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.
Sure consumers are afforded unlimited choice, however, important messages often get lost in translation and this presents quite a challenge for businesses attempting to vie for attention. According to Montroy, the key to breaking through all the clutter and connecting with your target audience is having a clear message and a plan to deliver it. Regardless of the saturated and repetitive world of marketing, some brands manage to consistently rise above everyone else. How do they do it? Well, there is no magic involved. Standing out from other brands is about being unique. Funeral homes already have an innate advantage in this respect: being a local business that employs members of the community you serve. Montroy prescribes 6 simple steps to working to this advantaged and ensuring your firm stands out from the competition.
Knowing exactly where your funeral home stands is a crucial first step to emerging from the pack as, well, a FrontRunner. Your positioning must be unique. Who are you? What do you do? What do you want to be known for? Once you have that figured out, deliver a message that showcases your best qualities, brings value to people’s lives and gives them something with which they can relate.
One of the best ways to develop solid branding with distinct delivery is to know what your competitors have to say. If someone were to pay attention to both, who would be more memorable? It is important to highlight what your firm offers that the other guys don’t.
It is crucial that you get a grasp on what people REALLY want from your funeral home. Take note of what people ask you for each day. Questions, concerns and feedback in general are invaluable resources for you. Know what families want and let them know that you can help. It’s that easy.
While focusing on your marketing message is important, your website is also a valuable asset that can help you shine. The days of having a website just for the sake of it are over. A great funeral home website, something we know very well, provides families all of the information they need to know that a particular firm is the right choice. When they search for the services you offer on Google, it should be your funeral home they find and your content should do the rest. A little unsure of what your families and potential families are typing into Google to find you? Read a former blog post of ours showing you how to use free Google tools to uncover what is searched and how often here: Stop Guessing & Start Seeing Results: Bring More Visitors to Your Website by Using the Words They Google.
This step is, above all else, the most crucial step you can take to establish a unique and authoritative space in the death care market. Take your message and build a strong social media strategy around it. Social networks are presently the best way to connect with consumers and be a part of their daily lives. Unto itself, social media has its own guidelines for building a strong brand. There are six crucial things to remember for success:
Ask For Involvement
One of the most underused marketing resources available to you is families that have already been served by your funeral home. These people know first hand what you do well and can speak to it. The reason most marketing or advertising messages are ignored is because they come across as sales driven. By mobilizing your existing customers you will have more opportunity to get noticed. Get people to review your business in public spaces like Yelp or Google and comment positively on your social media. This will not only help your search engine optimization, but it will broadcast positive messaging from consumer to consumer.
The most important thing at the end of the day is having a plan. With clear goals and a strategy to achieve them, you will be affording your funeral home the best chance to succeed. In recap, solidify your position, know what the other guys are doing, understand your customers needs, have a great website, have a great social media presence and make use of your existing customers. This may be a large adjustment from your existing efforts but will make a big difference. Give it a try, trust us, other firms will be wishing they did the same.
If you need help standing out in the crowd and truly being the FrontRunner in your community, contact one of our team members at 1-866-748-3625 or visit us online to see how we put technology and marketing to work for you.
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.