Kerri-Anne Pendergast headshot.

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Social Media Marketing

Episode Summary:

In this episode, Debbie Howard talks with Kerri-Anne Pendergast, Director of Social Marketing at Senior Living SMART, about the evolving landscape of social media marketing in the senior living industry. They discuss best practices, the importance of storytelling, the impact of social media on local search, and the role of AI in content planning. 

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  • Social Media Guide: Senior Living Smart has published an updated version of its social media guide, which emphasizes best practices for posting, content mix, and the significance of behind-the-scenes content in senior living communities.
  • Social Media for Advocacy, Engagement, and Trust: Social media plays a crucial role in building trust and engaging the audience, particularly in the senior living industry.
  • Importance of Storytelling: Moving away from cookie-cutter strategies to storytelling helps in showcasing the unique personalities and vibrant lifestyles of senior living communities.
  • Impact on Local Search: Social media, reviews, and Google Business Profiles are the trifecta for improving local search rankings and visibility for senior living communities.
  • The Role of AI: AI can assist in content planning and brainstorming, helping to streamline social media strategies without compromising originality.
  • Trends to Watch: Video content, storytelling, and increased marketing spend are key trends shaping the future of social media marketing in senior living.

Kerri-Anne’s Bio:

Kerri-Anne started as an intern for SLS in 2020 and now is the company’s Director of Social Media Marketing. With a passion for storytelling, Kerri-Anne helps convey the community’s voices and show their lifestyle and culture through their online presence. She holds responsibility for developing a high-level digital strategy on social platforms including events, content, and more to drive traffic and convert prospects into move-ins in the senior living space through organic campaigns.

Kerri-Anne also manages clients’ reputation management and local SEO. This includes things like citation management, review generation campaigns, and Google Business Profile audits and optimizations. Based in Boston, Kerri-Anne enjoys the four seasons by golfing, going to the beach, exploring the city, and skiing.


Book a call with Kerri-Anne 

– Senior Living SMART’s Social Media Guide and Infographics 

– Connect with Kerri-Anne Pendergast on LinkedIn 

Jamison Gosselin

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Consumer Perceptions of the Buyer Journey

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Senior Living Marketing Perspectives,” host Debbie Howard from Senior Living Smart welcomes Jamison Gosselin, a 20-year senior living industry expert. First, Debbie and Jamison dive into SMASH survey findings about consumer perceptions of the buyer journey. Next, they continue on the topic by looking at what’s working in the industry, and what needs improvement. Then, the two shift the conversation to talk about social media and review sites and managing the promotional mix. Finally, they wrap up the podcast by touching on resident, employee, and professional experiences in the industry, as well as expanding the role of the marketing professional.

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  • Findings from the SMASH about consumer perceptions of the buyer journey in senior living
  • What’s working and what’s not working in the industry
  • Social Media vs. Review Sites
  • Managing the Promotional Mix
  • Experiences – Employee and Resident Satisfaction, Professionals, Advocacy, and Loyalty
  • Expanding the marketing professionals’ role in senior living organizations — e.g. the Marketing Mix

Jamison’s Bio:

Jamison Gosselin has served in and around the senior living business for more than 20 years in a variety of marketing, communications, and operations roles. Today, he works as an executive-level marketing strategist with B2C and B2B companies focused on seniors housing and multifamily assets.

Prior to his consulting work, Jamison developed business strategies and oversaw the execution of marketing, sales support, and communications in a variety of executive-level roles at leading companies. These companies include Sunrise Senior Living, Holiday Retirement, and Eclipse Senior Living. He also led marketing and communications at Argentum, a senior living trade association, and managed the senior living vertical business at G5, a digital marketing agency and SaaS company. Jamison got his career started at global telecommunications firm MCI (now part of Verizon) as a political action manager and later as a public relations manager at its headquarters in Washington DC.

Jamison has an MBA from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, and a BA in Political Science from The American University in Washington, DC. He also has a variety of marketing credentials from Duke University, George Washington University, and the Content Marketing Institute.

Connect with Jamison on LinkedIn


Nancy Harhut

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Behavioral Science in Marketing

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Senior Living Marketing Perspectives,” host Debbie Howard from Senior Living Smart welcomes Nancy Harhut, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of HBT Marketing. First, Debbie and Nancy dive into the connection between behavioral science and marketing, specifically in the senior living industry. Next, they explore the unique challenges that marketers face with customers and how using principles from behavioral science can be a solution. Finally, Debbie and Nancy discuss Nancy’s book, “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing” with some key takeaways that all marketers should consider.

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  • What is behavioral science and why should marketers be interested in it?
  • Is it hard to add behavioral science to marketing campaigns?
  • Examples of behavioral science principles, and how marketers might use them.
  • Testing different behavioral science tactics in marketing strategies.
  • Behavioral science may seem counterintuitive to some marketers – examples and reasons to embrace it.
  • Takeaways from Nancy’s book, “Using Behavioral Science in Marketing: Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses”

Nancy’s Bio:

Getting people to take action is what Nancy is all about. Her specialty is blending best-of-breed creativity with behavioral science to prompt response.

She and her teams have won over 200 international and national awards for marketing effectiveness. Along the way, she’s helped generate $68 million in incremental revenue for Nationwide, establish seven controls for the GM Card, and create one of H&R Blocks’ most successful campaigns.

Recognized for her work in B2C, B2B, and nonprofit, Nancy’s been named one of the 10 Most Fascinating People in B2B Marketing, a Social Top 50 Email Marketing Leader, and a Top 40 Digital Strategist. A frequent speaker at marketing conferences, she’s shared her passion with audiences in London, Sydney, Moscow, Madrid, Stockholm, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Dubai, and all over the US, including several return engagements at SXSW.

Prior to co-founding HBT Marketing, Nancy held senior creative management positions with agencies within the IPG and Publicis networks. Kogan Page recently published her first book, Using Behavioral Science in Marketing, Drive Customer Action and Loyalty by Prompting Instinctive Responses.

Connect with Nancy: 


Maureen Longoria

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Relocating to Senior Living with Maureen Longoria

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Senior Living Marketing Perspectives,” host Debbie Howard from Senior Living Smart welcomes Maureen Longoria, Co-Founder of LivNow Relocation. Together, they dive into the complex process of relocating to senior living communities and discuss how Maureen’s company assists both older adults and their adult children during this emotionally charged transition. They explore the unique challenges and best practices involved in senior relocation, shedding light on how communities can integrate these services into their marketing strategy to enhance their offerings. 

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  • Maureen shares her entrepreneurial journey, highlighting her passion for building services that meet unmet market needs. 
  • The unique aspects of senior relocation, including downsizing, emotions, and local moves, that attracted Maureen to this industry. 
  • Maureen explains the dual customer approach, addressing the needs of both older adults and their adult children. 
  • The importance of validating and addressing the concerns of older adults moving into senior living communities. 
  • Discussion on how LivNow Relocation helps break down barriers and accelerate the relocation process for older adults and their adult children. 
  • The value of pre-vetted and qualified moving professionals and other service providers. 
  • Debbie and Maureen discuss strategies for integrating senior relocation services into a comprehensive marketing strategy. 
  • Maureen discusses the variations in relocation processes between life plan communities and rental senior living communities. 
  • Challenges related to timing, selling homes, and the perception of space. 
  • Addressing emotional barriers, such as downsizing and leaving a familiar home, and how senior living communities can assist prospects. 
  • The trade-off of a better lifestyle and socialization in senior living communities.

Connect with Maureen: 


Sara Nay with Spark Lab Consulting & Duct Tape marketing

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Driving Predictable Growth Through Marketing Systems with Sara Nay

Episode Summary:

In this episode of Senior Living Marketing Perspectives, Debbie Howard interviews Sara Nay, the Chief Operating Officer of Duct Tape Marketing and the founder of Spark Lab Consulting. They discuss the significance of having a comprehensive marketing system and its role in driving predictable growth for businesses. Sara emphasizes the importance of aligning marketing and operations, sharing strategies to enhance the customer journey, retaining clients, and turning them into advocates. They also explore the critical role of metrics in assessing marketing success and the value of focusing on clients’ needs and experiences. Sara’s insights provide valuable guidance for businesses looking to improve their marketing strategies and operations.

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  1. Introduction to Duct Tape Marketing and Spark Lab Consulting
    • Duct Tape Marketing: A strategic marketing agency with over 25 years of experience.
    • Spark Lab Consulting: Focused on operations and systems consulting.
    • Sara’s journey from an intern to COO at Duct Tape Marketing.
  2. The Marketing System vs. Marketing Plan
    • Comprehensive nature of a marketing system, including strategy, implementation, and metrics.
    • Aligning marketing efforts with a well-defined strategy for consistent messaging.
  3. The Marketing Hourglass
    • Understanding the marketing hourglass as a framework for guiding prospects through stages of “know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer.”
    • Importance of consistency across brand messaging and channels.
  4. Creating Emotional Connections
    • Balancing education with storytelling and emotional connection in marketing.
    • The role of emotional connection in senior living marketing.
  5. Aligning with Prospects and Post-Close Marketing
    • Aligning with prospects on their journey rather than pushing the brand.
    • The significance of post-close marketing in retaining clients and generating referrals.
  6. Incorporating Fulfillment into Marketing Strategy
    • Integrating fulfillment and operations into marketing strategies to ensure a consistent and positive client experience.
    • Delivering on brand promises through excellent client service.
  7. Budgeting and Strategy
    • The importance of setting aside time for strategic budgeting and avoiding the chase for shiny objects in marketing.
    • Focusing on clients and the channels they use for wise marketing decisions.

Connect with Sara Nay:


Scott McCorvie with Generational Movement

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Elevating the Senior Living Industry

Episode Summary:

In this episode, host Debbie Howard engages in a conversation with Scott McCorvie, founder of Generational Movement, about his mission to improve lives in the senior living industry. First, Scott shares his passion for providing purpose and improvement strategies for seniors and his desire to create a global impact through his company. Then, he discusses his podcast, “The Inner Circle of Senior Living,” and how it focuses on connecting with the baby boomer generation. Finally, Scott emphasizes the importance of caring, communication, and connection in the senior living industry, forming the basis for his movement to elevate and enhance the industry. 

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

  • Scott McCorvie launched Generational Movement, a multimedia content platform, driven by his mission to elevate lives in the senior living industry.  
  • First, he shares improvement strategies and tips globally through his podcast, “The Inner Circle of Senior Living”. 
  • Scott emphasizes the importance of connection, communication, and providing purpose in senior living. 
  • Next, Scott discusses the challenges faced by the senior living industry, such as recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, occupancy challenges, and economic factors.
  • Scott remains optimistic about the industry’s future due to the need for human connection and engagement. 
  • The conversation touches on implementing smart marketing strategies to drive growth and attract residents. 
  • Then, Debbie highlights the importance of creating a sense of belonging and emotional connection through personalized marketing campaigns. 
  • Scott and Debbie discuss the balance between older and newer senior living communities and the opportunities for updating older ones to meet today’s standards. 
  • Later, they explore the similarities between senior living and the hospitality industry
  • The conversation touches on the potential benefits and challenges of establishing national senior living brands. 
  • Scott emphasizes the need for senior living providers to focus on market-specific decision-making. 
  • Finally, the episode concludes with a discussion on the prospect journey and the importance of addressing the “whether, where, and when” stages to effectively engage potential residents. 

Resources Mentioned: 


John Jantsch with Duct Tape Marketing

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: AI In Marketing

Episode Summary:  

This episode explores the current state of AI in marketing, its use cases, limitations, and the future potential of AI in shaping marketing strategies. Debbie Howard and John Jantsch discuss various aspects of AI in marketing and share their insights and excitement about its future developments.

Topics Discussed and Key Points: 

 Current State of AI in Marketing: 

  •  AI is being widely experimented with for various purposes in marketing AI, specifically chat GPT (a large language learning model), has gained significant attention and usage. 
  • AI is still in its infancy stage, and many of the current interactions are limited to computation and basic tasks. 
  • AI tools are integrated into various software, providing data, ideas, and efficiencies. 

Current Use Cases of AI in Marketing: 

  • AI is used for content generation and creation, especially in producing large amounts of content quickly. 
  • AI tools can assist in writing articles, blog posts, and metadata, saving time and allowing for more creativity. 
  • Personalization is a potential use of AI, tailoring content to specific audiences and personas. 
  • AI can analyze data, extract trends, and provide insights for marketing strategies. 
  • AI is helpful in analyzing target markets, understanding customer concerns, and generating content ideas. 

Limitations and Challenges of Current AI in Marketing: 

  •  AI-generated content may not accurately represent a brand’s voice or values. 
  • AI tools require careful monitoring and editing to ensure brand consistency and accuracy.  
  • Privacy concerns exist when using AI tools that make uploaded content public. 

Future State of AI in Marketing: 

  • Future AI applications may involve personalized customer journeys and interactive websites. 
  • AI could assist in reverse engineering data to identify top prospects and shorten sales cycles. 
  • AI may help analyze customer behavior, predict trends, and suggest marketing strategies. 
  • Improved AI image and video generation could facilitate easier content creation. 
  • Concerns arise about the impact of AI on future generations and the need for responsible usage. 

Exciting Developments in AI: 

  • Advancements in AI image and video generation, allowing for easier and customizable content creation. 
  • Potential for AI to produce videos based on scripts and various styles, simplifying video production. 
  • AI’s role in marketing extends beyond content creation to data analysis, personalization, and customer insights. 


AI in Marketing Transcript.docx 

Duct Tape Marketing Website 

Follow John and DTM on LinkedIn 

Chris Zook with Senior Living SMART podcast cover image.

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Utilizing Google Ads in the Senior Living Space

Episode Summary:

In this episode of “Senior Living Marketing Perspectives,” host Debbie Howard and guest Chris Zook delve into the topic of using Google Ads for senior living communities. They discuss the importance of differentiation, targeting the right audience, and optimizing strategies to maximize conversions.

Chris provides insights on creating effective landing pages and emphasizes the significance of marketing automation in nurturing leads throughout the sales cycle. Overall, Google Ads prove to be a must-have tool for senior living communities to reach their target audience and increase conversions.

Topics Discussed and Key Points:

 Differentiating Senior Living Communities: Debbie and Chris highlight the importance of creating a unique strategy for each senior living community, even if they offer similar services and amenities. Each community has its personality, presentation style, and target audience.

Financial Qualification Concerns: Debbie raises the concern that it’s challenging to financially qualify potential residents. Chris explains that although it’s not possible to target income levels explicitly, senior living communities can mention their pricing in ads to attract individuals who can afford their services. He also discusses the use of negative keywords on Google Ads to refine lead quality.

Designing a Strategy: Debbie and Chris discuss the nuances of designing a marketing strategy based on the desired types of leads. They explore the importance of understanding the different stages of the sales funnel and tailoring the approach accordingly. They mention offering options like downloading a brochure, speaking to an advisor, or scheduling a visit in ads to accommodate different preferences.

Power of Marketing Automation: Chris emphasizes the value of marketing automation in senior living marketing due to the longer sales cycle and the need for multiple touchpoints. He explains how offering a brochure as a low-commitment lead generation opportunity can help capture leads who are researching senior living options. Marketing automation, combined with regular email touchpoints, keeps potential residents engaged and increases the chances of conversion.

Landing Page Design: Chris discusses the importance of well-designed landing pages focusing on one specific purpose. He emphasizes the need for mobile-friendly designs, clear calls to action, and an intuitive layout. The goal is to make it easy for prospects to understand what they need to do next and maximize conversions.

Effective Conversion Rates: Debbie asks about the ideal conversion rate for senior living campaigns. Chris explains that the conversion rate can vary depending on geography and budget. Generally, a conversion rate of 8-15% is considered strong. Chris emphasizes that effective advertising is as much about allowing prospects to self-qualify out of the sales funnel as it is about bringing them in.

Understanding the Value of Conversions: Debbie and Chris address the question of how much to pay for a conversion. Chris highlights that conversions are a valuable digital currency, as they provide contact information and indicate genuine interest. He explains that finding the right balance between attracting prospects and filtering out unqualified leads is crucial for both the community and the prospects.


Connect with Chris Zook on LinkedIn

Episode Transcript

Blog: Googe Ads for Senior Living: How to Find the Prospects who need you

Headshot of Erez Cohen.

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Automate the Move-In Process by Digitizing your Move-In Packet

Topics Discussed and Key Points:

  • Why your senior living community needs to be using modern care software
  • Simplifying the move-in process by digitizing the move-in packet and going paperless
  • The importance of record keeping in a digitized system
  • How digitized processes can result in improved resident care

Episode Summary:

Deb speaks with Erez Cohen, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of August Health, a modern care platform and EHR purpose-built for senior living communities. Firstly, Deb and Erez discuss how using technology in senior living communities can make the move-in process go from zero to hero. Next, they discuss the process of the design. Designed with senior living experts and built by world-class engineers, the software platform is loved by communities for its easy-to-use design. Finally, they talk about the impact that the platform has. It simplifies everyday senior living workflows from paperless move-ins to assessments to compliance, while providing valuable business analytics to C-Suite leadership. Hundreds of leading communities, including Koelsch Communities, Westmont Living, and Seasons Living, rely on August Health to upgrade their operations and deliver exceptional care.

More about Erez:

Erez was selected for Aging Media Network’s Future Leaders Class of 2022. Prior to founding August Health, Erez was an executive at Apple, where he led a group of engineering teams. In addition, Erez was also the co-founder of Mapsense, a geospatial mapping startup that was acquired by Apple. Erez holds degrees in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.


Episode Transcript

[email protected]

Park Howell Headshot Podcast Cover

Senior Living Marketing Perspectives: Marketing Through Storytelling

Topics Discussed and Key Points:

  • Storytelling versus pitching
  • Using the and/but/therefore framework to level up all of your communications
  • Creating your ABT story
  • Whether to have two separate messages—one for the adult child, one for the parent—when using the ABT framework
  • Three rules of storytelling
  • Addressing the COVID elephant in the room

Episode Summary:

In today’s episode, Debbie speaks with Park Howell, a storytelling strategist who helps marketers and content specialists grow their business using the power of the story. He is the host of the Business of Story podcast and the author of the 2020 book Brand Bewitchery: How to Wield the Story Cycle System to Craft Spellbinding Stories for Your Brand.
Today’s conversation explores how to sell more by saying less, and how to incorporate storytelling in your branding and marketing efforts in a way that is compelling to the audience you are speaking to. Stories allow us to experience what it is like to use a product or benefit from a service in a way that we would never be able to if we were simply “pitched” that product or service.

When communicating as a brand, instead of leading with logic, reason, data, and numbers, lead with a story. After all, every person, whether or not they want to admit it, buys with their heart and not their head. We only justify our purchases with our logical brain once the transaction has been made.

Park does a deep dive into the concept of and/but/therefore to maximize rapport and agreeableness between you (the salesperson) and the other person (your prospect or potential customer). and/but/therefore uses the three forces of story: agreement (Act 1), conflict (Act 2), solution (Act 3), respectively. This structure takes you out of the center of the story and in your place, the customer.

To use this effectively, you must understand what they want, what’s at stake for them in getting it, empathize with them in that they currently do not have it, and, finally, propose the solution to their problem.

“Your stories are not about what you make, but what you make happen in people’s lives.” Park goes on to explain how to become a compelling communicator using the power of repetition, addressing the elephant in the room, and crafting your ABT story today.

Resources Mentioned:
Business of Story
Brand Bewitchery