SMASH, don’t Scrabble to Senior Living Marketing Success: SMASH Conference Recap

In Scrabble, to outwit the competition and win, you’ll need the following:

  • Letter tiles with high point values
  • A mastery of the English language, especially obscure words that incorporate high point value tiles
  • Enough friends to play (between 2-4 players)

Notice how 2/3rds of the requirements for victory rely on a player’s strategic approach?

Winning in senior living marketing, like Scrabble, requires a mix between having the right tiles and playing those tiles strategically. The SMASH conference has served as a “player’s manual” of sorts for the senior living industry, when navigating through the complexities of sales and marketing.

This year, in addition to being a Premier Partner at SMASH, Linkmedia 360 had the honor of presenting an educational session with Franciscan Ministries, one of our provider partners. In this recap of the SMASH conference, we’re sharing takeaways from the presentation, in case your senior living community was unable to attend. You’ll learn:

  • 2 actionable recommendations your senior living marketing and sales teams should focus on to win 2019

Recommendation #1: Focus on your Foundation (don’t overlook it)

Kurt Krejny, SVP of Solutions at Linkmedia 360, gives senior living providers a thumbs up to a successful 2018 and 2019

Before taking the next leap into exciting new areas, your senior living community needs to go back and perform tried and true tactics to improve your digital marketing foundation. In the past year, has your senior living marketing team:

  • Audited your Google Analytics data to ensure only clean data is being collected?
  • Checked its local listing accuracy scores?
  • Set up a conversion-focused and optimized mobile-friendly website?
  • Created personas and resident journeys to align and govern your content marketing strategy?
  • Developed a thematic keyword strategy for ranking opportunities and search relevance?
  • Implemented a consistent social media and reputation management strategy?

Often, there’s a level of effort and complexity involved in performing the tactics necessary to a strong digital foundation. The results of our Senior Living Guide in 2018 outlined the greatest challenges facing the industry. One of the greatest challenges we learned is that in-house senior living marketing teams suffer from having too much work and too little time.

If that’s the case at your senior living community, perhaps an agency partner could provide the additional lift to get your community past the foundational level, and into areas where innovation and strategic investments in your technology stack make measurable impact.

Ultimately, it’s the people, processes, and technology that provide the ability to scale tactics successfully to your entire organization, regardless of the number of locations.

Recommendation #2: Strategically Invest in Technology Integrations in 2019

If your senior living marketing team needs answers to the three questions posed below, it should find a cost-effective technology investment.

  1. How do I maximize my data?
  2. How do I connect my data with my marketing
  3. How do I get more informed budgets?

Investing in the right CRM and email marketing automation solution will help your team resolve many of these issues. But it can’t be stated enough – your team will waste the investment without first making sure it has a strong digital marketing foundation.

A CRM is a vanity investment to manage leads if your community doesn’t have an excess of leads that need properly managed. And an email marketing automation strategy isn’t necessary when your community doesn’t have leads to nurture.

After your community has a firm digital marketing foundation, it should outline a realistic budget for a CRM and email marketing automation solution. When this is in place, it can begin yielding the benefits these integrations provide. From a high level, the benefits you can expect to see include:

  • Thinking like an investor regarding your marketing budget – and having corporate adopt that mentality at scale to every community location
  • Holding agency or marketing partners accountable during reporting meetings – making sure they’re telling performance stories instead of reporting meetings without insights “by the numbers”
  • Identifying top performing marketing channels and when to use them to reduce inquiry-to-resident lead time
  • Personalized and customized workflows for sales, operations, and marketing teams
  • Helping your community achieve its desired outcome – whether that’s related to census, determining the right mix of media channels, grow its brand, etc.
  • Providing a boost to your career, setting you apart as a marketing leader who’s helping achieve larger, organizational goals

There’s always deeper context to be gleaned from data, and the right CRM and email marketing automation integration will help your community unearth that context. Integrating your website with a CRM and email marketing automation solution will create a closed loop between marketing and operations, assisting every level of your organization.

Ready to SMASH Your Senior Living Community’s Goals?

The challenge of where to place your attention will be based on your current census levels. We hope your community gained a deeper understanding of what it can do to positively impact 2019 after reading our SMASH conference recap.

That said, we understand that your community may not have the time to ensure a strong digital foundation and make strategic investments in technology integration. If you feel that way, call our team. In the case with Franciscan, our team mapped out a strategy that reflected their goals and will do the same for your community.

Get ready to SMASH 2019!

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