28 Eye-Popping Stats that Reveal the Future of Funeral Marketing

…the Internet has turned what used to be a controlled, one-way message into a real-time dialogue with millions.”

– Fast Company

The Decline of Traditional Marketing

As the Baby Boomers continue to flock to the Internet, the marketing channels we’ve always used are becoming less effective and more irrelevant. The decline of traditional or “outbound” marketing is a result of our families’ behaviors shifting. They used to select a funeral home because they saw an ad in Yellow Pages, but now 97% of families are turning to the web to find reputable local businesses.

1. 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds have left a website because of intrusive advertising.
2. 44% of direct mail is never opened.
3. Less than half of businesses see Yellow book advertising as an effective method.
4. 86% of people skip television ads.

 

…And The Rise of the Internet

The Internet has changed the way your families search, shop and purchase goods and services. In this day and age, if your funeral home isn’t online, it almost doesn’t exist to a lot of families. Having a website and a social media presence is now seen as a pillar of success for many businesses, and the same should be true for funeral service.

5. By the end of 2012, there will be 239 million people in the U.S. online, representing 75.6% of the total population. That’s 3/4 of the total population!
6. 1/3 of U.S. consumers spend 3+ hours online every day.
7. 88.1% of U.S. internet users ages 14+ browse or research products online in 2012.
8. Today, 46% of daily Internet searches are for information on products or services and 20% of Google’s monthly searches are for local businesses.
9. 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo – making SEO (search engine optimization) more important than ever.

 

Funeral Marketing Today

Unfortunately, many funeral professionals have not begun to address the changing needs of families. Could funeral service be experiencing declining revenues and higher cremation rates because we’re not leveraging new marketing channels to better communicate our value to families? Possibly. While ¾ of our population is online, 1 in 5 funeral homes are still not online, and less than half of funeral homes are using social media.

10.  Only 5% of funeral homes report having a blog.
11. Only 47% of funeral firms report using social media.
12. 30% of those who don’t use social media say it’s because they don’t know how, while 23% say they don’t have the time.
13. 81% of funeral homes have a website, but not all of them consider their website to be a marketing channel.
14. The top 3 areas funeral professionals plan on improving are: Preneed sales, selling more services to cremation families and their messaging to price shoppers.
15. The 3 most popular marketing channels used by funeral professionals are websites, Yellow Page ads and newspaper ads.

 

In the graph below, you’ll notice that funeral service is using more traditional, intrusive marketing channels, instead of focusing on social media and the Internet to educate families.

 

Meet Inbound Marketing

To provide families with the information they need to make a purchasing decision, many progressive funeral homes have transitioned to inbound marketing. Inbound marketing can be defined as “marketing focused on getting found by your customers.” It brings a huge opportunity to the funeral profession because it allows you to establish a relationship, build trust, and prove service value before families ever walk through your door.

Some examples of  inbound marketing:

– Blogs
– Social Media
– Educational Content (i.e. Preplanning Guides)
– Search Engine Optimization

16. Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional, outbound marketing!
17. Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors- 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog.
18. 200 million Americans have registered on the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list.
19. Research shows that previously engaged prospects spend up to 20% more based on familiarity, confidence and pre-established trust.

 

As you can see below, inbound marketing is much more effective, result-oriented and affordable than outbound marketing.

 

 

Social Media

With social media being the #1 activity on the web today, there’s a huge opportunity to provide more value to your client families. Integrating social media into your funeral home website & your marketing plan will draw more traffic to your website and expand your reach beyond the local community, increasing awareness to your business.

20. Social media is the #1 activity on the web today
21. Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing
22. 80% of social network users prefer to connect to brands through Facebook
23. By 2015 brands will be generating 50% of their web sales through social media and mobile platforms with a projection of $30 billion.
24. 47% of funeral firms say they are using social media. Of those using social media, 43% of the funeral firms say they use Facebook, followed by 11% who use LinkedIn and 9% who say they use Twitter. For those who aren’t currently using social media, 30% of respondents say they’d like to, but don’t know how, and 23% said they don’t have time.
25. 67% of B2C companies and 41% of B2B companies have acquired a customer through Facebook.
26. 42% of companies have acquired a customer through Twitter.
27. 83% of people who complained on Twitter liked or loved a response by the company.
28. 78% of women are happy to share what brand they prefer, compared to 74% of men.

Unfortunately, with 53% of funeral firms not using social media, it appears there is some confusion as to how to use social media to reach their families.

 

Conclusion

We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in & be what people are interested in.”
Craig Davis, J. Walter Thompson

Building relationships and developing word-of-mouth recommendations has always been the foundation of marketing for funeral homes. That hasn’t changed. What has changed are the channels that help you do so effectively based on the new habits and preferences of your families.

These statistics aren’t meant to intimidate or scare you. They’re meant to empower you. Why? Because this is a time of change, and that’s exciting for the funeral profession. If you leverage tools like the Internet and social media, you’ll realize you can achieve the goals you’ve always had… just in a cheaper, efficient and more effective manner.

 

What are your funeral home’s biggest marketing challenges? Share your thoughts!

 

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Sources:

http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30495/25-Eye-Popping-Internet-Marketing-Statistics-for-2012.aspx
http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/4416/Inbound-Marketing-the-Next-Phase-of-Marketing-on-the-Web.aspx#ixzz2AFSEcaFK
http://www.jeffbullas.com/2012/07/24/72-fascinating-social-media-marketing-facts-and-statistics-for-2012/#zbdd5Xu8TgurYWTL.99
http://thesocialskinny.com/100-social-media-mobile-and-internet-statistics-for-2012/

http://blog.hubspot.com/Portals/249/docs/ebooks/the_2012_state_of_inbound_marketing.pdf
2011 State of Funeral Marketing (funeralOne)

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Joe Joachim

funeralOne

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  1. Cathryn Murdoch

    I am pleased to say that Allison Monkhouse have recently relaunched their web site which incorporates a blog. From a branch perspective, creating and linking into local community events is invaluable – our Christmas Remembrance Services are open to everyone in our community and are valued and supported. Working inconjunction with my local council is paramount as this also gives me access to their resources (i.e. social media team) and event calendars on their site’s which enable me to reach a different demographic.

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  10. landon

    xx