Brookdale CEO: Ads Are Feeding Sales Funnel

Results from Brookdale’s new advertising campaign are in, and it’s good news for the nation’s largest senior housing company.

Three weeks in, the Brentwood, Tennessee-based owner/operator has seen inquiries go up by about 15%, compared with the month prior to implementing the campaign.

Speaking at the Stephens 2015 Fall Investment Conference in New York on Tuesday, Brookdale CEO Andy Smith discussed the results from the marketing initiative and said he gets the sense that a national brand is really going to work with senior housing.

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“There is no national brand in senior living today,” Smith said. “There’s a white space out there that we think is waiting for somebody to take, and frankly we think Brookdale is the only natural taker of that white space.”

Smith is confident that once Brookdale gets hold of the spot, it will have an unbeatable competitive edge in the industry.

“We think once we [take that white space], it will be a real advantage for our company, and totally difficult, if not impossible, for our competitors to emulate or to match,” Smith said.

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Smith also spoke about the marketing initiative during Brookdale’s third-quarter 2015 earnings call on Nov. 5. Specifically, he said that all of the marketing campaign’s components — television, digital, print, direct mail, social media and public relations at the national, market and community level — are expected to drive approximately 0.5 billion impressions during the fourth quarter.

Brookdale is experiencing positive gains across the sales funnel, with improvements in scheduled and completed visits from its contact centers and Brookdale.com increasing 25% and over 10%, respectively, Smith added during the earnings call.

The new advertising campaign involves the tagline “Bringing new life to senior living,” and is meant to create a new perception of what senior living has to offer, based on the personalized caregiving and emotional connections between residents and associates.

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This is not the first large-scale advertising campaign for Brookdale, however. In 2013, the company initiated the first-ever national ad campaign for a senior living provider, centered around the tagline “All the places life can go.” However, the marketing push that followed the company’s massive acquisition of rival Emeritus Corp. in 2014 did not meet expectations. The early success of the new campaign comes as Smith has said the company may be returning to more normalized operations after a rough period of integration.

“We have just now gotten into a place to run the playbook around marketing that we did a couple of years ago in legacy Brookdale, to good effect,” Smith said at Stephens.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson

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