Technology continues to evolve and connect us in new ways, providing a wide range of both challenges and opportunities for deathcare professionals in reaching and connecting with their communities.
We know the customer experience is increasingly becoming a digital one - how we interact with goods and services is changing - technological adoption by consumers and organisations has been accelerated, driven in no small part by imposed restrictions and work-from-home measures necessitated by the pandemic.
But not every customer is the same, and generational characteristics play an important role in where deathcare direct their marketing efforts.
So before you think about the relative merits of e-blasts, newsletters, facebook ads, instagram stories, tiktok videos, or community events, let’s take a look at these traits and what opportunities they present.
The Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers were born between the mid 1940’s and mid 1960’s approximately, and as many approach retirement, this group has more disposable income than any other generation, providing deathcare operators with a vast marketing opportunity.
Famous ‘Boomer’ - Bill Gates
“The American Dream” was promised to them as children and they pursued it relentlessly. As a result, they’re often characterized with significant material wealth and ambition.
While Boomers may still favor some long-standing practices and tools, they have embraced technology and are more tech-savvy than ever before. They will spend 27 hours per week online, as well as the more traditional means of researching goods and services and half will visit a company website or continue to research a product or service after seeing something on social media.
Using multiple channels of communication is vastly important, utilizing a combination of both online and traditional methods.
Born approximately between the mid 1960’s and late 1970’s, the ‘X ers’ lived through Watergate, the energy crisis, grew up in dual income families and with single parents..
Famous Xer - Jeff Bezos
Their perceptions are shaped by growing up having to take care of themselves early on and significantly, the first generation that will not do as well financially as their parents did.
They are techno-literate, have fully embraced small tech devices to help them with their work and use email as their primary communications tool.
Think about the direct marketing opportunities this gives you.
Millennials were born approximately between the early 1980’s and early 2000’s and are the fastest-growing, most diverse group of consumers in the US.
Famous Millennial - Mark Zuckerberg
Defining the experiences and expectations of this young generation are digital media and growing up in a child-focused world. They also came of age in a period of economic expansion and were kept busy from a very young age...they were the first generation of children with ‘schedules’.
They’ve grown up immersed in technology and as a group is the least influenced by traditional media, using online methods as a means of communicating - Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp and the terms of the buying process. They look online to find reviews and blogs of many sorts to harvest the opinion of those who have gone before them.
Like we’ve noted, these guys are young, so what might surprise you is that they may have more influence within the death care industry than you first thought.
Not only do Millennials have significant buying power themselves, but they also possess significant influence over their older counterparts, and are engaged in helping family members make important decisions...including that of the location of a plot and the raft of associated decisions that come along with it.
They’re less influenced by traditional advertising, seeing it as inauthentic. Instead they:
- Review blogs before making a purchase
- Want social interaction and support from service provider
- Want to ‘co-create’ products/services and ‘be involved’
- Want to ‘give back’ and want organisations do the same
What could that mean for how you operate and market yourselves? Think about the part social media or content marketing can play within your overall marketing strategy. Do you have shareable content that resonates?
So, the modern world presents us with a raft of new communications challenges, and as deathcare providers, we need to be attuned to the nuances.
To help, we’ve created a handy guide for communicating with Boomers, Gen X and Millennials that covers their communications preferences, motivations and more. It will help you transform your marketing!