How sales and marketing teams at leading senior living organizations are upgrading workflows with AI
When ChatGPT erupted onto the scene last year, AI went from geeky tech obsession to everyone’s new lab experiment. Very quickly, savvy business executives realized that AI was a wildly powerful engine for all manner of activities.
And in the year since, many generative AI tools have made their debut, the technology shaking up workflows across business lines and industries. Consider these findings from McKinsey, the management consulting giant:
To be sure, generative AI has more robust applications in some functions than in others. Sales and marketing are two with significant potential for change. Many manual tasks associated with these functions—content creation, lead qualification, customer outreach, and more—are already irrevocably changing thanks to AI.
Far from displacing humans, these transformations are freeing teams from tedious elements of their jobs, allowing them to focus their talents where they can be most fruitful.
For sales and marketing teams at senior living organizations—where decision-makers may manage multiple communities, have jumbled masses of data, and are trying to sell a product with a high price point—it’s crucial to have a reliable, normalized view of all information, along with the analytics to make it meaningful.
That’s where AI-driven technology is immensely useful.
In the pages that follow, we present six ways that senior living sales and marketing teams are using AI to supercharge their efforts.
Any marketer who ever stared at a blank screen (so: every marketer) has probably already discovered the blessings of AI.
To be sure, engines like Chat GPT often fall short of delivering content of the desired caliber, style, or tone. But where generative AI truly shines is in sparking ideas: from blog posts (say, finding five topics related to memory care) to ads (ideating on catchy taglines).
Sometimes, the germ of an idea is enough to get a marketer’s juices flowing. Other times, AI tools may produce long-form content that requires tweaking. (And always AI requires a human being reading behind, for brand vigilance.)
Generative AI can also be leveraged for a host of adjunct tasks, from gathering info on kidney dialysis for a blog post to selecting interview questions when hiring a potential social media writer.
The boons are many and obvious: More content can be produced at a lower cost and with more efficiency.
Share of marketers who report that they most often use generative AI for content production.
Marketers rely on A/B testing to predict what will drive engagement. When done well, this experimentation can increase website traffic, boost conversion rates, and lower cart abandonment numbers.
But A/B testing involves multiple manual tasks, from determining sample sizes, selecting variables, and analyzing data. And when you consider all the elements that might be tested—subject lines, CTAs, titles, images, fonts, questions posed, sequencing, and more—that’s no small lift.
With AI, running A/B tests is vastly more efficient and potentially more revealing. And by feeding generative AI information on what competitors are doing, marketing teams can improve the quality of AI output.
All told, AI increases the frequency and scale of experimentation, improving the quality of marketing collateral.
Source: Nielsen Norman Group
Many senior living organizations are inundated with leads. But volume is not always helpful. In fact, an overabundance of leads can feel chaotic and overwhelm the sales and marketing teams tasked with making sense of them.
Moreover, segmenting these leads is not simple. That’s due to the complex and emotionally charged nature of this particular purchasing process. Families researching their options may be unsure of their priorities and need significant hand-holding to arrive at a decision. That’s a lot of time spent with people who, in many cases, will not close the deal. With no clear way to separate good leads from poor ones, sales and marketing teams can’t be sure they’re spending their time productively.
With AI, sales and marketing teams can use prediction models to understand which indicators identify the most promising leads. They can analyze the digital actions of prospects who engaged with the websites of senior living facilities and then moved in, thus gaining insight into which activities precede a sale. They can then guide prospects toward particular digital experiences to further nurture the lead.
AI-powered tools can also identify and remove financially unqualified leads, preventing salespeople from squandering time where it won’t pay off.
“AI algorithms can analyze data to help identify potential customers with high precision. With AI-generated data, we can understand their preferences, demographics and behavior.”
As mentioned, selecting a senior living facility can be a very fraught decision. To encourage sales, it’s crucial to gain credibility and build rapport with prospects right away.
AI allows sales teams to do just that. Messaging assistant workflows like the one from FURTHER are powered predominantly by AI, which means responses to prospect questions—Are pets allowed? What is your outdoor space like? Are there regularly scheduled classes or events?—are available instantaneously and accessible 24/7. Tours are booked in minutes, informational calls set up in seconds.
Translation: Customized relationships with prospects are created immediately upon the first engagement, when chances of conversion are highest. And AI-powered tools keep the conversation going well after the first inquiry.
Machine learning models allow sales and marketing teams to analyze vast knowledge bases about past customers. Once a lead is engaged and personal factors collected, AI-powered tools can deduce what the prospect prioritizes. Such systems can then provide customized communications to drive the prospect toward a purchase.
We say customized, because such messaging truly can be: Tools like FURTHER’s use advanced analytics to move beyond providing factual answers. They measure the impact of various kinds of messaging, empowering platforms to provide communications targeted for particular segments. And ongoing assessment ensures messaging remains sensitive to prospects’ needs.
How things are said matters, especially in a sensitive process like this one. Personalized messaging can counteract any sense of coldness brought on by a digital experience. By leveraging AI, senior living organizations allow prospects to enjoy modern shopping technology without losing the human touch.
Many families delay researching senior living homes. This is not a purchase they relish: It can be frightening to contemplate moving a loved one into a facility. So when families at last face this decision, they are often in an emotional state.
This makes the salesperson’s job a sensitive one. And it’s always challenging to educate and nurture a buyer who’s buying something for the first time, as these families often are.
But once families tour a facility, their likelihood of closing skyrockets. The difficult part is getting them to book tours. And that’s where AI comes to the rescue, once again, this time involving an area of human psychology and behavior called “channel factors,” i.e., the stimulus that cause us to keep doing/stop doing whatever it is we might be doing.
For marketers, in other words, these are the factors that make it more or less likely a potential customer will take the hoped-for next step.
Tools like FURTHER improve prospects’ digital experiences through customized messaging. Thanks to machine learning models, prospects engaging with these digital platforms are presented with designs, layouts, and question sequencing chosen specifically for them. These details are selected based on data collected about thousands of customer journeys.
This sensitive-yet-efficient approach tugs families down the pipeline, encouraging them to take a series of digital actions culminating in tour scheduling. Each step drives leads closer to a sale. AI-powered tools create a significant lift in engagement, unsticking prospects lodged in the sales funnel.
Research highlights the importance of families receiving updates about their loved ones' care.
Source: PJX, The Patient Experience Journal
For all the blessings of AI, there are instances where its limits must be recognized. The more practiced sales and marketing teams become at leveraging AI, the more they understand when to call in the humans.
Case in point: Marketers who use AI know it should never be used to create a piece of content from start to finish. Leaving errors aside—and those can slip in—relying on bots to formulate copy for audiences involved in emotional decisions would be foolhardy. Some amount of heart and personality will always need to be injected by a person.
Compliance is another limiting factor, especially in a PHI environment like senior living. While the rules around AI use are still being written, compliance teams will likely have guardrails to guide sales and marketing teams in their current usage.
Finally, overreliance on AI can cause employees’ creative muscles to atrophy. Smart senior living organizations head off such outcomes by having their teams engage in regular workshops or other cognitive activities without using AI.
However AI helps you do what you do better, the technology is rapidly remaking established modes of getting things done, in senior care and beyond. For sales and marketing teams, these changes are welcome productivity-boosters with meaningful impact on move-in rates.
Organizations like FURTHER are excited about getting these industry shifts underway. We’ve been at it for much longer than AI has been in the news.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Contact us here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.