Webinar: Making the Most of Your Senior Living Digital Marketing Budget
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With a limited marketing budget, which digital marketing strategies do you take on? What will produce the highest ROI and help you accomplish your goals? With fluctuating occupancy rates across our industry, you can't afford to not spend your marketing budget efficiently.
In this webinar, see how Eldermark customer Stefanie Fenton and her team used the latest digital marketing software and data insights to develop the right-fit marketing strategy.
Explore how a senior living team can overhaul or fine tune marketing investment, what steps an organization like yours took and the big impact these changes can make.
Watch the webinar below:
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Hi, everybody. Welcome to the digital marketing webinar for Eldermark today. I am glad that you are all here. I hope you can all see my screen, and I also have my camera on today. We are so glad to have you here. We have a great presentation ready for you today, and I'm excited and eager to show you what we have to offer. It's 11:00 Pacific Time and 1:00 Central Time. So wherever you are, I hope you're having a wonderful day. Let's go ahead and get started.
Maybe it's... There we go. Few reminders for our Eldermark clients that are on the line today. If you have any key staffing changes at your organization or at your community, please email email@example.com and let us know. That way, we can keep our records updated. And then be sure to read the latest Release Notes from Eldermark software. Those should be coming into your email inbox. If you are not receiving those, please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get on the list so you know all the latest releases that are happening at Eldermark. I wanted to give a brief technology update so those of you on the call know what's been new and happening at Eldermark. Sorry, there's a delay on the slideshow. There we go.
Peerlytics integration. This is an infection control and antibiotic stewardship management software. Eldermark now has an integration with Peerlytics. We also have integration with eMenuCHOICE which is a dining service management software. That's recently been released that our customers are thoroughly enjoying. We also have an Engage. It's called Engage. It's a social engagement app, and that is an integration into our software as well where we can monitor how our residents are engaging at our communities. I'm excited to announce that we are partnered with Worldview technology solutions to develop our product ElderForms. This is an e-document management solutions platform, and what's nice about this is it can electronically go out all of that paperwork, especially as people, as salespeople at the community, we're able to facilitate that as well through ElderForms. And then of course ElderSmarts. If you're on LinkedIn or have been following our announcements, you know that ElderSmarts is something we're really proud of and excited about. It's a data management platform where we can pull data in from all different sources, build custom reports, and make sure our clients are getting the data analytics that they need.
I will be showing you some examples of that today in our presentation as well. If you are interested in any of these new technologies and integrations that Eldermark offers, please feel free to reach out to us. I'll be sharing my contact information here shortly.
There are a few housekeeping notes before we begin our presentation. Just as a reminder, all webinar participants will remain muted here today. So if you have a question or you want to participate in the presentation, please use the Question feature on your webinar control panel to submit your questions to our presenters today. We are going to leave about 10 minutes at the end of the presentation to address all questions. You will receive a link to the recording of this webinar within 24 hours after we adjourn. And you are welcome to contact me directly via email after the webinar today. I'd be happy to go through anything, schedule a demo, or answer any questions about any of the information we cover today.
Let's move on to today's topic and presentation. I think my webcam went off so I'm going to go ahead and turn that back on. There we go. Today's topic, this is all something we're interested in, especially leading up to 2023. I know most of our budgets have been finalized for 2023 or we're still in discussion with that. And so I'm really looking forward to the presentation today to show you how to optimize your digital marketing budget. And the keyword here is "qualified lead generation". That's really what we want to focus on.
I am thrilled to announce my co-presenter today, Stefanie Fenton. She is the owner-operator of Mount Angel Towers Retirement Community, and she is an Eldermark customer and has been for a few years now. If you don't know me, I'm Crystal Craig. I'm the vice president of Sales CRM and Digital Marketing Division here at Eldermark. And the presentation that Stefanie and I are going through today is actually what we presented at the SMASH Conference in Las Vegas back in October of this year, a couple months ago. And so we had a lot of feedback that people that couldn't attend SMASH wanted to see what we presented on. And so we thought it'd be a good idea to do a webinar to make sure everybody was privy to the information that we shared and presented on at the SMASH Conference. I'm going to talk to Stefanie here in a minute, but if you haven't attended SMASH and you're in the sales and marketing field, I would highly recommend attending that conference. You learn a lot of great information and meet some really great people. And of course, Vegas is always really fun.
Please jot down my email as well, email@example.com. You can reach me anytime via email.
Let's go ahead and get started and talk about our agenda today. One of the first things that we're going to do is cover the principles for optimizing small-budget digital marketing. I'm also going to go through how to use your CRM data to understand your market. We're going to learn how to set specific measurable goals for your limited spend. How much should you spend? That's always the question that we hear here at Eldermark. And then what are some budget-friendly technologies? And then we're going to examine the results that you get in 30, 60, 90 days out, and we're going to learn how to reallocate your spend based on monthly data reviews. And then finally, Stefanie is going to present a case study on Mount Angel Towers, lessons that we've learned, things that have worked, maybe didn't work, and you'll hear her story here up towards the end of the presentation.
I went ahead and turned off my webcam only because I think it's slowing down my wifi connection, the presentation here. So key questions for optimization. And this is so important. Before you spend any of your digital marketing dollars, we need to identify these questions and answer these questions for our organization to ensure that we're spending our money in the best possible way. I always say gone are the days where we can just take a guess on where we should be spending our money and keep our fingers crossed and hope that it results in some lead generation or move-ins. We really need to dive into the data that we have available within your software and make sure we are setting accurate goals. And what I mean by that too is not just guessing on a goal or where we want to be. Of course everybody wants to be at 100% occupancy, but I'm talking about realistic goals.
What are your benchmarks and expectations for an organization similar in size? So do you know where the industry is currently? And then where are you currently and where do you need to be to hit those goals? So we do need to be grabbing that data and taking a look at that and studying those accordingly. Also, what is the timeline needed to achieve your goals? I hear all the time when I'm onboarding digital marketing clients that, "I needed that yesterday. I needed to hit that goal yesterday," or, "I need to be 100%." But we really need to look at digital marketing and you need to realize and set a realistic timeline. Some elements of digital marketing do have an immediate return on investment where you're going to see that quick lead generation, but some don't, and they're a longer, longer term play and plan. And so you need to know what your organization, what it's currently doing right now, where you want it to go, what is the plan, where are your pain points, and then cater your digital marketing budget as we ask those questions.
And then really importantly, do you have a CRM that has the capabilities to integrate with your current digital marketing efforts? And what I mean by this, and if you've probably attended any of my other webinars, you've heard this. I know I sound like a broken record, but it is so important to know, how many phone calls we're getting based on the digital marketing spend? What are our tours and what are our move-ins? What's our cost per prospect? What's actually happening?
And we are seeing digital marketing agencies get a little bit smarter in the analytics that they're providing to our senior living clients, but really a conversion in senior living, because we hear the word conversions all the time when we're talking to digital marketing agencies sometimes that aren't familiar with senior living, and they'll say, "Well, look at all these conversions you had on your website. There was 10,000 visitors," whatever that number may be, which is great. But in senior living, we need those people. A true conversion to us is a phone call, is a tour, is a move in, is a form fill where we're actually getting that great information on our client. But it is important to understand how your digital marketing efforts are performing. All of that should sink into the CRM that you're using.
I'm going to veer off just for a quick moment because I do feel that as we are looking at our budgets, our digital marketing budgets, whether that's lead generation and occupancy growth, a lot of times and especially post-COVID here, employment recruitment goes hand-in-hand. A lot of times I'm meeting clients that cannot actually focus on an occupancy campaign and grow their occupancy because they need more staff and the building to actually care for the people that we're trying to get to move in. So I didn't want to continue on the presentation without at least touching base on employment recruitment and let you know there are some really great cost-effective ways to recruit people for senior living.
For example, we use a technology called geofencing or geoframing. And what that will do is it can focus in on a specific group of people. It uses the location data from our phones, and we can focus in on people who, let's say, maybe you need a clinical director, you need personal caregivers, and there's a local nursing class or a local university near you. We can actually target those people that we know are already in that field at a certain age and then send them targeted ads, maybe with some incentives, to try and get them to apply versus just blasting out and spending a whole bunch of money on indeed, we can do geofencing and framing. Another example would be somebody who consistently spends eight hours at a local restaurant. Maybe you need a hospitality dining service director or a front desk receptionist. We could focus in and look how long they're spending in that particular restaurant or maybe a hotel, and then we can send them targeted ads as well.
The average spend for this for Eldermark customers are about $600 per month. We are seeing the majority of the organizations that are doing this employment recruitment campaign fully staffed within three months average time. So going back to that timeline, this is a short play. Geofencing and geoframing typically is not something that you're going to be doing long-term. It has a goal of let's get these positions filled and then once they're filled, we stop the spend and turn off that technology. And then we can always reengage when we need it. So I just wanted to spend a moment on employment recruitment. As we know that can go hand-in-hand with occupancy growth and lead generation. We can also use geofencing and geoframing for targeted occupancy campaigns as well. So just in the same manner as we might recruit somebody for employment, if we know our buyer personas which we're going to get into here in a moment, we can target those people as well. And what I mean by that is the adult child influencer or the potential resident.
There's so many different digital marketing avenues, especially in today's day and age. It can be really overwhelming on what is going to work best for your organization. What decisions do you need to make? You don't need to do all of them, that's for sure, but you do want to find a digital marketing agency that is senior living-focused that can help you do an analysis on your current state of your organization and then help you make those decisions accordingly to try and obtain your goals. There is search engine optimization. I just briefly spoke about geofencing, geoframing. We have Google Pay Per Click, Google Keyword Search Advertising, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, marketing automation, and there's so much more. So how can we identify which avenue and budget is going to result in qualified lead generation?
One of the first things that I would do is complete an audit on your current online presence. At Eldermark, we do have the ability to pull a scoresheet. It's going to take a look at how you're ranking online. It looks at other businesses similar to you. So how are you ranking against your competitor with listings? Can people find you? Are your listings accurate online or are there a whole bunch of wrong addresses and phone numbers that's affecting from people being able to find you? What do your reviews look like? And again, we're comparing that to the current industry. How do you reviews stack up? Reviews are really important right now. After 2020, everybody is online. They're coming through that digital front door first. They're doing their research. They want to read and see how you handle that time period that was very stressful for the senior living industry. Can they trust you with mom and dad's care? So how are you ranking with reviews?
What's your social media presence looking like? I'm going to give some interesting statistics here. But just so everybody knows, social media is definitely climbing with the baby boomers. They are online more and more, and that is expected to increase. Google recently did a study that I read that said the 65 and older are more on Facebook right now than any other age range, and they actually outnumber, I think it was between 18 and 21-year-old or maybe even younger. That's where they're spending a lot of their time is on Facebook. So you do need a good strong social presence. How are you doing with advertising? What is your search engine optimization looking like? Is your website converting? What is that looking like? So I would take a look at your current online presence.
If you'd like Eldermark to pull an audit for you, please reach out to me directly. I'd be happy to do that for you and send you a score. On our audit, you get a lot more information than the screenshot I have here, and we'll also give you suggestions on what to do to fix maybe a poor ranking section. But if I was an owner-operator or in charge of a digital marketing spend, I would absolutely be looking at these six key areas to see how we're currently performing.
And then really important, does your website convert visitors into leads? And I know I said that again, but just remember, everything that you're doing with your digital marketing spend is going to bring those people back to your website. That's where they're going to go. So if you're doing Google, if you're doing Facebook, if you have a good social media presence, where are they going to go after that? They're going to go to your website. And is your website converting those visitors into leads? And what do I mean by that? Are they filling out those forms? Are they calling from your website? Do you have call tracking to see if those leads are actually calling? Are they filling out a schedule-a-tour form? So make sure you're asking those great questions. And whoever your website provider is or is managing that, I would be asking them, "Are they actually converting?" And then of course that should feed into your CRM as well.
Another stuff that we need to do is educate yourself. Who is your buyer? What are they doing online? The technology now is so, so much far advanced. Even in the last two to five years as I've really been diving into digital marketing, it continues to change. And so it's really important that we know who our buyer is, what they're doing online. You can see that Google study there. Boomers are going online now more than ever. 82% have at least one social media account. They do prefer Facebook. This was really interesting too. Seniors are the fastest growing group on mobile YouTube. Isn't that really interesting? That is definitely changing. I know when I was in senior living, mobile YouTube didn't even... I know I'm dating myself, but didn't even exist. And so they are going on. They are watching the videos. And every single dollar spent should be used to aim your digital marketing efforts towards your identified buyer persona. Make sure you know who that person is and where they're going.
And then there's some digital marketing cost-effective differentiators. And what I mean by that is not all digital marketing advertisements that we do are the same. For example, on Facebook you can do impression advertising, which is just a basing. They might put the ad there and then they're having, they're monitoring or you get analytics on how many people are actually clicking that ad. So how many impressions are you getting?
There's also in a lot of people, this is becoming more popular, where we can do Facebook lead generation advertising where we can ask them some qualifying questions here. So instead of just having somebody click my ad and then hopefully they go to our website and we grab their information, let's qualify them even further. Let's see if we can get them to fill out their name and their phone number, maybe ask a couple questions. Are you looking for yourself, or how old is the person interested in senior living? And by that way, we are showing that they're actually engaged. Most of the time people aren't going to take this time to fill out this information unless they do want some want feedback. They want to call. They are actively looking. So make sure you're taking a look at that as well.
So cost-effective digital marketing strategies, this is just some data I pulled out out of Eldermark. When we were doing impression only Facebook, we were seen on average about 20 qualified leads per month. When we started doing the lead generation advertising with the qualifying form fill questions, we're looking at 33 qualified leads per month here. So that was pretty exciting to see. I do feel form fills for senior living is a lot better. I always say this isn't retail, this is an emotional buy. And so we really need to make sure that the digital marketing efforts that we're doing have emotionally intriguing facts when you build that advertising campaign. That's what our buyers want to see. And so having that form filled can just give you that extra step of qualification. And we're seeing an average spend about 650 a month for Facebook, Facebook Advertising, right now. Of course that can go up from there depending on what you need, how large our organization is, but that was the average spend that I pulled.
And then marketing automation, that can be really cost-effective as well. Now, marketing automation historically has not been really a true lead generator, although now we can start using it that way, but really a lead nurturer. So how do we track that performance and ROI for marketing automation? One of the things that marketing automation can do, and for those of you listening in or listening to this recording or here with us today, I think I do want to take a step back in case not everybody is familiar with the marketing automation. I feel it's been a buzzword here for the last few years. But marketing automation is a way to automatically communicate with our potential residents or adult child influencers. And it's a way to stay in contact with them, to keep them engaged, to make sure they know that we have not forgot about them.
Now, marketing automation, we have the ability to track that performance as well. So maybe somebody that has come to your website online filled out a form. You haven't been able to reach them via phone call yet but we are sending them email information. And now, we can see that they are opening those emails, they're clicking on those links, they might be taking those virtual tours. And so it's really important to be getting all of that insight back. If you are using marketing automation, they are key. So you can see here on my screen, we have some campaign statistics. This is pulled from the upcoming Eldermark sales CRM modernization product, but we should be able to see how many people converted to a prospect from those email campaigns. Did anyone schedule a tour? Of course, did anyone move in? What do our emails open look like, our unsubscribed and our bounced?
We also want to start to steer away from those gimmicky or pretty generic email messaging. We're seeing that the higher conversion rates, and conversions, again, scheduling a tour, converting to a prospect, moving in, engaging in your brand, they're coming from emotionally intriguing facts. The baby boomers do not want to be fed gimmicky, generic information via email. And I think if we all look at our own buyer behavior as well, if I see those come in and I can tell it's a pretty automated message where they just stuck my first name in there and auto-populated that, I'm going to be much less likely to engage and I'm going to probably delete that email.
One of the examples I like to give as well is that a company that is really wanting my business knows about me. They know about me personally, Crystal, and about my online buyer behavior. So they know if they send me an email, I have three small children, but if they know they send me an email that focuses in on Star Wars or Avengers, I'm going to click that link. I'm going to buy that. I'm going to buy that product. They know that about me so they don't send me a whole bunch of junk because they know it's going to get deleted. What they send me is what they know I'm going to actually purchase. And so now, we have the technology to be tracking our potential residents, our adult child influencers. Where are they going? What is their budget like? And then we can cater our messaging to them to show them that our organization is a place that they can trust and engage in.
Marketing automation can cost anywhere from $150 per month up to 1,000 or more, and this is depending on support services. So if you have somebody at your organization that is familiar with marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot, ActiveDEMAND, whatever that may be, you can get an automation platform pretty inexpensively. However, I am going to state again, anything that you're doing automation-related should all flow into your CRM. It has to now. In 2023, we can't take guessing. We can't guess anymore. All of that data that we're doing in automation, all of that communication has to get back to our salesperson. It is imperative that the salesperson that we have hired at our community to build that rapport, to build that relationship, to close the leads is getting this important information for the campaigns that you're doing online. If they don't know that they are opening the emails or engaging or clicking links, they might think that it's a cold lead. So we do need to make sure that that information's getting there.
But back to cost, Eldermark does provide marketing automation support and services where we can write content, help establish a strong campaign to target potential leads in your database, or we do have some organizations that do it on their own. That does vary, but you can get it pretty cost-effective.
And then we want to understand your data. With our new integration with ElderSmarts, this can be really, really hopeful in deciding how much money you're going to spend and where. And I'll show you what I mean. This is fictitious data just so you guys know. Here, it's fictitious data but an example of what we can build in ElderSmarts, or where we as a company are going to be able to give this information to our clients. And if you don't get into the Eldermark, I would be asking your digital marketing agency or your CRM platform. Whoever your provider is, I would want to be knowing these key metrics here. You should have the ability to say what your digital marketing spend is, and take a peek on the left-hand side, and be able to see where you're investing, where those leads are coming from. So how many leads are coming from your Google Display ads? What's coming in from Facebook? What's coming in from geofencing? How about YouTube? Wherever that may be, we should get that information, how many new leads you're getting, what your average cost per lead is.
And then you should be able to see some trends here. And Stefanie's going to talk about this a little bit later on in the presentation so I don't want to spend too much time here, but not all digital marketing avenues are just sit and leave it. We need to be looking at these trends. If it's not working, we need to be optimizing and changing our spend, and we need to have a team that is ready to do that. And I also think unqualified and lost is really important as well to be tracking. If this is a big number, these leads aren't qualified, they're not converting, then maybe let's adjust our campaigns and what we're doing. "Okay, Crystal. Just tell me how much I need to spend and where." Like I said, average marketing automation cost here, these are Eldermark numbers, are 375 per month. Average Facebook advertising costs 650. We're seeing Google Display cost at about 750 per month. And then a Google Keyword Ad is about 500 per month here at Eldermark with some pretty strong results.
Without further ado, I am actually going to pass this over to Eldermark client, Stefanie Fenton, who is the owner-operator of Mount Angel Towers. Stefanie, are you there?
I am here. It's a pleasure to be with all of you today and to tell you our story. As Crystal indicated earlier, there have been lots of lessons learned along the way, some of them because we just succeeded and some of them because we stubbed our toe and had to learn that hard lesson that we did something wrong.
Let me tell you a little bit about Mount Angel Towers and then we can go from there. We are a single-site community in a rural part of Oregon located halfway between Salem and Portland, and we're a rather large building. We have about 200 apartments in a rural area. So we have a unique problem in that we have to source people not from our immediate town but from locations near us. And it proves to be an interesting case study. Will you change the slide, Crystal?
Let me tell you a little bit about how we did our spending and where we decided to invest. We did a big analysis that took about a month really on our geographical area, our competitors, and what we felt was a must-have in terms of a marketing spend versus nice to have. And out of that, we knew we needed to update our website and really make it work for us a lot better. Crystal mentioned that, and I'll tell you more specifics about that. We decided to do digital marketing integration to our CRM and we feel this is paid dividends for us. We've done some Google Keyword Search Ads. We've been doing that investment very consistently. We did search engine optimization and we've done Facebook ads.
First, I want to tell you about our website. We went from a very, very basic website that was lots of words and pretty pictures to a website that was really much more sophisticated. On our new website, which is the next slide, we actually show our price for a one bedroom right on the site. It's responsive. We have virtual tours. You can book a tour right on our website. We have a Contact Us page, and we have a call to action on every single page, and in fact twice on some pages. This website really works much harder than our other website. Next slide, please.
What we did on the website very specifically was we use a much cleaner format and we made sure it was responsive so it correctly format on every device. This is specifically designed for lead generation, not nurturing. It was really all about let me make this website take the action of having the shopper contact us. As I mentioned, lead capture happens on our Contact Us page with anybody who wants a brochure or a floor plan, and we drive people to this website using search engine optimization. Finally, everything we do is about creating an emotionally evocative story. It's not like shopping for real estate. This is a community that people are looking for. And we did try more of a, I'm going to call it a cut and dried approach. And what we found was the website performs better when it has emotionally evocative pictures. Sorry about that very noisy thing. In fact, that was a lead coming in. So next slide.
One thing that we did that has made a huge difference for us is marketing automation. We do work through Eldermark on this, and what I'd like to say is lead automatically gets into our CRM system. What this does for us is it allows us to get insights into not only how the website is performing, but how our operating team is performing here on the ground. Marketing automation allows us to hear calls being answered, and we can hear if the information that's being provided is correct and how the salesperson is actually interacting with the lead. We can see a lag between first contact, like when the lead contacted us and how quickly we get back to them. And finally, it just saves work getting information to our CRM system.
The other thing that we love about this marketing automation is prospects are setting their own tour dates. They are literally telling us when they're coming without having to interact with us at all. Now, we want to interact with them, we love interacting with them, but we are getting things coming in at 10, 11, midnight from adult children who are trying to work and help their parents at the same time. So people are using that self-service option with this marketing automation, and it's making a big difference for us. Next slide.
One thing that I'm going to talk a lot about is setting goals and tracking the results. For all of the spend that we have each month, we track our results and we make sure that we're getting the bang for our buck. Here are some things that we track regularly, and this is one of the lesson learned columns. We used to track the wrong stuff. We were optimizing on the wrong stuff. We were optimizing on things about total spend. And really, what we need to spend has to be driven by it is performing. So we're looking at the leads we're getting per month, the click-through rates, and the number of actual conversions, those cost numbers, and what's qualified. So we are looking both at the kinds of information that we get from these dashboards that we get from Eldermark, and we're also looking through our CRM at the end of the month, at the end of three months, looking back and making sure that we're getting a high percent of qualified leads. And if not, we change our searches, we change our keywords, and we meet on this monthly. Next slide.
We have found, and this is again one of those lessons learned, that there is a great cumulative effect when you combine spending for search engine optimization and Google Ads. We have found that when we were doing just the Google Ad spend, we just weren't getting the kind of traction that we got after we combined it with search engine optimization. That's a big word and it means a lot to a lot of people. But basically, Google with its algorithm has created in this last release of the algorithm, which happened in last fall, a higher emphasis on the content that the websites were presenting. So links that are content-relevant, press releases, blogs, Google My Business posts, all of these things actually mean more to the Google algorithm, which some humans, some were created, but now it automatically does what it does. And we need to work on making sure that we can drive folks who are looking to our site not only by the keywords, but also by search engine optimization. Next slide.
Digital marketing is not set it and forget it. We've been in this business quite a long time and when I talked to the folks who were here 10, 15 years ago, they used to tell me about how they would have a marketing campaign that would run and a marketing plan that would go for six months. We are checking in about all that we are doing on a monthly basis. We're looking at where the sources from the leads, how many closes and the hot leads have come in. We are changing our website, doing little tweaks to it, checking it, and doing new releases monthly. We are checking our Google Ad spend monthly, and we are looking at it relative to conversions. And as I mentioned, we are really looking at our SEO and we have changed our SEO strategy from a back linking strategy to a blog and content development strategy. Finally, the latest thing we've done is Facebook lead gen advertising. And we have been tweaking that regularly. And every time we tweak it, it gets better.
So my big message is this is not set it and forget it. We need to actively manage this, and this little picture is the team that I meet with on a monthly basis to make sure that we are optimizing as we go. Next slide.
So what's the big takeaway from this? The first takeaway is that digital marketing is technology-driven, and it's complicated enough that onsite staff may not have the expertise to do this on their own. That's what I found. And I found being able to hire that expertise was money very, very well spent. We've been able to educate our staff as we've gone along, but getting them from zero to fully competent would've taken a lot longer had we done it on our own and if we hadn't actually gotten the help from Eldermark.
Finally, next, it's more time efficient to have all these things work together. We spend a lot of time checking results, and having all those results in one place really does make it a lot easier. We have found that digital marketing at CRM has been able to improve our real world, real work operations. So we've been able to change how the front desk answer calls, how the sales team answer calls, how we do tours, how we link tours and re-tour because of the insights we've gotten through studying digital marketing results and what's gone into our CRM. So I was totally surprised by that, but I'm delighted to learn that there's insights that come from these technologies.
Another lesson learned, we spent a lot of time spending on wheels on shoppers who are not really qualified or interested in buying soon. I would rather have fewer qualified leads that want to move in soon, and we have tuned our digital spending to get that. That is what we need as a business. Other people might need something else. They might want to build a waiting list for three years from now. That's a different digital marketing strategy, and these things can be curated to get that result.
Two last things. First, what you measure matters. So we were measuring the wrong things initially, and now we measure things that are specific to the outcomes we are looking to drive. And we measure it religiously, every single month without fail. And again, just tending it over time. We have found that we have gotten smarter as a team, as a business. And our staff has gotten more engaged because we tended over time. So we have had quite an adventure with this, adventure in quotation marks. We've learned a lot. We did some things wrong, and now I feel like we're on a much better, much more effective path, and we've done it because we've really tried to tailor our spend to what we specifically need.
I'm happy to answer further questions about that, and I think we're about to turn to that question portion. So let me turn it back over to you, Crystal.
Thank you, Stefanie, so much. Appreciate you taking the time and sharing all of this great information. It's good for people on the call to hear from a peer, somebody in business that has seen these results firsthand. So again, thank you so much for being part of this presentation today. We wanted to leave a few minutes, well a little bit more than a few minutes, about 15 minutes for questions, but I haven't seen anything come up in the question box. And if you guys know me personally or on the call or through Eldermark, you know I love an interactive presentation. Webinars are always a little bit more difficult for me because I can't interact with the audience or see your faces or anything like that, so I'm just going to give it a couple minutes to see if anybody has questions about for Stefanie while we have her here or for me based on any of the information that we gave. I'm not seeing at this time, excuse me, any questions in the box. But I'll give you guys just a moment.
While we're waiting for questions to come in, Crystal, maybe I'll ask you a question.
Yes, that sounds good. I was taking some water. I just had a coughing spell here for a minute. Yes, please do. And I actually have a question for you as well.
Okay. My question for you is what is the number one question that you are hearing from current clients or even prospective clients right now about what to do with their marketing? Just what are people asking you about right now?
Yeah. So for digital marketing, I would say the number one question that I'm getting right now is, "Where do I start and how do I know where to start?" Digital marketing for a lot of senior living providers is something we're all still learning. I think that this industry has grown tremendously in the digital marketing world in the last few years, but most people start out with, "Crystal, I need you to tell me where to start, that here are my issues, here are my pain points, this is where I'd like to be, and where should I start?" I think just going back to that basics and looking at the overall online performance of your organization. Also, looking at the software that you're currently using to ensure that it's getting used in the most effective way is really, really important.
So I'm still hearing that. That's what I've usually been hearing the last few years when I meet with a client is just, "Can you help guide us and let us know where we should start? And then also put us in contact with people that can help us execute what we want to do?" And I think... So I hope that was helpful.
I think, Stefanie, for you, one of my questions I would be curious is, I'm going to shoot that question back to you, is what do you think the number one thing as an owner-operator people should be doing in 2023 when it comes to making digital marketing decisions?
I think that digital marketing used to be a backseat item for us. In other words, we used all kinds of other marketing techniques. And I think that the first thing I am asking myself, and I think people should be asking themselves is, "What do I stop doing in order to invest as much as I can into this digital marketing area?" And we have made some pretty hard decisions about what to stop doing. And it has been really good for us, both because the staff is not split going so many directions and because we can actually see the impact of what we're doing much more clearly in digital marketing.
And the things that we are really thinking about right now that we were thinking less about before is we are changing, once again, our search engine optimization strategy, and we are doubling down on it because of where we are geographically and because of what we see our competitors doing. And we are also going to start looking into a chatbot, somebody who can do a real-time online chat when someone comes to our website. So maybe we'll have an update about this in six months and we can tell you about our adventure and experience there. We think it's going to be tremendously important.
Agreed. Well, thank you. Well, it looks like we still don't have any questions, so everybody's going to get 10 more minutes back in their day. Again, Stefanie, thanks for being here. Thanks to all of you for taking time out of your day to listen to our presentation. Please feel free to reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. The recording from today's session will be sent out within the next 24 hours. Have a wonderful day everybody. Thank you.
Thanks. Happy holidays.