“Be careful where you aim that thing!”

“Be careful where you aim that thing!” I called to our then 7-year-old son as he ran around the house firing the nerf gun he had just received for his birthday.

His gun was loaded with foam darts. He tried terrorizing our dog but quickly realized that shooting his big sister was much more fun.

He became pretty good at aiming his nerf gun and hitting his target. He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He just wanted to get his sister’s attention so she would start chasing him.

Funeral Home Marketing is a lot like shooting a nerf gun. You’re not trying to hurt anyone, but you are trying to get the right person’s attention.

You also have to be very careful about where you aim because you don’t want to attract the wrong person’s attention.

Which begs the question….who are you aiming for in your funeral home marketing?

When I ask new clients that question, the most common answer is “everyone.” That’s a mistake.

In last week’s newsletter, I described the seven elements of the StoryBrand Messaging Framework.

  1. A Character 
  2. The Problem
  3. Guide
  4. The Plan
  5. Call to Action
  6. Success
  7. Failure

Whether creating website content or an advertising campaign, the process always begins by identifying a character. This person is your target. The more clearly you can define the target, the better your chances are of hitting it.

So who is the Character we are targeting?

Baby boomers. 

They were born between 1946 and 1964. In 2022, they will be between 58 and 76 years old, and there will be 78 million Americans in this age group.

I focus on Baby boomers because that’s the next wave of funeral home families. Yes, they are harder to reach and can be hard to serve. But we have to solve this problem eventually, and it might as well be now!

But it’s important to refine your target as much as possible.

Do we want to attract all baby boomers? No.

The person I want to target with my advertising and hopefully attract to our funeral home is a baby boom woman.

I mean no disrespect to baby boom men, but they are not the target. They may have a say in whether there will be a funeral, but they are not the decision maker. Women are the decision-makers.

How do I know this? Because women plan most family activities. If there is going to be a family reunion, it’s typically planned by women.

Suppose the family is planning on skipping a funeral service or having a memorial event someplace else. In that case, a baby boomer man might be the one making the direct cremation arrangements with you. But that’s only because there’s a baby boom woman at home or in her office planning the event.

The person we want to reach is a baby boom woman. What else do we know about her?

The details will vary based on your local community, but here’s how one of my clients described her.

  • Her name is Sandy.
  • She’s a 72-year-old woman.
  • She just celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary.
  • She still puts a lot of effort into looking good.
  • Comfortable in jeans but not yoga pants.
  • Retired from a career with one company.
  • Kids are raised, and they are on their own.
  • Loves being a grandma.
  • Attends church most of the time.
  • She exudes confidence because life has worked out well for her.
  • Likes to volunteer for local causes she cares about.
  • Worked hard and now wants to enjoy the fruits of her labor.
  • Usually voted Republican but is not sure anymore.

In the StoryBrand messaging framework, this is called your Character. The better you can describe this person, the better you will be able to target them in your advertising.

Yes, there are times when the decision maker is a 40-year-old woman and times when it’s an 85-year-old man. But roughly 80% of the time, the person you are making arrangements with is Sandy, your Character.

Sandy has a problem. Her husband just passed away unexpectedly. 

Suddenly her confidence is gone. For the first time in a long time, she doesn’t know what to do.

She’s looking for someone to guide her through this experience. She doesn’t need someone to direct her or tell her what to do. She simply needs someone she can trust to help her make some good decisions for her family.

In other words, she’s looking for a Guide with a Plan. 

A Funeral Business Builder knows how to create marketing that aims directly for Sandy, attracts her attention, and starts to build a relationship.

I’ll get into the specifics of how to build that relationship next week.

Until next time

John

 

PS: Our daughter bought a nerf gun with her allowance, and suddenly the hunted became the hunter. She’ll be an excellent Sandy someday!

 

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