What To Do If Your Competition is Driving You Crazy


One of the biggest challenges of the funeral profession today is getting a competitive edge, especially in today’s changing times.

Now more than ever, competition is fierce. In fact, in a recent study done called The State of Funeral Marketing, 40% of funeral professionals felt competition was their biggest challenge.

The good news is that thanks to the Internet, it doesn’t take a lot of time or money to research your competition and figure out how to stand out in the crowd.

So how do you make sure that you have an advantage over your competitors? Here are a few ways to get started.

1. First thing’s first…GET ONLINE!

There’s one simple truth, and it’s that if you’re not online and your competitor is, your competitor is likely taking a huge chunk of your potential business.

While word-of-mouth marketing is a great funeral marketing technique, you have to realize that your competition is likely accessible to families by computer, mobile phone, and a variety of other gadgets. So make sure you create a professional online presence that attracts families and educates them about the value of your services.

2. Get to Know Your Families’ Needs Better

Before you can improve your marketing, you’ll need to get to know your families better. Here are some questions you can likely answer from your interaction with families you have worked with:

– What state of mind are families in when they start researching funeral services?

– What questions do they need answered?

– What are their primary concerns about a funeral service?

– What are some reasons people have chosen your funeral firm?

– What types of services are they the most drawn to? Why?

– What are some reasons people have chosen your competitors?

– What other things do families need help with when they lose a loved one?

– What special needs need to be address to help families who have lost infants, children, siblings, spouses, or others unexpectedly?

– What additional resources do families need to help them through a time of loss?

Aside from looking at answers from your own experiences with families, you can reach out online in forums such as Quora, on social media sites, and even using survey tools like Survey Monkey to ask a broader online audience their opinions. Ask questions like what would help them most in the event that they lost a loved one or about funeral service experiences they liked and disliked.

Don’t forget to get opinions from visitors on your own site. A simple contact form or an easy to install popup like Qualaroo that asks “How can we help you?” could elicit insightful responses from your website visitors.

3. Create Content to Help Families Before and After the Loss of a Loved One

Once you have the answers to the questions above, your next goal will be to provide those answers to families through creating content. A great example of this is Posey Funeral Director’s resource page. Their resource section provides families with resources like a pre-planning guide and content that answers common questions like what to do when a death occurs.

Remember that you can use your online materials offline as well. Print these articles and give them to families who come through your doors and offer the content in brochures for families in-need at hospitals and hospices. This way you can demonstrate that your funeral home is there to help families in any way you can, proving that your value goes way beyond what you charge.

4. Learn From Your Competitors

One of the perks of the Internet is that you can learn about your competitors from the comfort of your desk. There are also lots of free tools that can help you learn more about your competitors both online and offline. Using these tools, you can easily find out what information they have on their website, what kinds of personalization they offer and get a handle on their unique selling points.

If you’re in a smaller town, you can go beyond your local competitors and look at funeral homes in bigger cities where they may have an even bigger budget to devote to their business. Be sure to note any strategies that you could see yourself applying to your own funeral home.

5. Don’t Copy – Innovate

The key to learning from your competitors is that you don’t want to become them – you want to become better than them. There’s a good chance that while you’re noting some of the good things they are doing, you’ll also notice some areas they need improvement on. Hopefully while researching your competition online, you will also come up with new ideas and ways to connect with families in your area.

6. Be Remarkable

If you want to go above and beyond your competition, be remarkable. Look at the things you can offer that your competition doesn’t, and be sure to let families know. If everyone in town only offers traditional funeral services, see if you can offer something more for those not interested in doing something traditional. Think about technology that might make a new generation of families more interested in your funeral home, such as offering webcasting for families who are spread throughout the country or even the world.

7. Turn Your Families Into Evangelists

Why do companies like Apple have a dedicated (rather large) group of brand evangelists? Because unlike their competitors, they create great products that  “Start with Why” as famous visionary Simon Sinek calls it. This idea is known as The Golden Circle, and the idea is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.

If your funeral home markets your products and services to families as a way to help them create healing experiences, you’ll connect with them in a way that other funeral home’s can’t. Apple, for example, sells the idea of “thinking different” when they market their products, rather than selling the idea of affordability or ease of use. In the end, if you stick to your funeral home’s “why” or mission, you’ll inevitably create brand evangelists.

To better understand the idea of “Starting with Why”, check out Simon Sinek’s video:


As you can see, it’s not hard to research your competition online. And, it’s even easier to get that advantage over your competitors if you’re always innovating and sticking to your mission. For more resources on getting that competitive advantage, check out some of these articles:

5 Reasons Your Competitor’s Website is Better than Yours
4 Free Tools to Research and Crush Your Competition
7 Things Your Families Wish You Knew About Them

Joe Joachim


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