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Today we continue our series of posts with five learnings to apply to boomers and seniors marketing and advertising programs in 2015.

(Did you miss part I of these mature marketing insights? Click here. Then hurry back.)

6. Surveys (Lost Lead and Resident)

Do you know what elements of your marketing plan brought in your most recent residents? Or do you know why a lost lead is a lost lead? If not, then maybe it’s time to provide one or both of these groups with a survey. By asking these questions, you can not only get insights into where your prospects are coming from, but also what is driving them away.

This not only helps you get more in tune with your audience, but helps make sure that your marketing plan reaches the most qualified leads. You could save money and reduce your cost per lead.

Action Step: Use a survey to reengage with your “lost leads.” You can reduce your mailing costs because you’re not sending them further marketing messages, or — better yet —  convert a lost lead to a prospect because they have reconsidered and are now in the position to make a move.

Senior living ad 7. Timing

Most people say that it’s all about location, location, location. With older adults, it’s also about timing, timing, timing.

We all understand that there are down times in a selling season, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop selling. It could just be that you need to send a different marketing message during these down times because they are experiencing a different need.

Inspiration: For those of us in New England, the winters can be pretty rough and slow in the real estate market. But if you also consider that seniors and Boomers are also experiencing the same winter, you can tap into this knowledge and send a message that you understand their problem. This ad for The Overlook, a CCRC located west of Boston, was targeted to seniors living on Cape Cod. Cape Cod can get quite lonely and desolate when it’s not bustling with life as in the summer months. Therefore the ad highlights a robust lifestyle and maintenance-free living (and a heated, indoor pool!).

8. Brand Champions

No matter what you say in a print ad, direct mail or on your website, if the message doesn’t match the experience in real life you will never convert a prospect to a sale. Seniors and Boomers are very savvy and smart shoppers. They understand marketing, and want to be sure that they aren’t being put in a bait and switch situation.

One way of making sure that the internal experience is matching the external marketing message is by enlisting brand champions within your organization. These are employees or residents who understand the brand promise and make sure that it’s followed throughout the community. Residents can be hosts for prospects at events. Employees take care of the logos, fonts, and public spaces to make changes or apply the brand where necessary. And together they live and breathe your core mission. They make sure that the experience demonstrated inside the community is the same as what has been promised outside.

RELATED: This presentation, given at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting, addresses the “alchemy” of culture and brand, and offers tips for organizational alignment:

9. Email Marketing

Just as with direct mail, email marketing should be treated as a personal message. Older adults are becoming savvier with technology, growing in terms of their use and interaction with brands on the web. This was very apparent in responses to our 2010 “Social, Silver Surfers” survey when compared to responses gathered in 2013. And it’s supported by a Pew survey where usage for people 65+ had grown from 2010 to 2012 by 13% and continues to increase into 2015. Even with our own clients, we’ve seen mobile traffic double year over year since 2010.

We urge you and your team to use email marketing wisely and frequently. We have found there have been instances where prospects prefer to be reached via email versus any other medium. And that’s because seniors and Boomers feel as though they are getting an exclusive message and provided with information that the general public is not. Not only that, but to them if feels less intrusive than a sales call or direct mail and for this group that is important.

Action Step: Build those lists! Train your team to ask for email addresses, and the permission to use them for ongoing marketing, at every interaction with leads and prospects.

10. Twists on Traditional Mediums

We’ve talked a lot about trends and different ways to reach seniors and Boomers but one thing remains the same – traditional mediums still reign supreme.

We continuously find that direct mail, print and word-of-mouth tend to bring in the highest number of quality leads over some of the newer, non-traditional mediums. But for 2015, Creating Results recommends looking at the traditional avenues and figuring out ways to kick it up a notch.

Marriage of print and digital marketingUse variable printing to personalize postcards with not just a person’s name but also the locations and hours that are closest (and most relevant) to them. Integrate direct mail with online and email marketing for a one-two punch. You also can and should track which printed items are most appealing by clicks to related online content.

Action Step: While we don’t recommend ditching the non-traditional mediums altogether, but we’d rather you and your team focus on the avenues that drive the highest quality leads and creates the best results.

RELATED: In November, Creating Results shared ideas for “Print 2.0” at the SMASH senior care marketing summit. Click here to download the handouts from that presentation on improving your results with digital techniques.


These are the 10 boomers marketing / seniors marketing insights that bubbled to the top for our Creating Results team. In Part III, we’ll share five insights from thought-leaders in senior living, content marketing and more.

About The Author

Jessica Ruhle

As Sales Strategist & Project Director, she accepts the responsibility of meeting client goals fully and dives into projects head first. Jessica concentrates on New England continuing care retirement community clients, helping them build occupancy, drive leads and reduce marketing costs through an integrated marketing approach.