Touchtown Engages Senior Centers With Marketing Automation

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros
Touchtown's solutions help residents of senior communities stay informed.
Touchtown’s solutions help residents of senior communities stay informed.

Many of us have an older friend or loved one that fears technology, no matter how much we try to convince them otherwise.

While seniors are the ultimate end users of Touchtown’s products, the customer base is actually senior living centers across the country, notes Mike Rethage, vice president of customer success, Touchtown.

The Pittsburgh, PA-based company markets a variety of engagement solutions, from digital lobby signs and in-house TV channels to its signature product, a mobile app that can provide community members with everything from the daily menu and schedules of center activities and trips, to a directory with profiles of everyone that resides at the facility. (“It’s nice to know who you just accepted a dinner invitation from,” said one gentlemen in a Touchtown online promotional video.) The app is available in a turnkey version, or senior centers can customize it for their own needs.

Touchtown is also working on a new app, to help educate prospective residents about a facility before they make the decision to move in. The sales cycle for senior centers to on-board new residents can be up to four years from first interest to moving in, and this is another way they can adjust to the big change, notes Rethage.

For Touchtown, the sales cycle is typically 90 to 120 days, depending on the size of the sale—some organizations only have one residence, while others might own 1,000+ communities across the country. Price points also run the gamut: Because Touchtown is a cloud content provider, the product is extendable, so new customers might start small and add more features over time.

The company has used marketing automation for about three years, and began working with Act-On last September.

“Marketing automation allows us to reach more people with less effort,” Rethage notes. “We’re a small 30 person company with only one full time marketing person and a four person sales team—it would be hard to reach a wide audience without automation.”

Email is used in a variety of ways to engage prospective and current customers, with messages ranging from sales promotions and product updates, to news about blog posts and monthly webinars, says Ashlee Bartko, marketing manager, Touchtown. Email segmentation, however, isn’t a huge part of the picture yet.

“It’s challenging, and we’re trying to figure out the best ways to do it, because it will be really important,” she says, noting often simply keeping track of who to connect with is tricky. “[Employee] turnover is high at senior living centers. It’s not uncommon for us to work with someone at one community, and then they call us in a few weeks from another. We’re continually adding new contacts to the system.”

The company also exhibits at industry events to generate new prospects, and does a lot of online video to explain the products and their benefits. Direct mail is also used sparingly to reach top prospects.

Being able to analyze digital body language is one of the top benefits of marketing automation, says Rethage.

“We’re constantly looking at things like whether someone clicked a button in an email to request a demo, or who interacted with a product page on our website,” he notes. “Being able to track clicks allows us to reach out immediately. Even if they clicked accidentally, it’s a conversation starter.”

Knowing what someone has been looking at online gives the sales team insight in how to pitch the conversation and customize it to a prospective customer’s interests. “We can tailor the conversation to one product or another, and be consultative during the sales process,” Rethage says.

“Not all engagements are equal,” notes Michelle Huff, CMO, Act-On. “Just because someone is reading your content doesn’t mean they’re ready to buy. But, you can nurture them and help shape their thinking before they’re ready to talk.”

For more on Touchtown and other companies making the most of their martech investments, check out our special report, Marketing Automation All-Stars.

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