Is TV Advertising Right For You?

I’ve had a bunch of emails from funeral home owners over the past couple of weeks asking my opinion on television advertising. Apparently, one of the big marketing firms in the industry is doing a big push on this subject.

I thought I’d share my views to my blog followers.

First, I am definitely not opposed to television advertising. It can a good method to reach our target audience.

However…..there are 3 key things you must do right if you are going to get any return on this investment.

#1 fix your message first

Are you unique in your market? Is there something you can say that other funeral homes cannot? If not, then you need to fix that problem before you spend any money on any form of advertising including TV.

In the first 5 seconds of a TV ad you need to immediately communicate how you are different from any other funeral home or the audience will tune out (or change the channel).

There is more information on how to solve this problem in my new report which you can get at

#2 have a strong and trackable call to action

One of the big mistakes people make in TV advertising is to have no specific action that you want to viewer to take at the end of the ad. Even if you’ve spent 30 seconds explaining how you are different ending it with “call us when you need us at 888 555-1212” is very weak.

A better way to end it is to have something of value you would like to give your audience. It could be a free report or a preplanning guide or even an invitation to a 9/11 memorial event you are planning, there are lots of options.

The key is you want the person to either call a unique phone number or visit a specific webpage to receive what you are offering. That way you can track how many people did something because of your investment in television advertising.

#3 budget for market saturation

Now you have a great TV ad with a unique message and a strong trackable call to action. Hopefully you have some budget left over to afford to run your ad as often as possible.

When it comes to television advertising the rule of thumb is to “go big or go home”.

Your target audience receives over 10,000 marketing messages every day between tv ads, radio ads, website ads, facebook ads, billboards etc. If you think you are going to cut through all of that clutter by running your TV ad a few times a day, you’re dreaming.

People rarely respond to an ad the first time they see it. You have to be able to afford to keep your ad in front of your target audience over and over again for it to cut through the clutter.

My advice is to meet with your local TV advertising rep and understand your full costs before committing to creating a new professional produced commercial.

I hope this helps a few of you save some money. TV advertising is not cheap. In fact, I have clients who used to spend $20k or more to create and run a single ad. Now we invest that money in following up with past clients because retaining a past client is far cheaper than attracting new ones.

I have an infographic on my facebook page that explains that concept. You can find it at.

By the way, that’s a new Facebook page that I’ve just launches so all “likes” are greatly appreciated. My old page ended up being followed by too many families who wanted information on funerals (not my target audience). On this page, I am specifically going to focus on ideas that can help you grow your business.

Best wishes

John Callaghan







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