artificial-intelligence-help-marketers

Each of us has a comfort level with things that we know and understand. That’s why artificial intelligence scares us so much. It’s new and unfamiliar. Knowing that someone out in cyberspace learned something about the items we need and the services that we buy makes our palms sweat and our hearts race with fear and trepidation. The very thought of big brother watching our every move makes us uncomfortable. The unknown is a scary place and we feel threatened by it.

A Scary Concept, But We’re Learning To Like It

AI was still a fairly new concept in 2017. Guess what? While it still scares most of our customers a little, they’re also starting to see how AI can make their lives easier. As I was thinking over my marketing plans for 2018, I found myself mentally toying with how I could incorporate AI into my company’s marketing strategy. It forced me to think about how I’ve developed my own comfort level with AI.

When I have a question, Siri gives me an answer at the sound of my voice. Siri is pretty smart. And Siri can be a little snarky and sarcastic at times, too, which makes me believe for a scant moment that Siri is a little more human than I thought.

And what about those self-parking cars? The very idea of it scared me in the beginning. Why? Because I like to be in control. But enough auto manufacturers are now producing self-parking cars with good results that I’m starting to get more comfortable with it. Why not take a little stress off and let my car park itself?

Have you seen videos of people wearing virtual reality headsets? They’re fully engrossed in the virtual reality experience. To an outside onlooker it’s a comical sight, but at the same time it gives us a greater comfort level with AI.

Giving AI A Fresh Look In 2018

The un-virtual reality is that we’re on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning about how AI can assist digital marketers in making stronger connections with customers. We have to help our customers have a greater comfort level with AI before we can make it work to our advantage.

When I’m browsing on social media, ads of items that I’ve purchased or considered purchasing sometimes appear on the page. Is it a coincidence that Facebook never shows me black blouses? Not really. I never search for black blouses and Facebook is tracking that, so they know which products I’d be interested in buying.

It freaked me out a little in the beginning. Then I thought, “What’s so bad about seeing blue blouses in ads? I love blouses in every shade of blue, and it saves me the time of scrolling past all the black blouses.” I’m starting to like those ads because I’ve suddenly realized the value that they bring me.

AI On The Backend Of Marketing

As digital marketers, AI not only gives our customers a better experience, but also tells us about their buying behavior, likes and dislikes and helps us predict their future buying behavior. Now that’s information we can use. Data gleaned from AI will help narrowly define our target markets. Past digital marketing experience tells me that the more narrowly you can define your target market, the greater return on investment you can expect to see.

AI As An Enhancement To SEO And Website Traffic

Just because I’m becoming a believer in AI (or at least less of a skeptic), doesn’t mean that I’m ready to abandon my digital marketing plans for SEO and increasing website traffic. What it does mean is that I plan to be more open-minded about testing AI strategies in 2018 and evaluating the results.

2018 is the year to challenge yourself to be increasingly innovative in your marketing strategy. Look for ways to align content marketing plans with AI tools such as chatbots, augmented reality, image optimization and social media outreach. For example, my customers may enjoy chatting online with a simulated customer service representative. Prospects may respond faster to augmented reality techniques where customers can get acquainted with our professional in-home caregivers before they schedule our service.

Images will take center stage in 2018. Already, the internet shares billions of photos and images per day. As part of your 2018 digital marketing strategy, use AI to mine data and combine it with images to create customized content campaigns for each and every customer. This will allow you to deliver faster response times and increased revenue.

In 2017, AI took us partially out of our comfort zones by showing us that it’s not totally artificial. It’s possible to incorporate just enough personalization and humor in AI to make it believable. Progressive companies that took the plunge and got their feet wet with AI in 2017 reaped the rewards for any perceived risks. 2018 will give us plenty of new opportunities to experiment with big data, the Internet of Things and machine learning as they relate to digital marketing. It will take us and our customers some additional time to develop a stronger comfort level, but the new year is ahead of us and we have 12 months to work on it.

b2c marketing strategy

As new marketing channels continue to emerge, technology provides us with an endless array of marketing strategies. In my work as a digital manager, my competition in the senior in-home health market is strong. While it’s great to have so many options at our disposal, I’ve found that the best way to approach B2C marketing is to select a few approaches that really work and dedicate the majority of your time and energy to fine-tuning them.

Tier One: Make your clients your ambassadors.

Providing care to seniors in their homes is a personal service, one that requires a respectful and trusting relationship between our service professionals and our clients. We serve many clients who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. They’re looking for assurance that the senior care service they choose will be attentive and safe.

Referrals and testimonials from other clients are meaningful to new clients who may be skeptical about receiving quality care. That’s why the first tier of a solid marketing strategy is to turn current clients into ambassadors of your brand. Our tier-one strategy includes emailing coupons out to current clients and asking them to refer friends and other family members to our company.

Testimonials from current clients speak volumes in a business-to-consumer marketing strategy. A personal testimonial like this one does more to motivate consumers to contact us than anything we could write ourselves:

“I want to thank you and the whole team for doing such a great job for my mom. She loved her home health aides. Your service was really top notch and I appreciate how much easier you’ve made things for her in the last couple of months.”

Tier Two: Inform them with regular content marketing.

As people become older and are less able to do the things they once could, the prospect of losing their independence is frightening. A large part of our business-to-consumer approach is using information about senior care to help potential clients have a greater level of comfort with the notion of receiving help at home.

Well-written articles answer all the probing questions that keep your customers awake in the middle of the night. A question that weighs heavily on our clients’ minds is how to pay for in-home care. We try to relieve that burden by using content marketing to inform potential clients about ways to pay for care that they might not have considered.

This content strategy positions companies as trusted experts, while at the same time priming consumers for client conversions.

Tier Three: Focus on the social media channels that your clients are most likely to use.

Tier three of our B2C marketing strategy is the most active because it brings all the other strategies together. Potential clients want information that is fast and easily understandable. We’ve found that our target market spends a lot of time on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, so that’s where we focus. By using articles, videos and infographics, your consumers can get the information they need quickly and on the social media channels they use every day.

Our clients are interested in tips like how to set up trusts for senior-aged parents and how to make improvements to their homes to keep them safe. Social media channels give us the opportunity for our clients to get acquainted with the friendly faces of our staff. We recently added photos to our Facebook page of our employees taking supplies to senior citizens affected by Hurricane Irma. Content marketing articles shared on social media informed seniors on how to prepare ahead of time to stay safe during the hurricane.

Photographs on social media give you the chance to make deeper connections with the greater community. We recently advertised that we created a drop-off site in West Delray Beach to accept donations of bottled water, non-perishable food, baby items and pet supplies for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. These types of events enhance our branding because they show clients that caring for people is more than just our name — we embed it within our corporate culture.

Wrapping Up The Three-Tier B2C Marketing Strategy

Take the time to research which social media channels your clients spend time on. You don’t need to use them all. Through the most effective marketing channels, provide answers to their questions and give them tips they can use today. Make your clients ambassadors of your brand so that your business-to-consumer strategy will turn into consumer-to-consumer referrals.

marketing baby boomers

Generational marketing is a key issue in the field of senior in-home care because our target market is the senior population and their adult children caregivers or guardians. The baby boomer generation, which encompasses people between the ages of 53 and 71, fits both generations.

As the digital senior manager for a 24-hour senior home health corporation, I’ve discovered some key factors about how to market to baby boomers that have helped me attract the attention of our target market. Baby boomers are abundant, affluent and more tech-savvy than you might think. They’ve worked hard all their lives for all they have. They’re healthier and more active than their parents were at the same age, and they’re all about themselves.

1. Baby Boomers Are A Big Audience

Baby boomers make up one of the largest sectors of consumers, so every marketer should be paying attention to effective marketing strategies for baby boomers. Generational studies show that about 70 million people fall into the category of baby boomers. The baby boomer generation is the largest segment of consumers, comprising about 40% of the market share.

2. Baby Boomers Are An Affluent Generation

Employers who seek hard-working candidates will still find them among the baby boomer generation. Baby boomers hold a strong reputation for being diligent, hard workers who have saved and spent wisely.

Studies show that the baby boomer generation controls about 70% of all disposable income in the U.S. The baby boomers are also nicely situated to gain even more wealth. As their parents pass on, studies predict that baby boomers will inherit about $13 trillion to enjoy during their retirement or pass on to their own children.

3. Baby Boomers Are More Tech-Savvy Than You Think

Baby boomers remember the introduction of the first black-and-white and color televisions. It’s important for marketers targeting this generation to remember that baby boomers have grown up with technology over recent decades. They’re more accustomed to technology than you might think, and they use it in different ways than millennials.

During my years of marketing to baby boomers, I’ve learned that the baby boomer generation spends as much time online as they do watching television. It might surprise you to learn that 96% of baby boomers use search engines, 95% use email, and 92% shop for products and services online rather than shopping in stores and shopping malls.

About 60% of baby boomers spend time reading blogs and online articles as a source of information and intrigue, and about 70% enjoy watching videos about products and services. If you’re looking to market via social media platforms, you’ll find an active audience of baby boomers on Facebook, where they’re happy to post news and photos of their grandchildren and latest vacations.

4. Baby Boomers Are The “Me Generation”

Baby boomers are considered the “me generation” for their self-centered, individualistic attitudes. In marketing to people looking for in-home senior healthcare, I know that seniors want to enjoy their independence as much as possible. In-home senior care lets them have as much freedom as possible while maintaining their dignity. Adult child caregivers and guardians want to be able to care for their parents and still be able to work, enjoy their own families and have some well-earned fun. In-home senior care allows them to take care of their responsibilities and take care of themselves, too.

5. Baby Boomers Are Healthy And Active

A large majority of baby boomers are in the pre-retirement stage of life. They are still working full- or part-time and looking forward to life as empty-nesters. They are working hard to pay off mortgages and other debts and maximize their returns on investments. It’s prudent to pay attention to these baby boomers’ characteristics in marketing. They’re looking for senior care that is reliable, trustworthy and offers a reasonable cost.

Baby boomers have been more health-conscious than their own parents. Medical technology makes it possible for them to live healthier and longer. Unlike their parents, who desired to relax during retirement, the baby boomer generation wants to get out and do all the things they’ve always dreamed of doing. Many seniors can remain active with some help from an in-home caregiver.

Many people are starting to think of the age of 50 as the new 40. Baby boomers aren’t yet thinking of themselves as an aging population. Terms like aging and elderly are a big turnoff, although they don’t mind the terms “seniors” and “senior citizens” as much.

While baby boomers are healthier and more active than their parents, their eyesight is starting to deteriorate. When marketing to this population, I stay mindful of the size and color of fonts. If my target audience can’t easily read our ads and blogs, they’re likely to click on a competitor’s ad quickly.

Because of the size of the baby boomer population, nearly every industry has an audience in this marketing sector. When marketing to baby boomers, it’s important to understand who they are, where they come from, and where they hope to be in the future when getting their attention for your business.

Developing A Marketing Plan

During my tenure as a marketer in the senior in-home healthcare field, I’ve learned that aging adults want to live in the comfort of their own homes for as long as they can, and their adult children would be happy to be their caregivers if they weren’t so overwhelmed by their duties.

Where did I learn all this? From our clients.

In my role as the digital senior manager for a 24-hour senior home-care company, I’ve taken feedback from clients and used it to develop our marketing plan.

Use client feedback to develop a marketing plan.

Your salespeople interact with clients and prospects every day, so you can leverage their knowledge base to access client feedback. I have a weekly call with our sales team when they share insights about our clients. We talk about challenges and look for solutions. You should keep your sales team engaged and updated about what you are doing so they know what to ask and can address client challenges. We engage our sales team with a monthly newsletter and internal contests.

Also, you can develop a marketing plan based on buyer personas. We have multiple buyer personas: the adult child, the referral source (social worker), and the senior who oversees their own home-care plans.

Here’s an example of the information we’ve used to create a buyer persona for adult children caregivers: We heard the concerns of family caregivers when they told us that the requirements of taking care of seniors are more demanding than they could have imagined. I’ve seen the adult children try to do it all – provide quality care to their aging parents while managing their own family and affairs at home. Adult children of aging seniors are exhausted and burned out, placing their own health at risk. Not knowing what to do, they get their own families started on the day, spend the rest of the day caring for their parents, and return home in the early evening to tend to their own families. Before long, chronic stress and fatigue set in and they’re ready to throw up their hands and seek out alternative means of care.

Keep an eye on trends and practice active listening. 

As a senior in-home care marketer, I keep my eye on trends in senior care. No matter your industry, attend webinars and read publications. There are many resources available to stay on top of trends that will impact your marketing efforts and your ability to help your customers.

Another key to learning about the types of products and services your target audience needs is practicing active listening skills. For example, I listen to family caregivers and steer them toward the funding sources that they have available to them. Most people are familiar with some of the more common resources like Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Benefits, but those programs don’t help everyone or cover all services.

Learning more about a family’s circumstances tells me whether they have a life insurance policy with accelerated benefits or a long-term care insurance policy that allows flexibility of funds to be used for in-home senior care, and I can use this information to better advise them on their options.

Feature success stories and educational content.

Listening to our clients as well as the families and showing them how they can arrange for in-home senior caregiving helped us to develop a marketing platform that quickly directs senior caregivers to the services they need most. And with the launch of our new website, we can share our successes with prospective clients.

To optimize your website for conversions, you can create a success stories page to feature successful testimonials from your clients. This is a great way to convert website visitors into customers.

Educational content that answers frequently-asked questions is another way to appeal to potential customers. We are working on a price page to educate people about the cost of home care. This page will show referential price depending on the state. You can also build an online content library (with blog posts, articles and infographics) where users can navigate and find answers to their questions. After all, you are there to help!

The clients that I’ve worked with have taught me a lot, from how collective sibling agreements work when caring for aging parents to the unexpected demands of senior care. And by learning from them, I can constantly improve our marketing efforts to show how our services can be of assistance. That’s why you should always be listening to and leveraging feedback from your customers.

email marketing generate leads

As the general public became familiar with electronic communications, mass postal-mail marketing campaigns gave way to email marketing campaigns. If you have been working in marketing prior to the social media boom, you surely remember when emails were the top marketing platform.

Over time, the popularity of email marketing campaigns resulted in personal email inboxes that were overflowing with the latest and greatest offers. Email campaigns grew and people grew tired of them. Laws that allowed customers to unsubscribe breathed new life into email marketing campaigns as customers could easily pick and choose the companies they were interested in.

Email marketing has long been a tried-and-true method for generating leads. This approach continues to enjoy a strong track record in spite of the rise of social media platforms. Email marketing is still an efficient way to generate leads at a reasonable cost.

One thing that hasn’t changed with email marketing is that you need to be strategic about how you word every part of marketing emails. One of the best things about email subscriptions of today is that you can count on your prospects having some level of interest in your product or service that encouraged them to sign up for your subscription list to begin with.

Write email campaigns that get results.

One of the first lessons that I learned about email marketing campaigns is to give sincere thought to how a customer perceives every component of the email, starting with the subject line. Media headlines grab your attention and get you to listen longer or read further. A meaningful subject line for an email offers the same punch. Subject lines should be relevant, interesting and genuine.

Journalism students quickly learn how the inverted pyramid style of writing gives readers the most important information first. The rest of the paragraph or article supports the initial information or offers additional details. Your email marketing customers will respond to the same style of writing. They want the big news first because they’re often reading your email while they’re commuting or at work. If they want the details, they’ll read the email again just before they buy.

Keep your emails simple and minimal. Just as a crisp, pressed business suit sends a professional message, a clean, uncluttered email tells consumers that you are professional. If you can’t create a professional-looking email, look for professional-looking templates where you can fill in the blanks.

Be cognizant of your purpose. Each of your emails should have a clear goal such as educating your customer, asking for referrals or getting them to follow your company’s social media platforms.

Engage your email readers with content that is short and to the point. Wordiness and fluff have no place in email marketing campaigns. Reveal your purpose up front and talk about how your purpose relates to the customer to get a connection started. Choose large fonts in an easy-to-read style. Your readers may be people who constantly read while they’re on the go or they may have poor eyesight. You’ll want them to be able to read and scan the email quickly.

Move the wording in your email toward your call-to-action section quickly and make the action that you want them to take ultra-clear. Try to think about the ways emails in your inbox grab your attention and those that cause you to hit delete.

Create customized emails for cold leads from all sources.

The main sources from which I get our leads are our blogs, organic traffic, pay-per-click ads and salespeople. No matter where you source your leads, use several email chains that are customized according to what those leads are looking for. Next, categorize them and get them in the right automated email chain. This places them in your sales funnel to warm them up and get them ready for sales.

Generate leads from blogs.

Our prospects love our informative blog articles. Use your blog as an opportunity to send them related articles. This primes the prospect for a call to action asking them if they want you to call them.

Move warm email leads to hot leads and make the sale.

It’s important to give your warm leads as much attention as your cold leads. When our emails move from the cold list to the warm list, I have a specific email that I send to nurture the relationship and make it a little warmer. I also include a thoughtful testimonial to help gain credibility.

After sending the warm email, follow up with a second email asking if they’re still looking for your services. Include a sale offer or coupon to move the lead closer to a sale.

Test and analyze email marketing campaign results.

There’s still a lot of power in A/B split testing. Testing emails reduces bounce rates, tells you more about your customers, increases conversions and is cost effective.

In analyzing my email marketing campaigns, I look for open rates at 30% or higher to know if they were successful. I don’t expect as much from click-through rates, where I like to see around the 5% range.

When a new approach to marketing takes marketers by storm, some marketers make the mistake of moving into new strategies full force, leaving methods that have worked well in the past smoldering in the dust. The best marketing campaigns use several marketing forms simultaneously. The key to maximizing results with every effort is to know your purpose, target the right customers and learn from your results.