Technology for marketing businesses for seniors

Three programmatic display strategies with proven effectiveness

Whatever the age of their customers and clients, businesses recognize the benefits of modern technology. Geriatricians stay informed on the latest medical knowledge; physicians recognize the value of telemedicine – especially during the pandemic; and caregivers appreciate that wearables provide useful health data and GPS location. This modern mindset works for marketing, too. Using technology for marketing businesses for seniors can help reach more potential customers.

In fact, contemporary digital marketing can help you reach customers and clients you wouldn’t otherwise reach.

Contemporary marketing technologies

The brave new world of digital advertising is often called “programmatic marketing.” It uses automation to buy and sell advertising media on digital platforms (websites, smartphones, apps, etc.) and share it with potential customers. This technology can be complex, making it challenging for businesses to know whether the strategies will work for them. At Ross Media Solutions, we clarify the confusion by using terms and explanations that can be easily grasped without an IT degree. That way, our clients can have greater confidence in working with us in utilizing digital strategies.

In RMS lingo, we use the phrase targeted digital display tactics. “Targeted” refers to ads that target or focus specifically on people who might be interested in your business. “Digital” refers to advertising on digital – i.e., platforms such as computers, tablets, and smartphones. And “display” tells you that these eye-catching visual ads will be displayed – showcased – where your target audience will see them.

Whether these marketing strategies are called “programmatic” or “targeted digital display,” the reality is that they are becoming more popular as tools to reach potential clients and customers.

“In 2020, 69 percent of all digital media will trade programmatically, up from 65 percent this year,” said Zenith Media’s Programmatic Marketing Forecasts 2019.

In working with clients from a wide array of industries, from an assisted living community to a law firm, we at Ross Media Solutions have found three targeted digital display tactics to be especially useful. Using site retargeting, search targeting, and geofencing – or a combination of the three – we’ve helped clients turbo-charge their growth.

Search Targeting Tactic

The search retargeting tactic follows people who have done searches for keywords that you use for your business.

Search targeting is the gift that keeps on giving! While search engine marketing (SEM) displays your word-based ad immediately after someone enters relevant keywords, search targeting continues to show your display ad to the person who conducted a relevant search. Search retargeting is especially effective since most people research before making a decision.

For example, in working with a home health care business, we’d use search targeting. We’d target internet users who entered relevant keywords: personal care services, medication administration at home, certified nursing assistants, home physical therapy, etc. People who entered these search terms would see the Homeward Heroes display ad – not just once, but many times. This would put the business in front of mind when making a final decision.

Thus, search targeting helps to build your brand. Most importantly, it builds your brand with people who are interested in your products or services. It increases the chance of a conversion and sale.

Site Retargeting

Site retargeting means that anyone who visits your website gets followed by your ads. The strength of site retargeting is that it focuses on an audience that is already familiar with you. This way, it helps you stay in front of that audience.

One example of site retargeting is how Amazon products seem to follow you around the web. For example, if you go to Amazon and search for mobility scooters, you’ll start to see lots of ads for scooters. Reading a favorite blog? Oh, look, there’s an ad for an electric mobility scooter! Looking at the latest business news online? Oh, look, an ad for a medical equipment retailer’s scooter inventory! Scrolling down Instagram? Oh, look … !

Similarly, if a web user is searching for an active adult community and they go to your community’s website, then that person will begin seeing your digital ad as they navigate the web on their computer, smartphone, and tablet.

Since site retargeting only targets those who have visited your site, it delivers a lower impression count (the number of times your ad appears on someone’s digital device). However, it tends to provide a higher click-through rates, which contributes to brand familiarity. Your business will stay in front of the audience so you’ll be front-of-mind when the customer is ready to act. Site retargeting also tends to have a higher conversion rate, perhaps the most important metric!

Site retargeting works best when combined with other digital tactics, to widen the net and pull more visitors to your site.


The next tactic, geofencing, draws a digital fence around a geographic area. The area can be wide, like a city commercial district, or narrow, such as a single address. When someone enters the geofence location, their phone is detected, prompting display ads or other notifications to follow them for an established time afterwards. (Note that for the established time period, it’s not that people are tracked. It’s that they are eligible to receive ads on their devices.)

For example, if you are marketing an active adult community, we could draw a digital fence around your competitors’ sales centers. People who visit would be eligible to see your ad afterwards. If you are marketing a rehabilitation center, digital fences around hospitals and emergency centers.

Geofencing is another tactic that has a narrow audience. You’re reaching people who go to your chosen geofence and who have location services turned on. For this reason, you wouldn’t want to run an entire marketing campaign with geofencing alone but with a blend of other tactics.

You can think of geotargeting as the frame of your display tactic campaign – a useful border that holds the art. For example, say you’re a local medical supply company, you can build your target “frame” within a zip code or county. Then you would use other tactics such as search behavior inside that geotarget as well.

Using technology for marketing businesses for seniors

Two factors make targeted digital display an important means of reaching the senior adult population.

First is the increasing comfort level of older adults with technology. Although seniors didn’t initially latch on to technology such as the iPhone as quickly as younger adults did, they soon closed the generational digital gap. The Covid-19 crisis accelerated senior internet usage, as many used their devices and the internet to combat the isolation, loneliness, and restrictions caused by the pandemic. This acceleration of online comfort applies especially to the “young-old seniors,” aged 65-74, who are still in relatively good health and still mobile.

Second, adult children are often doing the research and making decisions for their aging parents. This makes reaching this internet-savvy population important, too.

At Ross Media Services, we work with clients on blended campaigns that combine these and other targeted digital display tactics. Contact us to see how we can help you.


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