I love getting junk mail!
I watch television for the commercials!
You know, billboards really look great along Main St; I can’t imagine my drive without them!
Listening to the radio wouldn’t be the same without commercials.
Hey Janet, what awesome ads did you see in the newspaper this morning?
The above statements are things that, literally, have never been said, and yet, we continue to push content down the consumer’s throat using broken delivery outlets.
Ok, before you stop reading, I am in no way saying 100% of your marketing budget should be spent on social media and specifically Facebook. But I do want to paint you a picture as to why Facebook is the perfect outlet for preneed marketing. The sheer reason Facebook was created, maps perfectly for how a funeral home or cemetery should market.
Facebook is not a sales platform, which is why it is the perfect environment for preneed sales. Sounds crazy, right? Keep reading, and ill prove this with 3 points below.
Facebook in non-invasive
In marketing terms, Facebook is Pull media versus Push media. The primary difference between push and pull marketing lies in how consumers are approached. In push marketing, the idea is to promote products by pushing them onto people. For example, your billboards or newspaper ads are pushed to the consumer. They didn’t subscribe to the newspaper to see your content or ever ask the billboard company to place your ad in their views of the landscape on their drive. They can’t turn off those ads - but they are getting significantly better as consumers at being able to ignore these types of push media. We can change the radio station; we can DVR and fast-forward television commercials.
On the other hand, in pull marketing, the idea is to establish a loyal following and draw consumers to your products and services. Facebook is a combination of PUSH vs. PULL. Yes, we can pay to place ads in the newsfeed of targeted consumers in your community, but once that happens, they are in full control. They can turn ads from your funeral home or cemetery off. They can choose to engage with those ads and your page, which is done through value exchange. Your content has to be valuable and speak directly to that consumer’s needs, interests, or wants. No one is making the consumer engage around your content, that is done 100% voluntarily. No one is making them follow/like your page or comment on your posts - you have PULLED them into your funnel on their own free will. They have chosen to give Facebook the green light on seeing more of your content.
This one just makes pure sense. Facebook IS and will always remain a relationship based platform. It was built to provide a place for people to connect, and yes, it was built to help Zucks get girls. It was NOT created to be a sales platform. That being said, marketers ruin everything - I can say this because, well, I’m a marketer and part of the problem. When marketers see 2.5 billion people on a single platform, our brains begin finding ways to SELL to those people.
Good and, perhaps, great, marketers find a way to sell that doesn’t feel like selling, and that my friends is the sweet-spot where funeral homes and cemeteries can win. When you can use a platform for the way, it was originally intended, for relationships, and learn how to sell from the position of a relationship and not a direct selling message push. Remember, as I said above, this is PULL vs. PUSH.
Relationships are the secret sauce for funeral homes and cemeteries. The funeral profession is relationship-based. Facebook is the perfect platform. Really! Think about it, when was the last time you struck up a relationship with a company or brand because of a direct-mail campaign, commercial, billboard, newspaper, or radio ad? Be honest, think of the last time you saw a billboard driving down Main Street that really connected with all your ‘feels’ and sparked a deep relationship with that headshot of ‘Rick’ from Bed Bugs Be Gone? We all know that hasn’t happened, yet we still continue to dump money into places where the well has run dry.
You’re probably wondering why relationships are so valuable, right? Let me throw a few research stats at your brains:
According to funeral directors surveyed by NFDA - 80% of funeral home business is relationship-driven. Meaning, 80% of your families have some measure of relationship with you personally, other team members, or the brand. They might be personal connections you or your team members have or family members of families you have served in the past and even extended families members of those families. Whatever it is, 80% of your families have some kind of relationship with the funeral home. So, if 80% of your business is based on relationships, then how in the heck can we ignore relationships when marketing? Look, I listen to a bunch of Preneed marketers and marketers in general in this profession, and no one, literally, not a single sole, is talking about marketing to build relationships. Ok, on to stat number two, and then I’ll pull it all together.
According to the 2018 NFDA Consumer Survey - 90.4% of families shop 0-1 funeral home when making arrangements, and the top two reasons families choose a funeral were proximity to the funeral home and relationship with the funeral home. So what does this tell us? Less than 10% of the market is actually price shopping, and when they are, they most often choose the first funeral home they contact, as long as that funeral home doesn’t fumble on the goal line.
Alright, now to tie these two stats together: based on the data that we have and if we use the space between our ears, we can conclude that if your funeral home or cemetery can build a relationship with the consumer, and they live in proximity to your location, there is a 90.4% chance that you’re going to get the call.
With numbers that high, how can you afford to ignore and not go all-in on the largest relationship-building platform on the planet that you have access to in your front jeans or suit pocket? Seriously, answer that question.
It’s all in the stats
Most funeral homes and cemeteries are skeptics of Facebook, even though you yourselves are the exact demographic that is most profitable for you to market too, and you yourselves don’t even engage on the platforms you’re spending 95% of your marketing budget. When was the last time you opened the yellow pages, watched a commercial, or listened to the radio and didn’t change the station when a commercial came on?
75% of people in the US over the age of 45 (your most profitable demographic to market too) are on Facebook, and the competition, in terms of other funeral homes or cemeteries trying to engage them online and via Facebook, is slim to none. You have the ability to own the online conversation in your market. If you don’t, someone else will.
The process of using strategic engaging relationship-building content on Facebook to drive preneed and at-need call volume has been proven to work over and over. I have included the details of one particular case study from a DISRUPT Media client below:
- $5000 campaign budget over a six month period
- Actual spend was $4838.15
- Targeted market size: 150,000
- 150 total leads
- $32.25 cost per lead
- $127,954 it total preneed sales from leads
That’s a 26X return on investment - has a traditional marketing campaign ever produced results like this for you?
We live in a time where platforms are available that allow us to connect and build one-on-one relationships at scale. All you need is the correct strategy and content. Not all content is created equal. The content needs to be authentic and organic. Just posting obituaries and grief and inspirational quotes won’t do it. When the correct proven process is followed, it works every single time. Stop settling for ‘breaking even’ on direct mail campaigns and start building real relationships that instill trust and transparency. When you have that, then you can drive leads and grow market share.
Learn more about DISRUPT Media’s proven strategy process: http://www.disruptmedia.co/demo
Ryan Thogmartin is a deathcare entrepreneur, the CEO of DISRUPT Media and creator of ConnectingDirectors.com | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of web shows DISRUPTu!, FUNERAL Hustle and FUNERAL Nation TV | Napkin Game Plan Podcast Host | Lover of Skittles
Most deathcare companies struggle with Facebook marketing. We provide a process for creating personalized Facebook content that will drive community engagement and measurable leads, ensuring growth and profitability.
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