Bankrate, Inc., a leading lead generation and information publishing company and owner of flagship Bankrate.com website, announced the acquisition of Caring.com, one of the leading referral service providers for the senior living industry for $54 million in cash.
Many of you may be familiar with Caring.com as they are well known lead provider to the senior living industry. Some of you may be buying senior referral leads from them.
Online Lead Generation
As the online lead generation in the senior living industry segment matures, consolidation is bound to happen. Does this augur well for the senior living industry? While some may argue that the referral fees may up, it may very well increase the awareness in the industry leading to high volumes and competitive prices.
In a sense, acquisition of Caring.com is not a consolidation because Bankrate.com is not operating in the senior care industry currently. Both Bankrate and Caring have announced that this merger is a great fit, as Bankrate has a large presence in the lead generation industry, and will bring in additional resources and best practices to the senior living lead generation segment.
Also quite a few players, such as InnoMom.com Senior Care Resource Network, a lead provider partner of Carevium.com, have started focusing on the senior living lead generation, as the owners / operators / administrators of elder care facilities and home care agencies are now embracing online marketing and elder care leads generation as a viable option.
Experts opine that this acquisition will also bring more pressure on A Place for Mom, the current leader in senior leads referral segment – which will be good for the industry.
Lead Capture, Aggregation, Distribution and Delivery Management Software such as LeadPro247 can be used to centrally manage and distribute Eldercare Leads to Assisted Living Facilities and Memory Care Communities. Senior referral service agencies, placement professionals and retirement counseling firms can streamline their lead generation, routing and tracking processes to significant extent by employing a leadgen and distribution system.
Why Use Lead Distribution Software
Most senior referral service firm are independent and boutique firms with a small number of highly specialized staff. They assess the specific requirements of seniors and their families looking for senior living options and home care services. Based on the individual requirements, the advisors recommend three or four senior housing facilities or home care agencies to choose from.
The staff have to keep track of the leads received from various sources such as websites, blogs, social media channels, and third party senior lead providers. Then, they need to do the research and personalization before forwarding the lead contact information to the assisted living facility or service organization.
The entire process is manually intensive and time taking. Also, the delay may cause the consumer to look for other options.
If you are involved in lead generation, distribution, buying or sales, and looking for choosing a lead distribution and management software system, this article will be of interest to you. Whether you are an entrepreneur or an executive working in a lead generation and lead selling business, you may have difficulty in choosing between a Lead Generation Distribution Software or a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management software).
Why CRM Systems Are Used – Background
Many marketers involved in the lead generation business are not familiar with the lead distribution specific software. Hence they choose to use a CRM system, since there are dozens of CRM systems visible and available in the marketplace.
CRM systems are made for a different purpose – to cater to the customer relationship needs of organizations involved in delivering or goods or services. The lead management module is one of the components of the CRM systems, suitable for collecting and routing leads to their inside sales force and field sales representatives – within the organization.
When the online lead management started taking route several years back, the companies involved in lead generation (such as Lending Tree, InsureMe, Mint.com, etc.) built their own custom software since they cannot use the traditional CRM software from SAP, Siebel, Oracle, etc. And these large leadgen companies could afford to invest millions of dollars for building their own systems.
However, as the internet matured, consumers adopted internet in droves, small and medium sized marketing companies and online advertising / media agencies started focusing on online lead generation and the industry took off in a big way. Since there was no specialized lead generation and distribution software, these organizations started using CRM in some fashion.
Franchise systems and home offices spend tons of money and efforts nowadays on online marketing and inbound marketing. Online lead generation is a key strategy managed by the top management in many franchise systems independent of size. In fact, smaller franchise businesses focus their efforts online rather than traditional marketing methods. Deploying and leveraging a suitable Sales Lead Aggregation and Distribution Software system can bring in significant benefits in terms of ROI and business growth.
Internet and Mobile Adoption Growth Leads to Inbound Marketing
Studies have shown that over 80% US consumers start their purchasing and buying process with internet research – whether they are buying products or services. Even retailers and brick and mortar businesses acquire their customers through online channels. With the mass adoption of internet and mobile technologies, consumers prefer online sources to locate their services and goods providers.
As a result, owners of franchise systems have recognized the importance of online sales lead generation tools and techniques in recent times. These internet lead generation process is known as inbound marketing as opposed to traditional outbound marketing channels (such as yellow pages, print media, journals, magazines, local newspapers, direct marketing, call centers, radio, television, etc.).