduled tour, engagement on a community level becomes that much more authentic. And ultimately, that reinforces the community’s brand — one more area of focus for those very over-worked marketers.
About Senior Living Smart
Senior Living Smart provides a one-stop online resource for marketing and sales teams by offering:
- The latest industry trends and stats
- Vetted vendors who serve the senior living industry
- Vendor discounts/coupons
- Guides, white papers, tools, and other content
- Strategies for increasing occupancy
- Customizable marketing and sales templates
- And more!