Bennett Funeral Home’s Marketing Plan
The story of a funeral home
Charles D. Morehead
How many funeral homes did you
start with and what was the speed
of your expansion?
When we began with the Memorial Marketing program, we
had four locations. After about three years, we really had a lot
of growth with more events and people coming to us, not just
from our familiar locations, but because they had heard our
message on TV. We started to see families outside our normal
market area. Our pre-planning number went up quite a bit, and
that actually resulted in more people coming to us for current
burials. I think word of mouth, driven by our TV ads was the
What advice do you give funeral
First, I don’t like to give advice very often because I think I’ve
been pretty lucky. Unless you have a substantial funeral business
already spending the money it takes to really create awareness
of your business, it’s tough. Small homes can’t spend very much
in advertising. Most of those rely on social media or some kind
of internet ads that are inexpensive. Doug told me a long time
ago that putting banner ads on other sites is not smart.
Like we have TV stations that are constantly trying to get us to
spend money on banner ads on their network sites. Duboy
always steers us clear of that. So to answer your question, small
homes will have it very tough and cannot advertise like a group
What’s your current marketing
We have been doing the same thing for 11 years… Memorial
Marketing. Jess came and sold me on the idea and when I saw it
back in 2008, I thought this is a great idea. We’ve been doing
the same message since, and have been successful.
How do you decide on how much
you spend on marketing?
Our agency told us roughly 2 percent of gross sales numbers
should be your budget. They really have been very clear about
what they think we should do for both our media and our
commercials. So, we’ve tried to stay close to that budget number,
but we usually are below it, not by too much though.
What new challenges do you face in
the current funeral industry climate?
Well, what we just talked about is the biggest right now. Margins
for us have shrunk every year since 2010. I think second would be
marketing our business. Until we found the Memorials, we were all
over the place in advertising. Funeral homes today have to start to
realize if they don’t go for more business, there is a likelihood they
may have to sell or close up shop.