8 Facts On Baby Boomers That Could (And Should) Change Your Funeral BusinessJune 23rd, 2015
A great American novel once said “you’ll never really understand a person until you consider his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” And this couldn’t be anymore true for marketing your funeral home, too.
If you take a walk in a Baby Boomer’s shoes, there’s a lot of small details you might notice about how they think, purchase, communicate, and perceive your marketing. And today, we’re going to do just that. We’re jumping into a Baby Boomer’s point of view and looking at 8 facts that you need to know in order to effectively communicate with them, and get those shoes walking through your front door.
Fact #1: In less than five years, 50 percent of the U.S. population will be over the age of 50
We knew the Baby Boomers were coming, but did you know how many of them you should be expecting? Yeah… try half of the population. Oh, and did we mention that they’ll control 70 percent of the nation’s disposable income within the next five years? Think about the kind of opportunities you’re dealing with here. All the statistics are telling us that funeral service is on the decline, but if we, as a profession, play our cards right and learn to adapt to the needs of the Baby Boomers, things could change around here. There is a world of opportunity coming our way, we just have to be ready to welcome them.
Fact #2: The Baby Boomers are the “Me” generation
The most obviously true fact here is also the most important one. With a generation who grew up in the world of the Beatles, psychedelics and the Vietnam War, “self-fulfillment” and “self-realization” are huge themes deeply rooted in their psyche. And just like you’ve been reading on the news and seeing at your funeral home over the last few years, they want their funerals to be an event that is all about them. And we don’t mean that in a selfish way either. In an article we published last year, we found that Baby Boomer’s wanted their funerals to be their “crowning performance” to a life well lived. That means they want to be the star, but also the director, the DJ and the stylist, and heck, some Baby Boomers are even introducing props into their funerals (think Star Wars, kitchen-scenes and bowling alleys). The bottom line? Your Boomer families are going to want a lot more than the average funeral, and if you haven’t drilled that into your head just yet, it’s time to!
(Source: Gallup poll)
Fact #3: Baby Boomers who were born between 1946-1955 are spending more money on things they want, rather than things they need
This sounds like great news for anyone whose target audience is Baby Boomers, but there’s one question to ask: is a funeral something that Baby Boomers want, or need? If you’re trying to sell them on a casket, cremation options or the typical doom-and-gloom funeral package, this is probably going to be seen as a “need” rather than a “want.” But, if you sell your Baby Boomers on the “dream” – that is, a meaningful way to celebrate their life – their tune might change a bit. So rather than focusing on the nitty gritty details of burial options, focus on the dream. Get them to imagine the final event of their life, the event that will leave their legacy with their loved ones.
(Source: Emerald Insight)
Fact #4: 80% of purchase decisions among Baby Boomers are driven by practical reasons
Baby Boomers, in general, are a pretty practical generation, so their spending habits are pretty practical, too. This means that they’re looking for cold hard facts – or value-driven statements – to get them to choose your funeral home’s services. It all starts with finding out how your services add value to your beloved Boomers, then finding ways to effectively communicate it to them. We came up with a pretty solid 5-step process for showing your value to families in the article Value Vs. Price: What’s More Important to Your Families?, so be sure to check it out so you know what your Boomers want to hear when they ask you about your offerings.
Fact #5: Boomers represent one-third of all social media users
These days, it seems like everyone’s mother, brother, grandmother, and even great grandmother is on Facebook. So it should come with no surprise that Baby Boomers are spending a great deal of time on social media websites, too. They aren’t always the early adapters to new social-driven technologies, but once these technologies, networks and products go mainstream, Boomers are the ones who really drive a lot of them. So if your business is geared more and more towards online users, plan on Baby Boomers catching on and driving the success of your online business.
Fact #6: 89% of people aged 65 and up have a personal e-mail account that they use regularly
Since email is such a widely used medium among Baby Boomers, why not find ways to integrate this helpful medium into your marketing strategy? Now, we’re not talking about spamming them with your sales material each day, but you could send them emails about personalized ways they can celebrate their life, community events you’re hosting, or a blog article you recently wrote. The goal is to establish a connection with them online so that they trust you. Because in reality, who buys anything from someone they don’t trust?
Fact #7: On average, Baby Boomers spend 174 hours a month watching television
While online marketing and advertising is certainly the way of the future, it is true that Baby Boomers still watch more TV than any other generation… except the Traditionalists (65+) who log 205 hours a month watching the tube. Why? Because the Boomer generation simply doesn’t have time (and they really don’t want to) sit down and read an in-depth, long, complicated article that requires them to scan around for the information they are looking for. Instead, they want it to be handed to them, in an easy-to-digest format. This is why many Boomers would rather watch a video that educates them about their products, rather than read a long chunk of website text about it. And this is why you, as a funeral professional, should be hosting educational videos on your website that explain your services.
Fact #8: One-third of Baby Boomers shop online and the 50+ segment spends almost $7 billion digitally
Why do Baby Boomers go online? Mostly to enrich their lives, and that means online shopping is something they’re not shy about when it comes to spending their hard earned dollars. Does your funeral home have an online store? Maybe a sympathy store that offers flowers and gifts? If so, don’t be shy about telling your families about it. Chances are it will make their lives a lot easier because it’s an added convenience. Plus, it’s another source of revenue for you. The best of both worlds!
Well, my friends, comes the fun part. It’s time to take this helpful information and apply it to everything from your marketing to your services. Particularly when it comes to bringing your funeral home into the digital age through online shopping and educational websites. Because, let’s face it, if your families aren’t finding value and education in your services through your funeral home website, they’re going to go to your one of your competitors that does give them this information.
After all, if there’s one thing we learned over the years, the funeral profession is sort of like the survival of the fittest. If you’re not adapting to this new world of consumers we live in, what’s the point?
To learn more about how your funeral home can turn these Baby Boomer facts into educational, powerful assets that bring families to you, check out f1Connect today. With educational videos, powerful pre-planning resources, and an e-commerce store that links your families to beautiful sympathy gifts (all without leaving your website), f1Connect is the powerful online solution you have been looking for.
How have you most successfully connected with your Baby Boomer families – both online and off? Tell us about it in the comments below!