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Understanding the Senior Living Buyer’s Journey

The buyer’s journey isn’t linear or predictable. Especially in senior living. That’s why it’s crucial that each of the tools and tactics you use to engage your prospects recognizes their situation and offers different opportunities to engage for different reasons. Here’s what I mean:

Some folks are just exploring — just beginning their search and have no intention of speaking with a member of your team (yet).

Some are seeking information. They may have already spoken with an advisor, but for whatever reason, they haven’t moved forward and they’ve gone silent. They’re probably languishing in a CRM system marked as a “lost lead.”

Some are ready to make a decision, it’s just a matter of “where” they end up.

Recently I had a couple of insightful conversations with senior living leaders and got their input on how to approach these varied and complex buyer journeys.

When I spoke with Jodie Roberts, Director of Marketing at Senior Services of America, she agreed that one of the biggest mistakes in senior living marketing is assuming the buyer’s journey is linear. Consumers come into the process, and then leave. Then come back in and may even leave again. (I’ll be releasing a video of our conversation on LinkedIn in a few weeks.)

Matt Stubblefield, Director of Marketing at The Springs Senior Living, concurs and, during our video conversation, mentioned that they’ve seen it take at least 16 touches before an older adult or family makes a decision.

Of course the goal is to make sure that each of those touches is meaningful, timely, and doesn’t just offer the result YOU want. In other words, don’t design every touchpoint to end in “speak to an advisor” or “take a tour.” Once you understand that you need to meet each person where they are, you can focus on resources — and your tactics — to allow them to engage at their own pace.

If you’re not already one of our clients, consider exploring how Roobrik can reveal that journey and provide older adults and families researching your community with the confidence to move forward.

Then, use marketing automation to automatically deliver content that’s relevant to that unique ourney — not just directing them to talk to someone. Remember, there’s no such thing as a shopping cart in senior living for your consumers to just “check out.”

Marketers are tasked with creating amazing experiences for consumers and helping to empower them to take an educated and informed next step in their journey. By being a resource, not a “conversion engine,” the best marketers are doing just that.