Funeral home technology is a term that takes on multiple different meanings. For some, modernizing the funeral home is a welcome step towards a better death care industry. For others, such advancements represent the intimidating unknown of the digital age. Regardless of what side of the fence you sit on, let’s agree on one thing before continuing with this post: funeral home technology isn’t going anywhere. In 2016 we saw more innovations in the funeral industry than ever before. There was an increased focus on mobile offerings, video became an important funeral home marketing tool and overall, funeral directors seemed to take a much greater interest in technology, software and marketing options. In no uncertain terms, the funeral home technology industry is booming and we have reached a point of no return.
Put simply, 2016 was our best year ever. We welcomed hundreds of new businesses to the FrontRunner family, saw our team grow and continued to bring about change in the funeral industry. We turned out some of 2016’s best funeral home website designs, gave many firms one-point of data entry and saw over one million interactions with the Book Of Memories from families all over North America. Time seemed to fly by and we can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for us and our wonderful clients. That being said, let’s take this time to look back at the people, places and events that made this past year so special.
Funeral home websites took a gigantic step forward in 2016. As a result of mounting consumer demand for more refined online experiences, many funeral industry professionals had no choice but to update their digital brand this past year. For us at FrontRunner, it has been a pleasure to work with the firms that get excited about their funeral home website and digital marketing strategy.
We all know it, funeral home marketing is tricky. Everyday at FrontRunner we hear from industry professionals that want to improve their marketing efforts and increase engagement with families. Some firms struggle with using social media and others are simply unsure how to market their services without being in “sales” mode. While it may seem important to spread the word about funeral home offerings, families do not always want to hear, talk or even think about death. Regardless, they will eventually need your services. So how do you connect with them in the meantime?
Since 2012 the National Funeral Director’s Association has conducted an annual survey to help funeral professionals better understand consumers. This year’s results, published in the September issue of The Director magazine, provide valuable insight into death care trends. In an industry so closely tied to community relationships, it has never been more important to know what drives the market. So, what do consumers really want? Let’s talk about the numbers and how to use them to your advantage.
This year, for the first time, cremation became more popular than burial in the United States. According to a report released by the National Funeral Director’s Association, the cremation rates have skyrocketed over the last decade. In 2005, only 32.2% of Americans opted to have their remains cremated compared to 61.4% opting to be buried in the traditional manner.
Fast forward 10 years and the numbers look completely different. Today, over 70% of people opt to be cremated compared to just 23.2% who choose to be buried. As a result of the drastic shift in the death care industry, many firms are scrambling to catch up with the growing trend. But, why all of a sudden has the practice become so popular? Well, there are many contributing factors.
When it comes to funeral home marketing, or any marketing for that matter, the biggest challenge is connecting with audiences spanning multiple generations. Today’s businesses are tasked with marketing on many different platforms and incorporating diverse messages to cover all the bases. On one hand, there are younger consumers who do not know of a world without smartphones. On the other, there are older generations who prefer traditional communication and feel digitization is too impersonal. Continue reading
After years as FrontRunner’s obituary information hub, Obitsforlife.com will be discontinued this week and all existing traffic will be directed to a new and improved platform, ObitTree.com and we’re pretty excited about the change! With every part of our space shifting towards user-friendly navigation, ObitTree.com presents a better experience when families and friends are searching for obituary information. The move aims to update the functionality and organization of the database, all while producing an interactive website consumers can enjoy. At FrontRunner, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible experience online.
Social media has changed the way we communicate, the way we do business and it has completely reshaped interpersonal relationships. We are now able to access more than just information; we are able to understand the human experience of others through profiles, insights, engagement and constant digital conversation. For the last seven years, Social Media Day has been celebrated globally to recognize the significant innovations brought forth by social networks and to mark this year’s occasion we have some tips and tricks for establishing a great social media presence. Continue reading
FrontRunner’s head of marketing Ashley Montroy was recently featured in the National Funeral Director’s Association’s “The Director”, a leading magazine for funeral industry professionals. Her article, entitled “Raise Your Firm Above The Pack”, offers tips for dealing with the many challenges of marketing a business in the 21st century and navigating through the clutter. While modern technology has made it easier than ever to communicate, connect and broadcast information, consumers have been pushed to a point of desensitization. Each day we are bombarded by thousands of marketing messages, advertisements and pieces of multimedia content. The unapologetic volume of it all can be overwhelming and tiresome which leads to a large portion being tuned out. Continue reading