Embracing The Tech Habits of Americans Age 50 and Older

As a funeral director, there are PLENTY of hats to wear when serving your client families.

And in today’s times, the technology hat is becoming a more and more important one to wear.

For many, technology might not be your strong suit at your funeral home.

In fact, according to our survey at ICCFA this year, a lot of funeral professionals pointed out that technology was one of their biggest challenges to adapting to the families of today.

But in all reality, tech is the name of the game these days. And since we’re in the business of helping you support your families, we want to make this a learning opportunity for all of us… as a profession.

We dug up some research on the tech habits of Americans 50 and older (including our beloved Baby Boomers) and we want to share it with you! So, get ready to be inspired and check out these 15 statistics to help you better serve your families online.

 

Habit #1: Families are connecting through technology

One thing is for sure – in this fast paced, long distance era, technology is the ultimate communication channel. In fact, when 1,520 people 50+ were asked “How do you stay connected with friends and family?”, here’s what they said:

  1. 91% say they use technology in general
  2. Of those, 86% use text messaging to connect
  3. 87% connect with others through email
  4. And finally, 72% use social media to connect

 

It’s also worth noting that since 2011, the social media activity of this demographic has increased 112% (#5)!

What to make of this: If you think that families want to only connect via the phone or in person to decide they want to choose your funeral home, it might be time to revisit that opinion. It seems that email, text and social media might give you additional channels to build trust with families before they walk in your door. Do you have email campaigns set-up? A newsletter? Fresh content going out on social media? If not, consider making a small marketing campaign, and notice how your community reacts.

 

Habit #2: They’re online, but they’re less mobile

Your families are using tech to communicate, but where are they hanging out? Where can you connect with them? These stats might shine some light on that for you. When asked HOW they use technology and social media, here’s what potential families had to say:

  1. 92% of Americans use a laptop or desktop
  2. 70% of respondents use a smartphone
  3. 43% use a tablet
  4. 23% use an e-reader
  5. 7% use a home assistant

 
Another interesting fact that came up in the report is that adults age 70+ are more likely to use a traditional desktop computer than Americans age 50-69 (#11).

What to make of this: Since more of your potential client families aged 50+  are likely to be researching your funeral home on a laptop than a smartphone, consider the content of your funeral home website. Since your families are more stationary on their laptop (compared to mobile users), be sure to include content on your site that keeps them engaged – such as videos, interactive tools, and blogs. If your families can receive real value from you before they walk in your doors, you know you’ve done your job.
 

Habit # 3: Families want to learn through video

How do you prefer to get to know companies and services that you choose? According to a recent research report done on Baby Boomers and their social media habits, Boomer’s favorite media is video, with their top social media channel being Youtube (68% use it).

Here are their other top preferred channels:

  1. 65% use Facebook
  2. 26% use Pinterest
  3. 24% use LinkedIn

 
What to make of this: Youtube is the very clear winner in the social media game for Baby Boomers, so consider this channel as a top priority for your next marketing strategy. What could you create on Youtube that offers value to families, and doesn’t just sell to them? The great thing about creating valuable videos on Youtube, is that you can use all of them to create an entire library of educational content on your funeral home website.

 

Habit # 4: They could find great benefit online pre-planning

Potential senior clients could see HUGE value in a way to pre-plan their funerals online. In our research, we found that smartphone users age 60-69 are using their phones more and more to manage their medical care (#15). So, if they’re already using their smartphone for highly important matters such as health and medical care, so planning ahead online could feel natural for them as well.

What to make of this: How easy is it for your families to pre-plan from your funeral home website? Consider a funeral home website platform that makes pre-planning an easy-to-follow process for them. Invest time and energy into this realm, because this is the realm we see funeral professionals exploding their perceived value in. Remember this when choosing content for your pre-planning resources: it’s not about selling, it’s about engaging families and providing value.

Posey Funeral Directors has a library of resources for families who want to begin the process of pre-planning as well as an online pre-planning form.

 

With new habits, comes an opportunity to adapt

We are at a pinnacle time in the funeral profession. As habits change, we have the opportunity to adapt. Of course, we don’t need to chase trend. But, it’s becoming more and more clear how much value we can offer as a profession online.

Where are you focusing your efforts when it comes to attracting and supporting families, outside of the service? Hopefully, these statistics  have given you some inspiration to refocus and find new ways to stand out in your community as a RESOURCE, not just a funeral home.

 

And now, a statistic just for you

We did some research on the performance of our f1Connect Website Platform, and found that those funeral homes who use their pre-planning tools on their site (ie. The Talk of A Lifetime) exploded their pre-need leads as much as 2000%!

That’s an opportunity right there. Want to explode your pre-need leads, and starting LEADING with value, thanks to your funeral home website platform? Click here to talk to one of our Funeral Success Specialists today!

Skip Willoughby

funeralOne

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