Michelle Carter discusses funeral home advertising and the ineffectiveness of running the same ads while expecting different results.


There are a certain group of funeral directors out there. This group are set in their ways. They use industry lingo in front of families, without thinking twice about the impact it might have to refer to someone’s father as a “removal”.
These same people also don’t think there’s any need to educate the community about who they are and what they do, because they assume everyone already knows. After all, the funeral home has been around for years. It’s the only thing in the community that hasn’t changed, right?

This mindset is the reason we create websites, radio spots or yellow page ads that are just like every other ad. Like many other businesses, these ads please only the business owner, only impress competitors, and do little to help you stand out from the crowd.
Now go to Amazon.com. Run a magazine search for funeral director. There are seven results. Of those, only three come with product photos. The longest product description belongs to American Funeral Director, which gives two sentences about how long it has been in print, and pointing out that it provides information on the funeral industry.
Now search magazines for the word funeral. Now you get 14 results, but the basic premise remains the same. Three magazines have photos, plus the yellowbook directory.  American Funeral Director and Funeral Director magazines are tied for longest descriptions: two sentences.  Like several of its competitors, Funeral Director Magazine repeats those two sentences later in the profile, so they serve as both the title and description.
Several titles have *no* description at all.
Now, I’d like to think I’m the target customer for many of these publications: a funeral professional who wants to keep up to date on what’s new in the industry, and who is looking to spend some money. What have any of these publications done to persuade me to purchase their product instead of another?
We can’t even promote a product to ourselves when there’s a built in market!
Now imagine yourself as a member of your community. You may be new to the area, or maybe you just haven’t kept close tabs on what’s what in the local funeral industry. Like most of the American public, you know little about the funeral industry, and even less about your local funeral home, because you don’t like to think about death. You like to think you’re immune to it.
 Now you suddenly find yourself in need of a funeral home. You open the yellow pages, or turn on the computer, in search of what to do next.
As a funeral professional, what are you doing to make yourself stand out?

michellecarter.jpgA licensed funeral director, Michelle Carter is also a funeral consultant and grief counselor from Westchester County, New York.

Through her company, New York Center for Transition, she provides counseling for those who have recently been diagnosed with diseases, grief counseling for those who have experienced a death and funeral consulting to families in need.Michelle is working toward opening her own funeral home.