Digital Marketing Academy's Resources Give Professionals a Leg Up

digital marketing

Like so many other industries, Senior Housing has been upended by changing consumer behavior driven by the always-on, everything-available Internet.  Major operators of senior communities find that over 50% of their inquiries now originate online.  Families no longer blindly follow their doctor’s recommendation, nor look to the sales counselor in a community or at a care agency to educate them; rather, they do their own research online, including seeking out unedited consumer reviews, and when they finally do return a phone call, as much as 60% of their sales process is already complete.

To help its senior care advertisers thrive in the new digital information world,, an online senior care resource with over 3M family caregiver visitors each month created the Digital Marketing Academy, a program of public webcasts on pressing industry topics, a monthly "Caring Insights" e-newsletter, a dedicated blog, original market research, and customized webinars and workshops. Any professional in the senior living and elder care industry can access and benefit from the Digital Marketing Academy resources, and most programs are completely free of charge.

In recognition of the value of the program to the industry, ALFA in 2015 awarded its Best of the Best award to Caring’s Digital Marketing Academy.

The ALFA Best of the Best awards recognize innovative programs and services that are creating the future of senior living.'s Digital Marketing Academy was recognized in the Sales and Marketing category for helping the industry's customer-facing professionals to better understand how to reach, engage, and convert the modern customer for senior living and eldercare services.

 Study after study shows that people now rely on online resources like web sites rather than picking up a newspaper or opening a phone book, prefer to get an email message rather than a phone call, and trust online reviews posted by strangers more than a recommendation from a hospital discharge planner.

  The sooner the senior care industry embraces digital marketing, the more prospective residents and their families they will reach, and’s Digital Marketing Academy offers the industry both a general overview of Internet marketing and tactical tools to implement online programs.

For example, one Academy webinar with enduring popularity is an introduction to social media marketing.  The program provides a primer on various social channels, including social networks and review sites.  It then uses case studies to illustrate best practices for each channel.   Webinar participants can then visit the Digital Marketing Academy blog to find step-by-step guides to social tactics like responding to reviews, or sign up for tools that help them manage their online reputation.

Other topics look at the intersection of digital marketing with the “real world”.  For example, a recent webinar showcased results from’s survey of senior housing tour-takers.  While most people who toured communities felt welcome when they arrived and were impressed with the caliber of the staff, about 18% never got any follow up after they left the building.

  As part of the webinar, sales training expert Jeanine Aspen of DEI-Central coached participants in ways to give a great tour and follow up afterwards via an organized email nurture program. is constantly updating programs, and adding new ones.  You can find the latest calendar here: or follow them on Twitter @CaringInsights. is a leading senior care resource for family caregivers seeking information and support as they care for aging parents, spouses, and other elder loved ones.  A Bankrate company headquartered in San Mateo, CA, provides helpful caregiving content, online support groups, and a comprehensive Senior Care Directory for the United States, with more than 85,000 consumer ratings and reviews and a toll-free senior living referral line at (800) 325-8591.

Katie Roper is VP of Sales & Marketing at  A long-time dot-com entrepreneur, Katie has helped companies like Polycom, Trulia, and build successful sales and marketing teams.  She holds a BA from Harvard College and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.


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