There is an interesting trend developing in the funeral industry. With a growing number of businesses vying to offer essential services such as website development, memorialization and marketing services, all while trying to grow their business, it has become quite common to find funeral homes with several different service providers, all running with mixed messaging and heaps of wasted time.
We’ve learned this: while funeral homes have the ability to pick and choose where to get the best deal, saving a few bucks a month is often doing more harm than good in the long run. Though saving money here and there by using one company for your website, one for your marketing and another for your stationery, DVD and other business solutions needs may seem like a good idea, it takes away from the overall brand and success of your funeral home, not to mention the time it takes to get the job done.
Think about how many times you enter the same family and deceased information. You probably enter into your website, then type it into all of your needed forms, then populate your stationery pieces and the list goes on and on and before you know it you’ve spent hours doing redundant data entry. Now add on the marketing side of your business, where in all honesty, most funeral homes simply don’t know how to keep their website fresh, market themselves using social media and because of this, they struggle with all that is in front of them.
So, What is the Solution?
Funeral homes need a complete full-service offering so they could spend less time doing paperwork and trying to figure out today’s marketing and spend more time doing what they do best, helping families who are in need. Says who? Our roots as a technology, website and marketing provider have given us over 20 years of experience in understanding exactly what helps funeral homes become the FrontRunner in their service area.
A full-service solution offers funeral homes one complete website and management solution and a fully integrated marketing and business growth strategy to give them one point of data entry and one single, integrated message across the board. Sounds smart, right?
It is important to understand what may be costing you in both time, money, and success if you are using many different providers to get the job done.
Having your website and business system completely integrated will not only save you time, but it will save you a ton of money. Money that could be spent on things like social media advertising and Google AdWords campaigns to actually generate you more business. Even without getting into the nerdy tech mumbo jumbo, a full-service system will take care of the time consuming tasks needed to get the job done. It’s time to start working smarter instead of harder.
In this day and age there is nothing more important than having an informative, attractive and useful website that generates you results. Families need to be able to answer questions at any time, day or night, and most turn to Google. But is your website being found? While your website may have great information, it is important to have marketing and web development on the same page so that website shines. Your website is the most important asset your business has in this day and age and as a result it should be the center of your marketing strategy, but it definitely can’t just stop there.
By having a technology and marketing partner in control of your website and marketing content, you will be able to ensure that families receive a consistent message from your firm across all channels. It is important, especially in the funeral industry, to build trust and establish meaningful relationships with consumers. The best thing you can do for families is be straightforward, consistent and direct in your messaging. It will go a long way. Having one company manage your website, another manage your social media marketing and another manage your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is like having three key executives in your business trying to build a business together without ever having a conversation with each other. It just doesn’t work and we’ve seen it first hand!
Data is a tricky thing even if you are not pulling from several different sources. If you have different website and marketing providers, it is difficult to develop a complete and accurate picture of how everything is going and what is working vs. not working. Knowing how families find your firm and understanding what specifically brought them to contact you is a key component of improving your business. Making sense of several different reports that don’t speak to each other will never be clear enough to plan for the future, let alone positively impact your call volume.
Consistent messaging and reporting is only the tip of the full-service iceberg. Imagine having the ability to target specific audiences, with specific messages and show people exactly what they want to see. Instead of putting stuff out there and hoping for the best, you can take consumers on the exact journey that will bring them to pick up the phone or walk through the door, with one integrated message everywhere they see you.
It is impossible to fully optimize a website unless you have access to the back-end or the ability to edit it. If your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and website provider are different, you will likely face an uphill battle to be a top result on Google – also known as the 21st century measure of success. In addition, your social media should reflect the message you want being broadcast, which is hard to do if it’s not in line with your core messaging. Why have different people controlling your digital assets? In my mind, it just doesn’t make sense to do. Maybe you haven’t experienced any problems per say, but there is plenty to be said for fully integrated marketing working seamlessly with your website. This is your online brand and should be treated as one.
This is the main reason a full-service provider with one complete system is the best decision for the future of your firm. The fact is most funeral homes do not have a web development, marketing or business system department in-house. So these assets are handled one of two ways: outsourcing the work to various businesses or having your staff working around the clock to get the job done (and even sometimes they put it on the back-burner because their just too busy which doesn’t help grow or sustain your business). Having specialized experts working on your website, another team of experts working on your social media and SEO is like having a much larger in-house team, for a lot less than you’d think.
Is it time for an All-in-One Provider?
We hear time and time again from funeral directors that having one solution for all of their business needs has allowed their firms to navigate the digital age without sacrificing what matters most, the quality of service provided to grieving families. You may have heard rumblings about our Exclusive Client Program aimed at answering this call from the industry. Want to know more about what we’re doing? Check out how the FrontRunner Difference is going to change the game.
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.