Is It Wrong for a Funeral Home to Market its Services?
Most people have strong opinions when it comes to funeral planning and choosing the right funeral home. No one wants to feel like just another number, or to have their loved ones treated callously or in any way that isn’t tender and respectful—and that is a completely justified expectation. Even though funeral homes are a business, they are also an important part of the grieving process and of the community as a whole.
This can make things slightly difficult when it comes to marketing funeral services. No consumer would even blink at watching a commercial or reading an ad about a new restaurant or specials at the bookstore. However, the same approach for a funeral home could easily be taken as offensive, unethical, or lacking in tact.
This isn’t anyone’s fault—not the funeral homes hoping to reach more consumers or the individuals who might find the advertisements to be insensitive. Marketing in the death care industry is a tricky business, and no one is quite sure yet what is an appropriate amount of community outreach.
Funeral Homes and Traditional Marketing
If you’re getting ready to plan a funeral, chances are you’ll talk with family members and friends who have gone through similar situations in the past. Word-of-mouth like this is the most common and traditional way of finding funeral homes, since a personal recommendation can mean a lot when you’re faced with so many overwhelming choices.
However, many people recommend these funeral homes because they are familiar or comforting—not because they provide the best service or lowest prices. Shopping around, making calls, or even looking online are all options when it comes to choosing a funeral home, but be aware that you might be faced with more aggressive marketing campaigns than you’re used to. In most cases, this isn’t meant to be off-putting in any way. It is simply a business trying to spread the message about their services in the best way possible.
What to Look for In a Funeral Home
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to choose a funeral home that feels wrong to you. The best funeral homes are the ones that market in a gentle manner, reaching out to the community in ways that show support for the entire populace. They might offer free financial planning services for the elderly, offer seminars on modern-day funeral planning options, or make donations to senior citizen centers or medical charities.
One of the best ways to avoid feeling put off or uncomfortable with a funeral home’s marketing platform is to do your funeral planning in advance. When you are able to take the time to get to know a funeral home’s services and outlook without the pressure of a recent loss, you can look beyond the surface to find the right fit for you. And for most families, this is a much better way to search out a business than through any type of advertising—traditional or otherwise.
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By Amy Johnson