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Funeral Marketing: 4 Baby Boomer Myths Busted

Article contributed by: Krystal Penrose, FuneralOne

Funeral Marketing to Baby Boomers

Ah, the Baby Boomers.

By 2017, they're expected to make up half of the population. And they're changing the game when it comes to funeral marketing.

There are a lot of misconceptions about Baby Boomers and how to market to them, and it's about time we cleared those up.

Why? Because the way we used to do funeral marketing isn't going to fly anymore.

Let's examine four common myths about this powerful demographic:

1. Baby boomers aren't big on technology or social media

The days where grandma didn't know how to turn on a computer and mom and dad didn't know what social media means are things of the past.  In fact, grandma now emails and has a Facebook account. Just last year, more than one-third of Boomers used a social networking site. This year, the number is rising even more.

Studies show that social media not only humanizes your business - it also build credibility and trust.  From a funeral marketing perspective, social media isn't just a marketing channel you should consider, it should be the staple of your marketing efforts.

2. Baby Boomers will be loyal to your brand

Concentric Marketing CEO Bob Shaw states that at a group around 80 million people, the Baby Boomers are rebelling against the traditional, so the common rules for marketing can't apply to them.  While the Silent Generation was traditional and brand loyal, Boomers are quite the opposite.

They don't choose a funeral home because their family did before, they choose a funeral home because they researched it on the Internet. That makes your web presence more important than ever, so don't think twice about getting online.

3. Baby Boomers are ready to talk about their end-of-life wishes

Let's be honest, no generation wants to talk about their funeral or think about their life ending. However, the Baby Boomers are especially defying the aging process, and are actively seeking new experiences. NeuroFocus, a firm that performs neurological testing for consumer research, explained that Baby Boomers don't want to feel old or feel like they're losing anything, so marketing messages should be upbeat and focus on youthful ideas.

While it's a huge challenge to market to someone who doesn't feel comfortable even thinking about your line of business, consider new ways to start "the conversation". A new effort to get people talking about their end-of-life wishes has emerged, and it's called The Conversation Project. It combines social media with educational resources, and it's been extremely successful thus far. Think about what The Conversation Project has done, and find ways your funeral home can collaborate with organizations in your community to get Boomers talking about their end-of-life wishes.

4. Baby Boomers aren't spending money

According to David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS, the buying power of Boomers has grown and is continuing to grow. The 45-64 year old age group is not recession proof, but not too far off with their income only 2.1% below their income before the recession.

Not only do they have the money to spend, but they're looking to spend it online. Just this year alone, Baby Boomers are on target to spend $7 billion online.  If your funeral home is taking a hit, consider taking advantage of funeral eCommerce, which allows you to offer your products and services online.

For more funeral marketing resources on Baby Boomers, check out The Ultimate Guide to Serving Baby Boomers.


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    Hello! Hello! Are any FDs even listening or understand what the above information shows? Everyone is complaining about the decline of the their top line revenue and bottom line profit…….but how many are actually doing something about it? The good old days are gone folks. Our whole industry has to stop trying to drive forward while looking in the mirror ….. or we are going to crash hard !!!!!

  • BT Hathaway

    Boomers have tended to collect in certain regions of the country. Those regions will rapidly age in the decades ahead, and funeral companies in those regions will have some out-sized opportunities. They are the lucky ones.

    Where I live and work, a substantial percentage of the boomers moved away years ago to pursue careers. We won’t see a mortality boom in our area. Unless climate change causes people to start migrating north in large numbers (not in my lifetime I don’t think), general volume will not change much for the next decade and probably much longer. The population of Massachusetts has barely budged in the last 40 years.

    Beyond that, every generation sees the world differently and requires a different communications strategy. Those funeral providers who experiment and adapt their offerings and marketing to meet current and future needs will survive. That’s how business works.


    P.S. Ryan, would you please clarify your statement at the beginning of this post saying that the boomers will make up half the population? That statement as written doesn’t add up (mathematically speaking). Exclusive of immigrants who were born in the same years, there are less than 72 million boomers currently living, and the total US population is about 312 million. That’s less than 25%. Maybe you were trying to say that boomers will be half of all retirees by 2017, but that’s not clear. Thanks.

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