At A Place for Mom, our desire is to help families in their search for senior living options and educate them about the benefits of moving into our partner communities. We also strive to become a better partner to our communities and home care companies by creating new opportunities for growth in 2018. This year, we are investing more time and resources into connecting with the millions of families searching for senior living and care, and helping them in their decision to provide in-home assistance or move into a community like yours. In 2018, we project a robust, double-digit growth in referrals driven by an increase in marketing spend (especially TV), enhancements to web and mobile experiences, and greater emphasis on helping families understand their options through our network of local Senior Living Advisor’s.
On behalf of our partners, we spend millions of dollars on national marketing and advertising to provide resources and education to families in search of senior living care options. During the year ahead, we will be investing heavily in three main areas including TV, paid search and online display advertisements, in addition to other online resources designed to increase the number of families we can reach with the message of senior living and its benefits.
This year,¬†the US will continue to see a lot more of our spokesperson, Joan Lunden, as we are increasing our investment in National TV advertising by over 150%. With the additional spend, we hope to compliment your marketing efforts with over 1.3 billion opportunities throughout the year to reach your target audience through TV. This will provide more exposure to our industry than ever before!
Another exciting addition is our partnership with Cassie Campbell, who will join our Canadian team as our new Canadian Spokesperson. Cassie is a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist hockey player and was captain of Canada‚Äôs National Women‚Äôs Hockey Team from 2001-2005. Our new Canadian TV advertisements launched in January and have been well received.
We are also investing heavily in online organic and paid search engine marketing (SEM). Our dedicated SEM teams manage the bidding process on over 5 Million search terms per day, and we saw a 25% increase qualified leads through their efforts in 2017. Our hope is for our investment to extend the marketing reach of our community and home care partners, allowing you to focus more on prospective residents.
Towards the end of 2017, we made significant improvements to our web properties to maximize the effectiveness in reaching families. These optimizations offer families a better online experience and improved search ability by location, both of which help families find your community web pages more easily as they are searching on our site. As a result of these improvements, we saw more families viewing our partner web profiles and an increase in qualified families referred to our partner network, all of which we expect to continue into 2018. This year we‚Äôre also creating a dedicated Canadian website, making it easier for Canadian families to find appropriate options in their local markets.
As more and more hospital networks restrict access to their case managers, one of our goals this year is to help healthcare professionals understand the services and benefits of the senior living communities and home care agencies that are partnered with A Place for Mom. Our team of over 150 Healthcare Account Executives (formerly Community Relations Advisors) have been able to build relationships with hospital case workers, rehab facilities and local professionals on behalf of our partner network, and educate their patients‚Äô families about the senior living options available in their area. This unique position as a representative of many senior living options gives us the ability to work with these professionals and thereby refer more families to our partners.
Communicating with Families
Due to evolving consumer preferences in the marketplace, we‚Äôre learning how to become more effective in our communication vehicles with families who specifically express a preference to communicate via email. We‚Äôve launched a pilot program to offer families an option to email with us earlier in their search. With this process, we hope to connect with those families who may be difficult to reach by phone, and ultimately connect them with a Senior Living Advisor sooner. If our pilot is successful, we will expand this email option to more families. Stay tuned for the results of this pilot in future newsletters.
At APFM, we are really excited about the year ahead and hope to help as many families as possible find the right senior living option for themselves or their loved one. Thank you for your continued partnership!