Key Takeaways for Senior Living Providers After SMASH Conference 2019

When thinking of Las Vegas, often opulent casinos, slot machines or the fountains of Bellagio likely come to mind. For senior living leaders, Las Vegas now represents something else: SMASH, the conference that unites sales and marketing teams in the senior living industry.

Has your organization applied what it learned at SMASH? After attending various Speaking Sessions, ED Talks, Roundtables and meeting new peers, it’s natural to return to the office feeling reinvigorated, inspired and ready to tackle and overcome challenges.

If the motivation since SMASH has waned and that list of “to-dos” has only grown, consider the insights and takeaways shared in this post as the necessary fuel to reignite your passion for senior living marketing and sales success. Continue reading to learn:

  • Two insights from our Speaking Session with Springpoint about using analytics and data science to optimize marketing budgets and operations
  • An insight from our ED Talk during SMASH senior living 2019

Optimizing Your Digital Spend: An Overview

Allocating budgets and making strategic decisions based on a hunch is no longer necessary given the tools available to marketers today. Senior living providers are straying from legacy approaches that were relied upon in favor of more sophisticated and reliable methods to impact organizational goals.


By leveraging analytics and data science. During our speaking session with our client partner Springpoint, we taught attendees how to use analytics and data science to inform everything from budgets to tactical execution.

The following takeaways from our presentation outline opportunities that any senior living provider can incorporate to be more accountable and produce the outcomes they want to see within their organization.

Takeaway #1: Create a Model to Manage Marketing Performance and Accountability

Without a model or framework in place, senior living marketing and sales professionals will find it difficult to harness data for its benefit. To assist Springpoint with this endeavor, our team developed a proprietary impact/effort matrix to pinpoint its Cost Per Lead (CPL).

In practice, the impact/effort matrix gave Springpoint leadership insight into crucial questions.

1.) How much impact will be driven from a tactic or strategy based on the effort required?

2.) What’s a realistic timetable that our organization can expect to measure results?

Understanding the distinction between tactics that drive immediate impact vs. tactics that require time to take hold are paramount. This allows teams the ability to prioritize tactics to accomplish both short and long-term goals. Additional benefits from having a model to manage and prioritize marketing tactics includes:

  • Smarter hiring and budget planning
  • Improved accountability that helps teams justify investments and adjustments to spending
  • Realistic and accurate forecasting for marketing tactics and initiatives
  • Driving a favorable cost per lead (CPL) to optimize marketing spending
  • Helps leadership understand deeper context into lower CPL levels, which aligns lead generation needs with the cost associated

By combining a framework and/or methodology with analytics, senior living providers can now create the outcomes they want to achieve instead of hoping for a desired outcome.

Pinpointing a favorable CPL merely scratches the surface. The impact/effort matrix can also be applied to lend insight into the following metrics:

  • Domain authority
  • Page authority
  • Click-thru rate
  • Entrances
  • Bounces
  • Exit rate
  • Page value
  • Scroll depth
  • Social engagement
  • Time on page
  • Missed call rate

…and much more.

Takeaway #2: Extend Analytics and Data Science Capabilities to Reporting

Analytics and data science not only help marketing teams impact performance and prioritize activities, it also improves reporting capabilities. Teams that extend data science and analytics to reporting find that the discoveries and insights that are unearthed are easier to share and apply.

Empirical, quantifiable findings can be understood and trusted within every level in an organization, which provides value regardless of the role of the team member or team accessing the reporting document.

As a result, buy-in for an initiative or making an adjustment to a strategy can happen in a more organic and timely manner, keeping teams proactive when change occurs. Additionally, data science and analytics allow teams to drill down into granular areas or report on trends across an organization, making the data actionable within every level of an organization.

The deeper a senior living organization can integrate data the more opportunities will be available and benefits obtained.

ED Talk Takeaway: Understand Where You Stand in the Digital Marketing Maturity Curve

Walk. Crawl. Run. We can’t skip the first two stages and go right into running. The same can be said about your community’s digital marketing strategy. During our ED Talk at SMASH, our team encouraged senior living marketing and sales leaders to understand where their respective organization stands in terms of its digital maturity.

This honest assessment will help teams prioritize the tactics that will make the most immediate impact. If your organization finds itself beginning a digital strategy or if it determines it is lower in the digital marketing maturity curve, it should focus on:

  • A strong technical SEO foundation
  • Establishing organic visibility on search engines with a holistic SEO strategy
  • Starting a paid search strategy
  • Ensuring your website is search engine crawler-friendly
  • Optimizing your website for fast page speed on all devices, but especially on mobile

For organizations that have an established digital marketing foundation, the following tactics will provide an impact and should be prioritized:

  • Full closed loop reporting (that accounts for both digital and traditional channels)
  • Robust marketing automation
  • Frequent user testing and optimizations for user experience (UX)
  • Conversion rate optimization (CRO) testing and refinement

Again, sticking to the ‘walk, crawl, run’ progression will help your organization prioritize the tactics that will pay off today, while layering in additional tactics as its digital maturity grows.

Need Help SMASHing Your Goals? Contact Our Team

SMASH senior living 2019 may have come and gone, but the insights shared and connections made will last sales and marketing leaders well into 2020. That said, if your organization needs help integrating data, is interested in applying an impact/effort matrix of its own, or just doesn’t know where to go next, contact us. We’ll be happy to help your organization surpass its goals and achieve its desired outcome.

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