There was no better way to open the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s new complex in Cupertino, California on September 12, than with one of the company’s signature launch events. As millions watched on, the show started with a recording of the late CEO and luminary echoing throughout a dark room. It was a posthumous reminder of what has made the tech giant into one of the world’s most recognizable brands; their commitment to improving the human experience. When Tim Cook took over the spotlight from his predecessor, he continued with a tribute to Jobs, setting the stage for a monumental day. And monumental it was.
Breaking away from the usual model, the event did not release the standard line of expected products. Instead, not one but three phones were announced, including the iPhone X – to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the smartphone’s first edition. Additionally, viewers were privy to a new Apple Watch, a 4K version of Apple TV and a revamped operating system.
What does this mean for your funeral home? Well, with the new phones hitting the market just last week, we have created a list of 6 things your firm can learn from the latest release. These will help you get the most out of the technology, understand the devices families will be using and make your funeral home more appealing to the community on and offline.
Apple creates cool stuff, both useful and pleasing to the eye. However, what is more impressive than the products themselves, is the way in which the company makes them appealing to the masses. So pay close attention. You may want to consider picking up one of these devices to help with your funeral home marketing and get your firm acquainted with the latest devices being used by families. At the very least, you should gain an understanding of the technology that will be in the hands of so many consumers.
With so many people feverishly documenting their lives in photographs and posting them to social media channels or even using them for business, DIY Photography has never been more popular. In order to feed this trend, the new iPhone has, not one, but two cameras. With one of these devices, you would never have to hire a professional photographer again (I mean it). If you were thinking of updating your funeral home website with new images or want to be more active on social media, it may be time to take a closer look at Apple’s latest phone.
To continue singing the praises of the iPhone’s cameras, your funeral home could benefit greatly from adding video into the marketing mix. While this has previously been an expensive endeavour, it has recently become more affordable. The new iPhone makes shooting, producing and editing professional quality video easier than ever. Now you really can just point and shoot, with little practice. Also, if you feel like getting really into it, you can now create a time-lapse video from the palm of your hand, which could be very useful in showcasing lesser-seen processes in your business. I think it would be cool to see all of the work that goes into preparing a reception area, for example, and it would be even cooler to see in a short 10-second video.
While you ponder whether or not to get this new phone for you or your staff, remember that many people won’t wait. In fact, the iPhone X spawned crowds across the globe as people waited for their first crack at the gadget. While this may not have an immediate impact on your firm, you certainly want to remember that families will have increasingly advanced technology in their pockets. It has never been more important for you to have a responsive and mobile-friendly funeral home website. Everything matters, from your ranking on mobile search rankings and the hand-held user experience that your pages offer. Even if you are not in the market for a new phone, you better make sure that your digital presence is compatible with the latest model.
Like with the mobile-friendliness of your website, you should start paying more attention to hand-held technology trends. For example, Instagram is an extremely popular photo and video sharing platform that has over 800 million active monthly users. It is also one of many such mobile channels that families are using at increasing rates. Mobile technology has truly reshaped the way that consumers research and make their buying decisions. If you are not constantly staying ahead of mobile trends and using them to your funeral home’s advantage, then you will fall behind. Phones are not going to get any less advanced.
Like what I pointed out with the Instagram example, there are so many channels that you can use to connect with families. Even if it is not someone in the market to plan a funeral within the coming months, you want to be the firm they remember in the coming years. Staying top of mind in this way requires passionate attentiveness to as many channels as possible and that means creating several different types of informative, entertaining and engaging content. If you make a video, put it on Instagram, Facebook, put it on your website, throw it in an email, repurpose it as a blog post or all of the above. Your audience is no longer stationery and never will be again. Start playing to this, and put your content everywhere to increase the chances of it being seen, regardless of the channel.
With such powerful technology available in the hands of consumers, you will always and forever be shooting at a moving target. We are talking about a vast majority of people using their phones all day, every day to communicate, research and conduct business. You need to take every opportunity to tap into this use. Update them on what you are doing, constantly. It may seem like a steep hill to climb. But believe me, it is worth the initial struggle. If people have to look to hard for your message or brand, you will get lost in the mix. The new consumer never sleeps or steps away from their access to anything they need. After all, it is in their pocket. If the new iPhone release does anything for your firm, let it be the starting point for a new mobile-friendly focus across all aspects of your business.
Paying attention to the world’s biggest brands is perhaps the best way to learn how to connect with consumers. While this is useful for any business, it is especially important for funeral homes. With an increase in the number of funerals being planned by millennials and those who use mobile technology everyday, staying ahead of the curve has never been more crucial to future success. At FrontRunner, we always want to keep you in the know and make sure you never fall out of the loop. If you want to know more about the latest mobile technology or are looking to improve your funeral home marketing and technology, feel free to reach out to us at any time.
Brandon is the Marketing Communications Manager at FrontRunner Professional. He holds a Social Sciences degree from McMaster University and a Graduate Certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications from St. Lawrence College. His creative writing and innovative ideas bring new life to the company, FrontRunner’s clients and funeral directors world-wide.