The Missing Ingredient in Your Funeral Home Marketing

Our 22-year-old son is a man of many talents. One of his talents is baking a fantastic loaf of artisan bread.

He combines carefully selected ingredients, uses the right amount of dough kneading, and produces a loaf of delicious bread. It’s so good that he has provided the bread for every big family meal for the last four years.

But he wasn’t always good at it.

On one occasion, he spent all afternoon working on his dough. He put it in the oven and spent the next 30 minutes pacing the house anxiously awaiting his reward.

When the timer went off, he took it out of the oven, and you could hear him curse from the other side of the house. His loaf of fresh bread was about half an inch high. It hadn’t risen at all.

My wife quickly diagnosed the problem. Unfortunately, he had missed an essential ingredient, baking powder.

It’s sad how missing one ingredient can ruin a project you’ve worked so hard on.

Growing a funeral home business is like that too. You don’t get the desired outcome if you miss an essential ingredient.

I’m often reminded of this quote.

“The business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs” – Peter Drucker.

I’ve been helping Funeral Business Builders (aka owners committed to growth) for almost two decades now. My first project with a funeral home client resulted in their revenues growing by 65% in three years, word spread, and the next thing I knew, I had prospective clients calling me from all over the country.

Over the years, many of my projects have been tremendous successes resulting in my clients’ at need revenue more than doubling over a three year period.

By the way, that “three year period” is a typical timeframe. Growing a business is like planting new landscaping. You plant everything in year one. Then, it starts to grow in year two and comes into full bloom in year three.

But not all projects are home runs. Unfortunately, there have been some that never produced the results we wanted.

When I study the projects that didn’t work out, I see the missing ingredient. It’s innovation.

Some of my clients fall into what I like to call the “best-kept secret” category. They already had some excellent innovations and just need some great marketing to get the word out.

It’s easy to hit a home run with a “best-kept secret” funeral home.

Many clients had innovative ideas they had not fully implemented, and others needed some fresh ideas. In those cases, we worked together to innovate then applied my marketing strategies.

The key to success has never just been marketing. It has always been marketing plus innovation.

But what kind of innovations?

Some technology companies would like you to believe that all you need is a better flower store on your website to succeed in today’s market. They’re wrong.

To truly be successful, you must innovate the experience people have at your funeral home. If you change what happens at the funeral home, you’ve created something worthy of marketing.

You can change your facility by adding a children’s play area or a cafe. Or, you could replace your rows of chairs (which encourage people to look at the casket) with pedestal tables to encourage people to connect. Simple changes like that create something worth marketing.

But home runs happen when you change the event itself. When you fundamentally change the funeral experience from what families wanted 30 years ago to what they want today, you will win more calls.

Innovate the funeral experience, add good marketing that helps families make good decisions, and grow your business.

I believe that there are funeral home owners who would be willing to change if someone could show them the way. In future newsletters, I’ll provide some more guidance on innovating the funeral experience.

If your business is as flat as a loaf of bread without baking powder, the missing ingredient is innovation. Add that ingredient and watch your business grow.

Until next time


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