Marketing Your Funeral Home’s Innovation

Marketing Your Funeral Home's Innovation

You can put a lot of effort into creating something new for families. However, in order for that effort to pay off, you must also focus on marketing your innovation.

In this post, I outline three marketing strategies for you to consider.

Below the video is a one-paragraph AI-generated summary and below that is a more detailed transcript.

Summary – Marketing Your Funeral Home’s Innovation

In this video, John Callaghan discusses strategies for marketing innovation. He highlights the obstacles that innovators face, such as tradition, unfamiliarity, financial barriers, and emotional resistance. He gives an example of using the free sample strategy to market video tributes, where giving away the first copy led to increased sales. He also suggests creating promotional videos and walkthrough experiences to help families understand and experience the innovation. Callaghan emphasizes the importance of timing and suggests waiting until families have made the initial purchase decision before introducing the innovation. He also recommends leveraging social media to spread the word about the innovation.

Transcript – Marketing Your Funeral Home’s Innovation

Hi, this is John Callaghan. This week, I’m continuing my series on innovation, specifically marketing your innovation.

You will put in a lot of effort to create something new for families, so you will need effective marketing to help them understand what you have to offer. I’ll give you three strategies for marketing an innovation, but it’s important to understand what you’re up against.

There are several obstacles, such as tradition, meaning families have never done it that way before, or unfamiliarity, meaning they have never heard of it. There might also be financial obstacles or the risk of looking bad in front of their families. However, the biggest obstacle is likely their emotional state of mind. They may be numb and not equipped at that moment to understand what you’re trying to offer.

One example of an innovation that was initially hard to offer was video tributes. One of my first clients, back in 2004, offered video tributes. They would produce the tribute, burn it onto a DVD, and sell it to the family for $49 for the first copy.

But families weren’t buying it because they had never seen video tributes and weren’t interested. My suggestion was to give away the first copy and sell the rest. We tested this, and it worked. They gave away the first copy, and every other family member wanted a copy of the DVD. Those were sold at $25 each, resulting in more sales and more copies for the families.

This is called the free sample strategy. You give away one sample and then take orders for more. It works for practically any type of merchandise.

For example, some clients use this strategy with engravings from AP laser equipment. They give away one engraving, like a plate or a wine glass, and then take orders for more. It’s a proven strategy.

But what if you can’t give away a sample? What if you’ve created a new type of funeral experience that can’t be subdivided? In that case, a good idea is to create a promotional video.

For instance, a client in Australia took families on a cruise around Sydney Harbor for the entire memorial service. They would have a gathering time, a ceremony, and a meal on the deck of a rented yacht. Families couldn’t understand the concept until we made a promotional video. Once they saw the video, some bought the service, and others came up with their own creative ideas.

Promotional videos are a proven strategy because people need to see it.

However, an even more effective strategy is the walkthrough. People need to see it and touch it. Some clients create special gathering places within their funeral homes, setting up memorial tributes and memorabilia. It’s very effective to walk families through these areas, but make sure the area is not empty. Keep it staged at all times so families can see what it would look like for another family.

Timing is critical.

If you’re offering something they’ve never purchased or seen before, let them make the initial purchase decision first.

Most innovations will be marketed to cremation families, which is a big trend these days. Let them decide on the cremation and even complete the paperwork. Afterward, show them the innovation.

For example, the promotional video for the farewell cruise was shown to someone who came in for a direct cremation. After deciding on the cremation and completing the plans, they saw the video and ended up buying a $15,000 yacht cruise.

Lastly, leverage social media. Innovations can go viral on social media. If you create videos and materials, get them out there. If it’s a hit with families, social media is where the conversation will happen.

I’ll be back next week with more tips on how to win more calls and serve more families.

Bye for now.


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