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Personas, also known as audience profiles or target markets, are a description of the types of residents and influencers who choose your services.

They apply to senior living marketing whether you’re a marketer or owner of the community, and they should be a key component of your market research.

There are three big reasons to create and use personas — and to update them. They focus your marketing, assist with prospecting and train your team on client service. All of these areas affect your brand positioning because potential residents or family members of residents need to quickly know that you understand them and that your community is the right fit for them.

1. Personas for Marketing

Effective marketing campaigns include messaging that offers solutions for residents and their families. Marketers and community owners use personas to speak to those individuals in a relatable way. Personas ensure clear direction, which helps write more targeted copy and choose the best methods for advertising.

Personas should include a description of your target resident(s): their challenges, dislikes, goals and desires. These descriptions will help you focus your marketing messages on how your services bring solutions and support their goals. By articulating how you best serve the resident, you are differentiating your brand.

Whether you are writing blog posts, creating an ad campaign or writing website copy, personas will help you create content that fits the residents or potential employees.

Writing to your persona will help you avoid the common problem of writing all about your community instead of what your audience really wants to know. Can you help them find the right home, and what is the first step to secure their spot and move forward?

If you aren’t sure of your potential resident’s dislikes, interests or desires, interview your current residents and discover how you are currently solving their problems and helping them. Their stories will help clarify your brand positioning. You can include that feedback in your persona description!

2. Personas for Sales

When having sales conversations, one rule of thumb is to have the prospective resident speak two-thirds of the time and to actively listen to their answers. To get them talking, you need great questions. But don’t just ask any question. Ask a question related to your brand; convince them that you are the best choice.

A persona description will help you develop sales questions that relate to your target resident to qualify them, but also to get them talking about what’s most important to them in a senior living community.

For example, if you have a process in place for holding safe social gatherings for residents, ask a sales question like, “How important is it to you that your community holds regular social gatherings where you can mingle with other people in a fun, safe and supportive environment?”

It’s likely that the right resident will say that it’s very important. Now, this gives you an opportunity to talk about the different types of social gatherings you hold at your community, including that newly remodeled back patio where residents dance the night away on beautiful summer nights.

The persona description helps you prepare for these conversations with confidence and consistency.

3. Personas for Strengthening Census

Once you attract a new resident — or family members involved in the decision — you can use your persona descriptions to address how to improve customer loyalty. The descriptions can be used to train your staff on customer service expectations, how you solve problems and how you make a difference.

You can even create persona descriptions for staff, referral sources and influencers. Help your management or marketing team understand how to develop industry connections that can refer new opportunities to your independent or assisted living community. Everyone can take ownership of your brand positioning with the right knowledge. Personas are just one way to do this.

One last tip: Senior living marketing needs to be personal, but how do you know you are appealing to real people online?

Send me an email and let’s chat about marketing automation and other opportunities to ensure you’re meeting your census goals and talking to the RIGHT-FIT resident or future employee…every time. 

The 7 Habits of Effective Employer Brands

Besides having a shortage of candidates, the accounting and advisory industry has a brand perception issue. Candidates want to avoid long hours or that uneasy feeling of being a cog in a big machine – they are conditioned since college to believe that accounting is all about the technical output and the billable hours.

Are you reinforcing that perception?

Turn it around, change the conversation and find your best hires for life. There are seven habits of an effective employer brand, and we address the hurdles to overcome and successes you can share along the way.

  1. Start from within – Keep your current team happy and fulfilled by catering food, hosting games, celebrating employee successes (professional and personal), and inviting more conversations about employee goals and interests. They will talk about your great culture to their friends and colleagues.
  2. Get internal feedback – Conduct an employee survey, and ask them how they feel about working there and how they feel about the firm’s reputation. Invite and reward them for leaving an honest review on your Glassdoor and Indeed pages. Get feedback to improve your candidate referral program.
  3. Reshape your employer brand – Use employee feedback to update your logo, your messaging and your story throughout the website, on recruitment sites, job boards, internship program brochures, campus table tents and on internal flyers, too. Create employee videos with real stories of what it’s like to be an accountant and advisor today. Emphasize through employee stories how you make a difference to clients and your community. Don’t tell it. Show it.
  4. Start young – Show off your brand at middle school and high school career events. Invite field trips, job shadowing and internship applications. Plus, emphasize that non-CPAs are part of the future of your firm, expanding career possibilities. Generate an interest in your profession earlier, and you will change the perceptions of a generation.
  5. Create a scholarship – Make connections with interest Dollars for Scholars affiliate to create a named scholarship.
  6. Make recruiting your top priority – Define the perfect candidate, respond to applications hourly if you can and set up interviews within 1-3 days so the best ones don’t get away. If you find a great candidate who wants to start immediately – then you know that your approach is working.
  7. Create a confidence-building onboarding process – Complete the recruitment circle. Make sure that new hires feel welcome and have access to all the tools they need to succeed. Build their confidence on day one with a mentor or go-to team member. Schedule a professional goal meeting as soon as possible. Get them thinking about the future with your firm.

If you need help:
What do these habits look like in real life for recruiting and retention? Read this case study.

Navigating your business into a new market

Transitioning into a new market can be challenging for any business. In this video, Dawn Wagenaar, Principal of Ingenuity Marketing Group, goes over some of the key factors to consider when exploring a new market base.

One of the most important preparation steps is market research. It is crucial to know who your competitors are as well as how your competitors are doing in the market space. Are there things that your competitors are doing (or not doing) that your company can highlight as strengths?

Now that you’ve researched your competition, it’s time to identify your target audience. Are they attending events? Are they involved in organizations? If so, is there a way to get your company’s name in front of these potential leads as part of your marketing strategy?

Market research is multi-faceted and can be confusing even if you’ve done it before. When you need assistance into a new market, contact us at Ingenuity!

Looking for an in-depth analysis. Learn how market research can help validate your business decisions and move your business forward.

When reaching out to a new customer base, it can seem daunting at first, but trust me, you can win over a new market. But first, where do you begin?

Do your market research. Is this new vertical growing or is it stagnant? What are the top industries in that market?  What is the labor market like?  How can your firm grow in this market?

Then you need to identify your competitors. What are they doing right? Look at the areas that you can compete on based on what they are doing or not doing.

This is the stage in the process when you need to identify your target audience. Research their demographics. Determine what events they attend or organizations they are a part of. Will you need to hire additional team members or can your existing team develop these new relationships or can your current clients give you referrals into this new market? Be sure to incorporate in-person networking and sponsorship opportunities into your strategy.

The last thing to do before branching out is to identify barriers to overcome and define clear goals to measure your progress.

It’s a marathon and not a sprint when building new relationships and visibility in a new market or city.

Let me know if I can help. Good luck!

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‘Hey Google’ What’s New?

The average person doesn’t usually stay “in the know” about upcoming changes with technology. We created this video to provide you with some tips on using Google to your advantage both as a lead generation tool and to assist with content marketing, considering the new 2022 and 2023 updates.

In this video, Shannon Bohnen goes over three of the updates that Google is introducing in the upcoming months and gives advice on how to make the most of the new features.

For example, if your business is currently using Google Ads as a lead generation tool, you’ll be excited to learn about Google Performance Max, a campaign that helps automate your ad process while increasing your brand awareness.

Check out Shannon’s video to learn more about the Google updates and find out how those changes can enhance your content marketing and work as a lead generation tool.

Want to double up on your lead generation efforts? Check out our article on how to get more leads from your website!

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

Using Google as a lead generation tool is not easy. If you’re serious about making it work for you, you have to keep up with updates and trends.

So, what’s new with Google? Here are three things to consider in the coming months:

Number 1. Switching to GA4: Google wants you to start using Google Analytics 4, starting in July 2023, but you should get familiar with the platform now.

The main differences between Universal Analytics and GA4 are key performance metrics and goals. Ask the Google person on your team to add a GA4 property to your website, so you can start collecting data now and use that to determine next year’s goals.

Number 2. What’s new with Google Ads? Google is promoting their new Performance Max campaign track. With Performance Max, you tell Google what your budget is, what your goal is and they will shoot out Display ads, you’ll have your ads on Gmail, Discover, Search and YouTube as well. If you go this route, your ads will be everywhere.

This can be good if your goal is brand awareness and you want to automate the process as much as possible. With this campaign, you don’t have to write ads. You don’t have to adjust anything; you’ll just start gaining impressions.

Number 3. My third tip is for Google Search. Of course, search is getting smarter all the time. So, what does that mean for you? Your content marketing should work for both robots and humans. If that’s possible.

For example, Google will rank you higher when you cut to the chase: Write “we’re thrilled” instead of “we’re very excited.” And use politically correct collective nouns like “personkind” instead of “mankind.”  

As always, if you have any questions at all, let us know and we will get you on the fast track to success on search, ads and analytics. Until next time!

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Christine Nelson of Ingenuity Marketing on designing great logos.

Why Great Logos Start With This Research

When you are creating a brand, merging with another company, or rebranding, what do you need to consider when coming up with your logo? Start out by asking yourself what your company or your brand stand for. How can you convey those feelings and emotions into a logo? Who is your competition and what do their logos look like?

Set yourself apart from the competitors by creating a logo that tells your brand story, excites customers and is recognizable in all formats (digital, print and on logo wear).  

Check out Christine’s video to learn more about creating a logo that reflects your brand and tells your story.

After this food for thought, do you think your brand needs a refresh? Learn more about creative rebranding tips here.

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

When you need to refresh or create a new logo, it may be a standalone logo OR it needs to be part of a logo family.

Your logo needs to be fresh for today, but also resonate in the future.

A logo should make sense to the audience and tell them a story about your business.

Great logos do these things. They are fresh, emotional and they tell a story.

To achieve a great logo, I’m going to share the research we use here at Ingenuity. You can do this too!

Explore your competition. How can you make your logo stand out from their logos?

Also, check your state for any restrictions on logos. In some states professional services company names, and therefore their logos, have stricter design limitations.

A big piece of logo research is your brand story. Without a clear brand story, it is harder to design a great logo. Include your core values, differentiators, founding story and business purpose in this research.

Another tip. Make sure that your new logo will look just as crisp and vibrant in digital formats as it will in print, on your logo wear and on signage. Logo color choices, font size and style are important areas of research and decision-making. Color choices and clarity should also observe ADA guidelines so that when your logo goes on a website, it’s visible and clear.

These are just a few areas of branding research to help you design a great new logo. When you do your homework on your logo, it makes marketing much easier, too.

Reach out if you have any questions about brand positioning and logo design. It’s what we do!


Robert Wasiluk, of Ingenuity Marketing cover for his vlog on secrets to impactful ads- the future of print advertising

Secrets to Impactful Ads – The Future of Print Advertising


While many companies are now focusing solely on digital ads, they are missing a big opportunity for professional services marketing and accounting advertising.

It’s print ads!

By establishing your brand through unique messaging, original imagery and proper placement of your logo, you can create lasting and memorable advertisements that get noticed.

Set yourself apart from your competitors by perfecting the print ad campaign along with your digital ad strategy. Watch Robert’s video to learn more about professional services ad campaigns and accounting advertising.

Yoga for an accounting advertising ad? This ad campaign shared the message that advisors were flexible for the unexpected, and it served the firm well during the pandemic when everyone needed to breathe and work together.

If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

When you’re working on your next ad campaign, you may be looking for some inspiration to keep your ads fresh.

Here are some tips to make your next print ad campaign a success:

  1. Keep it simple

Did you see Coca-Cola’s ad when they wanted to win over the new non-alcoholic sub-market? They didn’t need to say all of that in their ad; they didn’t use any words at all.

The familiarity we have with their typeface, along with the lemon peel says it all. This is Coca-Cola with lemon. Enough said.

  1. Always use eye-catching imagery

Use high-res images. Try to use original imagery when you can, so your audience ties your image to your brand. Play on the unexpected. Surprise your audience.

  1. Be Collaborative

At Ingenuity we work very collaboratively on ad campaigns. We can create a concept that’s clever and addresses your pain points to help you reach your next best clients!

Contact Ingenuity for more ad concepting ideas, tips and tricks.


NEXT ARTICLE: Best practices for a digital ad campaign




Christine Nelson, Communications Consultant with Ingenuity Marketing

Digital Marketing Lead Generation Tools – How to Get in on Online Ads


Are you wondering how to get in on the retargeting wagon? One of the most widely used lead generation tools is digital ads. Whether you’re on Google or Bing, you’ve seen ads follow you around online once you’ve browsed similar sites.

And they work!

Make sure your digital marketing includes digital ads, email capture and a solid content calendar and you are setting yourself to land more leads than your competition.

Watch Christine’s video to hear more.


If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

I love shopping in person, but I also get tired of it after about three hours. The options are just overwhelming.

Online shopping is convenient, but it’s also limited by my shopping history because of search algorithms. I don’t see everything available to me like in a real store. This includes professional services firms.

Because I do a lot of research for my clients, I will visit engineering firm sites, accounting firms law firms and professional associations. I choose the results on the first page and I don’t look further, but when I see ads pop up after I visit these websites, it reminds me that these firms are really smart. How else are they going to thank me for visiting their website?

Search engines control what visitors find. Even when someone finds your site, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Here’s what you can do about it:

  • Create fresh content
  • Use strategic digital ads
  • Collect their email

You will get exponentially more visitors to your site combining fresh content with digital ads. It’s the new reality. But once they arrive, you have to capture their email.

If you have questions about lead generation tools, digital marketing or you want us to manage your online ads, send us a message. We are here to get eyes on your brand and feet in the door.

Shannon Bohnen, Digital Communications Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing Group.

Inbound Marketing: Think Like a Buyer


We recommend performing keyword research, looking at projected search volumes and competitor metrics then digging into your verticals extensively to find the right keywords for your target audience.

Search engine optimization is a great place to start.

Watch this video to learn how to use the right keywords to drive the right people to your website using inbound marketing and SEO.

Do you want the right website visitors? I am offering an SEO analysis right now at a discounted rate to help your website attract better business leads. Just send me your email in the box below!


    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    When I think about search engine optimization, I think about two things first. I think about how visitors search for services, and I think about how search engines offer matching results.

    The art of search engine optimization is to make sure that your website is ranking for the right types of keywords.

    If you are an association, a keyword such as “membership” may not work. You might get visitors searching for gym memberships.

    If you are a professional services firm, you probably want to target your service areas and industries rather than generic keywords such as “professional services.”

    Basically, think like a buyer when building your keyword list. But then, you have to monitor who is coming to your site. Are they the right visitors who could become clients?

    Just as important for SEO is what you want visitors to do when they arrive at your site. You have just a few seconds to grab their interest and help them see that you have what they need. Make sure that each page focuses on the visitor and requests an action. They should sign up. Download something. Or contact you. 

    Robert Wasulik, Design Consultant at Ingenuity Marketing

    How to Deter Website Hacks

    Whether you’re stepping into a new marketing director role or you’re a seasoned business owner, your digital marketing strategy should include regular website security updates.

    Your website is your lead generation tool, your CRM portal and brand billboard. When you focus solely on content and appearance, you leave yourself open to spam and cyber-attacks, which could bring down your site in an instant.

    That’s why website security should be on your priority list. Update your plugins regularly and protect your website from hacks.

    Watch this video for Robert’s tips to keep your website healthy and keep your digital marketing strategy on track.

    If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

    I have built out a few websites in the past year, and one of the big things I stress with clients is to maintain their plug-in, theme and security updates on their websites.

    Some clients assume that their web host keeps their website up-to-date. That is not a guarantee. If your website host does not specifically state that this is part of the service, it’s up to you as the website owner to do it regularly.

    Without regular updates, your site is vulnerable to spam and content hacks. That means your website could be blocked as a security risk by search engines, and it may even crash.

    Don’t let that happen. In addition to maintaining your site plug-ins, security certificates and website theme, you want to monitor your search analytics and email capture forms for suspicious activity. Make sure that online marketing can occur 24/7 without the risk of turning away qualified leads.

    If you need help reviewing your site for security as well as search optimization, contact us for an SEO analysis. We have a special rate to offer you if you apply now, just fill out the contact box below!

      How to Develop a Brand Strategy: Write Poetry

      Christine Nelson is a veteran writer. She worked as a journalist before joining Ingenuity Marketing as our lead communications consultant and she knows how to write a good hook.

      When you’re Googling “how to develop a brand strategy” and you’re wondering what the secret is that will tie all of your brand imagery, logos, colors website and content together… the answer is the writing!

      Christine says your tagline should read like a line of poetry. Keep it short and snappy. Your words should move your audience.

      You only have a few seconds to reel them in.

      If you prefer to read this content, the video transcript is below.

      When I’m trying to tell a story in the fewest words possible, I write poetry. You might not think poetry fits with professional services marketing, but it does.

      Branding messages and taglines are like poetry. When you think of Nike’s “Just Do It” tagline, it uses the fewest words possible to describe everyday athletes who get themselves up, and work out one more time, one more day, one more mile. It’s an emotional ethic that permeates their products and that’s why it lasts.

      When you build your branding messages, don’t settle for words like “quality” and “responsiveness.” Try on different words like “catalyst” or “presence.” When you have just a few seconds to get interest, every word matters. It’s an art.

      Bonus! Here is Christine’s favorite poem: “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carrol:

      ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
      All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

      “Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
      The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
      Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
      The frumious Bandersnatch!”

      He took his vorpal sword in hand:
      Long time the manxome foe he sought—
      So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
      And stood awhile in thought.

      And as in uffish thought he stood,
      The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
      Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
      And burbled as it came!

      One, two! One, two! And through and through
      The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
      He left it dead, and with its head
      He went galumphing back.

      “And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
      Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
      O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
      He chortled in his joy.

      ’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
      Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
      All mimsy were the borogoves,
      And the mome raths outgrabe.

      When you’re wondering how to develop a brand strategy and you need the perfect messaging to go with it, we’re here to help. Show your clients why you are the right fit for them in as concise and poetic a form as possible. Contact us to get started, today.