Paid Digital Ads Done Right

Paid Digital Ads Done Right

We’ve explored the power of a cutting edge website and dynamic call tracking in building an effective, successful marketing campaign in the senior housing arena. A third tool in the toolbox is paid digital ads. Ugh, right? What could be more annoying than those pop-ups and flashing banners that interrupt our web searches and derail our concentration? In fact, 64% of internet users actively avoid online ads by enabling ad block extensions.

So why invest in digital ads? Because, when executed the right way, they can be immensely useful in increasing awareness of, traffic to, and desire for your community. Pushing ads onto people who have no known interest in or need for your senior living environment is not only irritating and intrusive to them, it’s ineffectual and a waste of your resources.

But through what’s known as inbound marketing—drawing prospects in instead of going out to get their attention—an experienced marketing team can help you leverage helpful, relevant content to engage potential leads in your campaign. Based on information gleaned from various feedback channels, you can also target your digital ads in ways that are truly valuable to would-be residents and their families.

Here’s what your marketing team can help you do:

  • Offer your prospects something meaningful. “Native advertising” is inherently non-disruptive and designed to build trust among consumers. This kind of advertising is by nature ideal for senior housing marketing in that it provides more profound, helpful information than traditional, purchase-oriented display ads. The ground is significantly more fertile for those trying to convey the value of vitality, social connection and security in later life than for those promoting a particular brand of tissue paper, for example.
  • Take advantage of the social media explosion. While seniors may not be flocking to join the various social media platforms that dominate the current online landscape, their children increasingly are, and their grandchildren can’t get enough. Sponsored native ads match the form and function of the platform on which they appear (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), feel and look less like traditional ads, are not disruptive, provide useful content, and can be highly targeted.
  • Know thy prospects, target thy prospects. Through various feedback and tracking technologies (including the dynamic call tracking we discussed last month), your marketing team can help you add value to your potential leads by knowing who they are and what moves them. Instead of blindly blitzing everyone, you can tailor your messages to those who are most likely to find them interesting and intelligently anticipate their needs. In the case of social media, your digital ads can also be aimed at people who follow certain users or post about certain topics.

Research shows that in the senior housing arena, greater use of digital ads executed properly could be a valuable asset to your campaigns. An experienced marketing team can show you how effective, non-intrusive digital advertising can yield fruitful audience engagement.

Join us next month for more about the tools to build your best campaign.

IVY Marketing. Come Grow With Us.


Success Calling!  The Importance of Phone Tracking to Your Senior Housing Campaign

Success Calling! The Importance of Phone Tracking to Your Senior Housing Campaign

Last month, we examined a cutting edge website, the “power tool” of a truly robust, multi-faceted marketing campaign in the senior housing arena. We also stressed that the senior housing market is singularly unique in that it offers quality of life, an intangible, priceless “commodity” that must be genuine, caring, and careful to a fault.

With that in mind, let’s look at another vital tool in the toolbox—in-depth phone call tracking. As effective as call tracking technology has proven to be across multiple industries, it is the most under-utilized resource among senior housing executives. This seems paradoxical, given that the senior population is likely to engage by telephone.

By assigning unique phone numbers to each of your communications, both print and digital, your marketing experts can tell which have garnered the most inquiries and are, thus, the most impactful. Over time, you will know what moves your prospects, allowing you to fine-tune your campaigns accordingly and improve your return on investment.

Ideally, your call tracking system should include:

  1. A unique phone number on traditional ads (TV, radio and direct mail), providing you with a record of calls resulting directly from a particular ad or campaign and allowing you to follow up with leads knowing exactly what content inspired their call.
  2. Source identification for inbound calls, revealing which ads, promotions, key words, etc. are driving phone conversations. This intelligence also enables you to size up the strength of a prospect, direct promising leads to appropriate team members, and adjust messaging.
  3. Web page analytics for a comprehensive understanding of which pages on your website drive the most calls.
  4. The ability to listen to inbound calls, allowing you first-hand knowledge of prospects’ needs, interests and concerns as well as insight into the quality of your customer service.
  5. A higher value on inbound calls. Paramount to improving your campaign results is the inclusion of phone numbers in prominent locations in both conventional and digital advertising. Studies show that conspicuous placement yields a 30% increase in inbound calls!

Lay your marketing foundation with dynamic, in-depth phone tracking that informs you of precisely who is responding to your specific communications and how best to reach your prospects, based on this valuable insight. Let our team get you on your way.

Join us next month for more about the tools to build your best campaign.

IVY Marketing. Come Grow With Us.



Move Your Senior Housing Prospects

Move Your Senior Housing Prospects

A Power Website That Tells Your Story

A recent survey of senior housing managers and executives revealed that they don’t feel they have sufficiently robust marketing strategies to attract potential residents and their families. While they are employing various online marketing tools to varying degrees, they are not confident they’re using the right mix of these tools to create a successful campaign.

Before we examine the contents of the toolbox, senior housing professionals must first recognize that their industry is remarkably unique. What they’re offering is immeasurably precious: quality of life for people who, by and large, have spent their lives making quality living a priority for themselves and others, namely their children.

Both seniors and their families know that the decision to move to a retirement community, regardless of one’s health care needs, is among the most significant they’ll ever make. And, quite frankly, they’re a little scared. Senior housing marketing strategies must be anchored in an overarching, all-infusive understanding of exactly what’s at stake in the choice to move from one’s own home.

Of all the components of an effective integrated campaign, a cutting edge website is the ultimate “power tool.” We hear that a lot these days of the ubiquitous Internet, but what does that look like in the senior housing arena? The basics are pretty much the same as they are in any industry – compelling graphics created by qualified designers and succinct, relevant copy provided by experienced writers. Add to that ease of navigation, intuitive and user-friendly organization, and as few clicks as possible to get the information visitors want.

What isn’t the same about senior living websites is what they’re selling, which brings us back to the priceless quality of life. Your website should show who you are from the perspective of residents, family members, staff, and surrounding community. All the enticing graphics and words in the world won’t mean a thing if they’re not rooted in true stories about real people and real life at your community. What prospects experience on your website must be a genuine prototype of what they’ll experience when they visit you in person, or they will move on, and quickly.

Lay your marketing foundation with a power website that not only looks good, but feels right to prospects envisioning themselves or their loved ones in your community. Let our team get you on your way.

Join us next month for more about the tools to build your best campaign.

IVY Marketing. Come Grow With Us.

It’s addicting!  The fast-paced, ever changing world of public relations and marketing captures your interest and keeps you charged up to learn more everyday.  I love to find the best ways to tell our client’s stories and man, they have awesome stories!

It’s my job to discover our client’s goals and then match the best processes to achieve them, within their budgets, of course.  I get to explore traditional, digital and every manner of communication to determine which tactics, whether it is direct mail or TV advertising, a new website or PPC (to name just a few) will efficiently and effectively capture the attention of prospects. 

I also get to work with great people at IVY – they’re creative, fun, caring and super smart.  We’ve all been around the industry a while so there is not a novice among us.  Our clients are very cool too and totally passionate about the services they offer.  We’ve been working with most of them for years so we know they truly care about being innovative and responsible to the markets they service.  I have great admiration for all of them and look forward to every day. 

It’s true what “they” say, if you love what you do, you won’t work a day of your life!


IVY was established in 1990 with a basic premise to offer professional, ethical and highly creative marketing, advertising and public relations services. We have successfully maintained our core values and have been part of many amazing projects, client growth and changes in the world of marketing that continue to happen at lightening speed. Most of our clients serve older adults in some capacity so we keep abreast of the opportunities and challenges they face.   Each day, we keep it real and fun and consistently deliver positive results to our clients and their markets.


As a hybrid graphic and digital designer/web developer with over 17 years of experience, I am always on the lookout for innovative digital and print visual communications. IVY Marketing Group’s broad range of projects keeps my job challenging and rewarding, as each campaign is a new and exciting opportunity to effectively communicate our clients’ messages and help them achieve their goals. It’s my passion!

My body of work encompasses a diverse design style and wide base of clients, ranging from national associations, small businesses and big name brands like Hyatt and LiftMaster. I firmly believe that form follows function and highly value the communicative power of simplicity. 

Areas of professional expertise include Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Word Press, Responsive Design, CSS3, and HTML5. The industries I’ve served include senior living, health care, hospitality and finance.


All my life, I have loved writing. As a child, I could often be found in my room “writing a book.” While “novelist” is not (yet) on my resume, I am a storyteller. I believe that everyone and everything has a great story, and it is my joy to find that story and share it with the world.

After earning my bachelor’s degree in journalism and completing my master’s studies in the same field, I joined a small advertising agency with powerhouse clients in the hospitality industry, such as Hyatt, Hilton International and Carnival Cruise Lines. I began as a proofreader and achieved the position of senior copy writer within a year.

After my first son was born, followed by two more, I started a freelance writing business that included (among several others) such clients as Advocate Health Care and Coldwell-Banker Realty. Clients in the education arena included DeVry University’s Becker CPA and Stalla CFA Reviews, DePaul University, and Naperville School District 203, for which I won two state public relations awards.

For nine years, I was employed as Communications Director for a large faith community, where I managed all aspects of internal and external communications. I was writer, editor, designer, web master, and content manager.

As such, I am experienced and comfortable writing multimedia for a broad variety of industries, products and services.

I joined IVY Marketing Group in 2013, when I began writing client press releases on a freelance basis. I loved the work—and my teammates—so much, I was thrilled when I was invited to come on board in a greater capacity.

I have immensely enjoyed getting to know our valued clients in the senior housing industry, the people they serve, and telling the many wonderful stories that come out of content marketing done right—with the love and care our IVY teams puts into everything we do.


It all starts with one idea. Working with the Ivy creative team for over two decades has always meant taking one great idea and bringing it to life to help our clients meet their goals. We enjoy the challenges offered with every creative opportunity and try to make the design process itself enjoyable for our clients.


Making certain that the projects IVY produces are word- and picture-perfect is my specialty. But I also love implementing marketing campaigns and programs that bring our clients success. Details are my thing, so it is a pleasure to have worked with IVY twice now, first after college four years ago and, recently, for the past two years.

The IVY Group is a terrific team of creative, positive and talented professionals that I love working with and, judging from the length of stay of our clients, I think they love our team, too!


Rock-climbing, training for an 80-floor stair climb event, running a 5K…This is just a tiny peek into what people 20 and even 30 years older than I am, are doing on a fairly regular basis at some of the retirement communities that IVY represents.

I’m of the generation that still has reoccurring nightmares about what the next step looked like when my grandmother could no longer live by herself. The very best option at that time was living at a “facility” and  included eating rubbery chicken and playing an occasional game of BINGO. Period. That’s why my parent’s generation begged us not to ever put them into “one of those places.”

I am so proud that IVY’s clients are at the very forefront of an industry that creates opportunities, challenges, and most of all freedom for seniors, allowing them to explore hobbies, interests, passions…the next chapter of their very full lives.

I feel reassured for my own future. Even more, I feel honored to be able to share the impactful stories about this paradigm shift in the world of senior housing. What we hear and see at our clients’ communities is fascinating and inspiring!


Keeping up to date on new public relations strategies, online engagement tactics, and promotional tools is my passion.

With my hospitality background in marketing top Chicago restaurants and hotels, I was eager to bring fresh concepts and communication strategies to our clients and have really enjoyed learning various industries.

Our clients have such exciting and unique events and programs, which really makes it motivating for me to make the most of their content.  Results like increased sales leads, website visits and social media connections make everyday rewarding and interesting.


I oversee, plan and implement projects and processes at IVY.  Often,  I am the conduit between our writers and designers, with printers, and other vendors to fulfill the marketing needs for our clients. I also manage media buys and coordinate production of advertisements.

Working for a flexible and fluid company that is constantly growing, changing and evolving is fun and rewarding. There is always something new to learn.


My bio has a big blank in the beginning—Mom and Dad rescued me in Wisconsin, and no one really knows my origins. They were probably ruff. What matters though is where I am now, running IVY Marketing Group. There are humans here who think they’re in charge. In truth, they do actually have amazing experience in content marketing and public relations, but I’m super important and the center of attention. I mean, look at this face. Right? And I know I’m the top dog because honestly, I’m the only one allowed to sleep through staff meetings and eat things that people drop on the floor.

The fact is though that I truly love staying awake at staff meetings. Everyone talks and laughs and they’re always excited. That surprises me a little because it’s not like anyone has thrown a ball to play fetch or anything. But I guess what gets my pack of peoples’ tails wagging is their work and their clients. I don’t know what a website or a blog is, but I do know that my pack must be good at them because they’ve earned all sorts of awards for these and other things. My bed had to be moved because the framed certificates were taking up so much room. Despite the inconvenience, I’m proud of these awards!

I serve several important purposes at IVY. I always let Mom (and the world) know when the mailman is here. When people come into the office, just one (usually) quick non-invasive (usually) sniff, allows me to determine important characteristics…like if they had anything good for breakfast, own any pets (pet owners are the best!) or if they stepped in anything on the way in. (It’s sort of like me conducting a first job interview.) I generously share my tummy because I know people like to give it a good scratch. I always give kisses, whether one is feeling lonely or not. And I’m always happy to share someone’s meal, especially if they’re trying to lose weight. My pack describes me as being engaging, amusing, and entertaining. (When I hear a siren, I “sing” along and it makes them laugh.) NPR talks about the benefits of having a pet at the workplace. Studies show pets lower stress hormones and improve morale and productivity. I wholeheartedly agree that a dog in the workplace is the best thing since rawhide bones.

As for my pack of people at IVY…they are amazing and always make my tail wag!


I could not be more thrilled to work alongside the IVY team.

For over 25 years, I have been employed in top executive positions across the Chicago area and have consistently built profitable businesses, generated sales, and developed and launched new product lines.

Strategically positioning companies and commodities for growth is a strong suit I’m eager to bring to ResponderHub™, IVY’s new crisis communications solution. I’m also excited to help expand IVY’s reach in the senior marketing industry.

I believe people are more open than ever to thinking outside the box and looking at new ways to reach their customer base, while at the same time reducing their cost of sale. The senior industry is exploding, and IVY is perfectly positioned to respond to the need for innovative, quality content marketing services and effective crisis communications.


I love being able to use my skills to help improve other people’s lives, and with a growing elderly population, it’s important to create meaningful and user-friendly digital solutions to aid the senior living industry.I have a wide range of technology and design skills with a deep interest in Human-Computer Interaction– helping IVY provide outstanding web design and print design services. IVY has a long-proven track record of excellence, and I’m proud to be able to help carry on that tradition.