I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what’s called the “Information Gap” — a surprising phenomenon in this age of information overload. Basically, the gap divides the “information haves” — those folks with access to information and the skills to use it, and the “information have-nots”, who (for one or more of three reasons) haven’t a clue. What’s so important about this gap? It’s where opportunity resides. And the emerging pet loss profession was born in this gap, and offers amazingly profitable opportunities for funeral professionals because it fills a growing need among pet owners.
Recently, I made a presentation to members of a few associations in the upstate New York area. I spoke with members about changing times in funeral service and expectations from today’s consumers, and some of the things I heard from attendees were not new to my ears. I actually hear many of these stumbling blocks when it comes to funeral homes using social media as I speak to the 20+ groups each year. So, I figured it was time to address them in a blog post.
OK. I’ve got a confession to make. Even though I’m only 59, and nowhere near retirement (like many Americans, for me that possibility is very remote), I’m a member of AARP, the American Association of Retired Persons.
Maybe they wore me down with regular direct mail promotions, or maybe I fell for the idea of receiving big discounts on products and services; either way, I’m a member. Not a proud member, necessarily, but a member nonetheless.(And chances are I’ll stay one until the bitter end; hopefully taking advantage of big travel discounts for all those international jaunts on my Bucket List.)
Remember when the best communication tools we had available to us–both as “common folk” and as funeral service professionals–were a pen or pencil, paper, envelope, and a stamp? I sure do. Back then, letter-writing was an art form, as was penmanship. Today, everything is different.
Thanks to technology, we’ve got more ways to communicate with one another than we often have time for—ways like email, and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Continue reading
The vision on which FrontRunner was built years ago—which continues to drive us forward into the future—involves a “strength-in-numbers” approach to serving the funeral profession. Leading a vast network of distribution and integration partners, FrontRunner has continued to set their bar higher every year, motivating leadership to seek out partnerships with innovative, cutting-edge businesses.
Just this month, FrontRunner’s President and CEO Kevin Montroy announced the formation of two such partnerships. “Partnering has proven itself one of the most powerful business tools for dealing with fast changing markets, technologies and customers—and if that doesn’t describe the funeral profession, I don’t know what does,” Kevin confided. “Change is everywhere you look, and our most recent partnerships will serve funeral firms very well by giving them new marketing and promotional options. Together, we can do more to offer funeral professionals innovative technology solutions of quality and value, at reasonable cost.” Continue reading
FrontRunner Professional and Continental Computers announces a strategic Development Partnership to release the new “Total Business Solution” — powered by Directors Assistant.
The partnership pairs FrontRunner’s industry-leading websites, personalization capabilities, revenue generators and strategic marketing initiatives with the power and performance of Continental’s Directors Assistant software to create a single, tightly-integrated product that will elevate funeral service software to its most advanced level yet. Continue reading
Company Spotlight: Neil Bardal Funeral, Inc. Funeral Centre
How successfully does your firm incorporate technology? A few months ago, we connected with Richard Rosin, of the Neil Bardal, Inc. Funeral Centre in Manitoba, Canada, to see what he had to say about the real value of technological funeral innovations—like webcasting, for example—to their firm. Why did we choose them?
Because the founder of the firm, Neil Bardal, was always looking for new, better ways of doing things, they are a very unusual firm—always ready to embrace new technology whenever they discover it. And they discovered webcasting early.
In fact, they recorded their very first service in the late 1980s, on behalf of the family of the deceased who were living in Australia. Since that time they continued to refine their webcasting services as technological advances and innovations were made. And all that effort has paid off. “Demand really started to pick up four years ago,” Richard confided, and the funeral home officially added webcasting to its list of services last summer. Continue reading
We have all seen the life insurance TV commercials airing across North America that say, “Funerals are expensive, and the price of an average funeral can cost over ten thousand dollars.” There is also the other version in which a gentleman explains with disbelief and shock in his voice, “A friend of mine died and the funeral cost over ten thousand dollars!”
As a funeral professional, you probably cringe and heave a deep sigh of frustration every time you see these commercials, which are usually aired during the prime time viewing hours. Rest assured that some of your families are listening to these advertisements because if the commercials weren’t effective, the insurance companies wouldn’t be running them in these expensive time slots. Continue reading
What’s the real value of marketing with social media and the
Web for funeral homes? Some funeral directors still believe that social media is a fad and some do not even have a website for their funeral homes. There are almost a billion people searching online. Without a website and social media presence, your funeral home is losing business every day.
The true value of social media and the web is its efficiency. It is the most advanced form of communication that we’ve ever seen.It’s marketing in the moment. You can use your funeral home website and social networks to reach out to your families and get immediate feedback; so that real relationships can form. Your website can provide valuable resources for families seeking death care information on pre-need or at- need services. Continue reading
We hear the same refrain over and over: this is a time of unprecedented change in our profession. It’s a time when funeral directors are doing their level best to deal with the two critical effects of these social, technological and economic shifts: declining revenues, and rising costs.
Both can undermine the financial success of any funeral home today, and crush the hopes and dreams of the funeral home owner and staff members. Is it any wonder they find themselves believing the assertions made by technology companies today? This willingness to believe has led many firms to select a funeral home website design with features they’ve been told families want and need. But are they really getting what their firm needs in a website? Continue reading