Ashley Montroy, Marketing Director at FrontRunner Professional, has committed herself to helping funeral professionals understand and excel in today’s digital age. With a long-standing history in the funeral business and her father being a licensed funeral director for over 30 years; she grew up learning the family funeral business. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree from Carleton University and diploma from Algonquin College. Today, she continues to speak to over 15 state and provincial funeral association groups each year on funeral marketing in the digital age and protecting funeral firms online using experiences and examples from working with thousands of funeral homes in North America through FrontRunner Professional.
If there is one thing we know about today’s consumers as learned in part 1, it’s that they expect businesses to be online and give them choices. Is there any point to having a funeral website if it is buried deep in the search engines? Sure, you’d get some traction from offline marketing efforts like your business card with your website listed, but you probably want to have the absolute best plan to use what your researching families are looking for to get more business, right?
Death care can arguably be one of the toughest services to market to people. At least this is the case for many funeral homes who have done things a certain way for so long. After all, it can be challenging to start a discussion with people on a topic they’re usually actively trying to avoid thinking about. As a funeral professional, you’re great at putting people’s minds at ease and ensuring that all of their needs are taken care of. Once you’re in front of a family and telling them how you can help, that’s where you really shine. The tricky part is getting face to face or just in general contact with a consumer, and this can sometimes seem out of your control. The good news is, it is very much in your control, and in this post we’re going to help you identify who your customers are and how you can use this information to get more business. Let’s make that happen!
As 2015 comes to an end, we look back and reflect on things that have happened over the course of a year – and my what a year it has been! If someone were to ask our strategy team some of the biggest things that came to light this past year in the funeral profession and what funeral homes should be aware of in the online world, they’d probably say that the online world has opened a funeral homes door to more than just those in their community – they’ve been exposed to the web. While that is a great thing for their business and they get more business from this, it is also a scary thing if a funeral home isn’t on it’s A-game, knowing how their firm looks online. It’s time for Funeral Homes to watch their obituaries online and know who, what, when and why companies take their obituaries and treat them like their own. It’s a practice that has surfaced in 2015 and is only going to get worse. Continue reading →
We’re in an age where consumers want a business to take them by the hand and guide them to any and all information they seek about a product or service, online. Despite how this may sound, it’s actually a good thing. Instead of having to throw funeral home marketing against a wall and hope for some of it to stick, consumers are looking to gather info on their own. The only challenge is making sure the info is simply accessible and hyper-relevant to what they’re looking for. Luckily, your funeral home website can be put to work to easily tackle these tasks.
There are some simple methods you can use to spoon feed customers the exact content they’re looking for. By looking at your funeral home website from a different perspective, your funeral home’s online presence can be more than just another way to get a company phone number or obituaries. It can be your community’s resource for death care education. Your funeral website may be filled with great content, but you need to take an extra step to guide your community to where they want to be. Continue reading →
Attention all FrontRunner clients, this post is for you and it’s full of great enhancements to the Book of Memories program coming Wednesday, November 11th! Everyone loves to know their feedback is being heard and because of the great feedback from our great clients like you, we’ve made the Book of Memories that much better. Our team has been hard at work over the past few months to add some new features into the Book of Memories tribute pages. Our staff comes up with some great ideas, but tapping into the minds our clients is priceless. After all, who better to help us improve our systems, than the people who use them day in and day out?
This particular batch of enhancements is surrounding the Book of Memories online memorials and includes features for both administrators and users/the families you serve:
1. Scroll Through Multiple Photos vs. Just One at a Time.
It’s almost that time of the year again! The time where thousands of funeral professionals from around the world gather in one place to learn what they need to do to take their business to a new level and see the latest products and services available to them on the expo floor; all while catching up with old friends that they may not have seen since the year before. Last year, it all happened in Nashville, TN – a favorite to MANY who I spoke to! And this year, we’re gearing up for Indianapolis, IN with about a month to go!
For those who have not been to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) annual convention and expo, it’s an event that’s just as fun as it is educational. With this particular year, there is so much to take in so here’s a little guide from someone who has been going to this national show for many, many years! Continue reading →
Last week, I had the pleasure of sitting in on a cremation presentation at the New York State Funeral Directors Association Convention. The title of the presentation was “All Cremations DO NOT Have to be DIRECT” by Mike Nicodemus; VP of Cremation Services with the National Funeral Directors Association, and let me tell you it was just as educational for me as it was entertaining. For those of you who have sat in on a presentation with Mike, it’s hard not to have a good laugh in there at some point. Or, as one of my colleagues who was with me, Jules Green said, “even for a squirrel like me, that was very, very interesting and I stayed focused. Who would have thought?”
It’s always great being on the other end of these presentations. Usually, I am the one at the front of the room teaching funeral directors, but this time I was there to learn and it was so nice to take some time to just listen to some incredible stats and listen and watch funeral directors in the room share their insights on such a growing topic.
I always say that you can use the Internet to get a message out to the masses, instead of just 100 people in a room. So, what a perfect opportunity to write a blog post on some of the things that I heard during the session and chuckled about (as some of it was quite comical). Let’s do a little recap of some of the major points that I personally thought were pretty important:
Providing families with great service is a funeral director’s number one priority. As such, we at FrontRunner are constantly looking for ways to help you improve and expand your service options and we are so pleased to announce another expansion to the Book of Memories. Through a partnership with Remembering Books, you are now able to print your online Book of Memories content into stunning hard-copy books for families to have days, months and even years after the service.
These funeral register books are very customizable and beautifully designed. Multiple copies can be easily created with no tools required, providing families with a product they will be proud to have on display in their home. Watch the video below to see just how easy it is to bring a deceased’s Book of Memories to life!
Next month marks FrontRunner’s one-year anniversary in our brand new offices. It is hard to believe that we have already been at our new location for almost one year, but where it has come is truly unbelievable.When we first started looking to expand to a larger location, it was a task that seemed next to impossible. At the time, our team was split between two offices and it lost it’s “FrontRunner team” feel. We knew that we had to bring everyone back under one roof. So, we looked and looked and looked. Finally, a beautiful 6,500 square foot commercial condo right on Kingston’s waterfront came on the market and we saw the perfect opportunity to not only have the best office space, but also to build a Technology Center for clients and funeral professionals to be able to come and learn about using technology and marketing to truly grow their business. Continue reading →
Dealing with loss is often the most difficult time for the family and friends involved. On top of dealing with the death itself, there are so many other factors involved that people in their state of distress would rather not deal with. One of these factors is often travel. About 10% of funeral attendees travel from over 50 miles away to visit the service. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could help take care of any travel accommodations for these grieving travelers without having to do anything? Well as a FrontRunner client, you now can.