Are You Ready for The ?Boomers??If you have visited ConnectingDirectors.com in the past few months, you have surely noticed articles covering the topic of the ?Boomer? generation. The current ?death trough? and the sinking economy are beginning to take their toll on the funeral industry. For funeral directors the deaths of baby boomers – people born between 1946 and 1964 – is a windfall worth lusting over, if they can make it through the current decline in death that is projected to last a few more years.
Reports from federal agencies that track population and health statistics indicate the nation’s death rate has dropped slightly and is expected to plateau for several more years. But baby boomers won’t be able to escape the inevitable forever. The U.S. Census Bureau projects the annual number of deaths in the United States will rise from 2.6 million in 2010 to 3 million in 2024 and 4 million in 2043.
The Boomers are a generation who has changed just about everything in their path as they have made their way through life; they are even beginning to change the way we handle death.
Don?t believe me? Then you should ask the funeral director who just honored the requests of a man who wanted to be buried while sitting in the front seat of his 1972 Pontiac Catalina with his gun collection in the back seat (this story was published on ConnectingDirectors.com, 9-15-09). Many funeral directors have told me that families are forgoing the traditional fancy suit and dresses, and are burying their loved ones in the everyday clothes they loved best.
Increasingly we are seeing elaborate requests and personalization of services for those in the Boomer age bracket. As the result of these requests we have experienced a plethora of new funeral industry companies who are offering revolutionary memorialization products, requiring funeral directors to be open minded and deviate from the traditional service to ones that, in all honesty, are truly a celebration.
Not only are Boomers driving funeral directors out of their comfort zones in terms of planning the celebration?I mean funeral, but they are requiring that funeral directors utilize new marketing outlets, like Facebook, which is totally free.
If you think Facebook is a little website designed primarily for kids, then you are so wrong. Facebook boost over 300,000,000 users, and the fastest growing age group on Facebook is 55-65 year old females, all who will someday be a client to a funeral home. Will it be your funeral home? Not if your competitor ?friends? them first (friending is the act of asking someone to be your friend on a social network).
Many funeral directors are recognizing the changes being made to the industry by Boomers and are adapting by doing things like creating a ?Fan Page? for the their funeral home on Facebook so they can create interaction with potential clients. ConnectingDirectors.com recently ran a two-part series outlining how to create a ?Fan Page? for your funeral home.
As the industry begins to evolve around the changes being brought forth by Boomers, you must take a look at your staff and business and ask ?Are we ready for the Boomers??
Ryan Thogmartin is the Founder and CEO of ConnectingDirectors.com. ConnectingDirectors.com is a progressive online publication/networking site for funeral professionals. Through ConnectingDirectors.com funeral professionals receive daily funeral industry news, industry specific articles and podcasts, as well as share ideas through an industry discussion board. In addition, Mr. Thogmartin works in sales for his family’s burial vault company, Hupp Stiverson Wilbert Vault Inc.