A Place for Mom Boosts Leads From Mobile Calls 59% With Mobile Call Extensions

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A Place for Mom (APFM) helps seniors and their families find senior care and living options—a process that is often overwhelming. For many, the search starts online and, increasingly, on mobile devices. To better understand consumer needs and demand on mobile and, ultimately, to boost leads, APFM revamped its mobile strategy. It implemented mobile bid adjustments and call extensions, introduced click-to-call ads and optimized the ad copy and design of its mobile site. Its efforts paid off: mobile calls from click-to-call ads jumped 59% and mobile leads increased 110%.

Goals
Understand consumer needs and demand on mobile
Adopt best practices for mobile advertising
Increase leads and conversions on mobile
Approach
Implemented mobile bid adjustments and call extensions at the ad group level
Introduced click-to-call ads to personalize service
Focused on mobile-optimized ad copy and a responsive design to improve mobile site quality
Results
Mobile calls from click-to-call jumped 59% from 1H 2013 to 1H 2014
Mobile leads increased 110% from 1H 2013 to 1H 2014

Founded in 2000, A Place for Mom (APFM) helps seniors and their families find care and housing based on their unique needs and budget. Its senior living referral service is the largest of its kind, with partner community locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Understanding consumer search behavior

APFM aims to reach individuals looking for senior housing or senior care, whether for themselves or for an aging family member. The company knows that finding these kinds of services can be complicated and overwhelming. It also knows that people often turn to the web for information first and are increasingly using their mobile devices to do so.

Consequently, AdWords has been an integral part of the company's online marketing strategy over the past decade. With the help of AdWords, APFM strives to do three things: attract families who need its services, draw more providers to its partner network and position itself as a trusted source for senior living accommodation referrals.

Seizing the mobile opportunity

"We were a bit slow to recognize the rapid growth in use of mobile phones, especially given our older consumer demographic. Teaming with Google helped us understand the magnitude of the need and opportunity," says Stephen Huson, APFM's senior director of SEM. Although the company has seen 68% YoY growth in revenue from AdWords, it recognized that it could seize additional opportunities by adjusting its mobile strategy, which accounted for a very small portion of its overall marketing investment.

In Q3 2013, the company aggressively embraced Google’s enhanced campaigns to build out its mobile advertising, in part by implementing mobile bid adjustments and call extensions in every campaign. Simultaneously, it focused on mobile-optimized ad copy and a responsive site design to improve its mobile experience. As a result, APFM increased mobile leads by 110%.

Connecting with consumers through click-to-call

Because APFM provides a personalized service to families, inbound calls are an effective way to connect with them. As a result, click-to-call ads became a key part of the company's mobile strategy. Specifically, the company prioritized the rollout of campaigns based on volume, starting with brand campaigns in which it expected families to be most interested in speaking to an APFM senior living advisor.

We were a bit slow to recognize the rapid growth in use of mobile phones, especially given our older consumer demographic. Teaming with Google helped us understand the magnitude of the need and opportunity.

The company expected to increase the number of calls received and drive more awareness among people interested in finding senior care and housing. In fact, since launching mobile click-to-call-ads, calls have jumped 59%.

Future plans

Inbound calls have been an effective way for APFM to connect with customers at the moments that matter most to them. By implementing best practices for both mobile advertising and user experience, in one year, the company has seen a 6x growth in the value of leads coming from mobile phones.

"As the market continues to shift toward mobile devices, we are continuing to enhance our mobile strategy to adopt new mobile best practices and understand what works best for our mobile customers," explains Huson.

In addition, APFM intends to use ad scheduling more extensively to ensure that call extensions are available only when its inbound call center is staffed.

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