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Even the Cemetery and Crematorium Industry is Changing

Even-the-Cemetery-and-Crematorium-Industry-is-Changing

This is the first of a series of posts through which we will look at how technology can help the cemeteries, crematoriums, funeral homes and memorial gardens navigate the way in which the digital world is affecting the industry.

If you aren't feeling the changes yet, you will soon enough.

In this post we will explore the factors driving change.

By far the biggest factor is that your customer today is the millennial and they are all grown up and cashed up. However, they bring with them a whole new set of challenges and expectations which the industry needs to embrace and provide for or suffer the consequences.

The Babies Are No Longer Babies

The Millennials are the customers and employees of the now and future. This generation according to Wiki are defined as follows:

"Millennial characteristics vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, the generation is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world, their upbringing was marked by an increase in a liberal approach to politics and economics…"

As customers, this makes Millennials different to any previous generation – they were born with technology and expect to have a digital experience when transacting no matter whether it is for clothes, food or a funeral.

As employees, they are immersed in technology and are looking for careers that allow them to engage in their digital world and to remain relevant through working in progressive and innovative organisations.

By adopting technology and executing business operations with the millennial in mind, these market forces will positively impact on your business and this generation will be your customers and employees.

But What About The Older Folks?

Well in a recent study*, it was found that:

  • 19% of the population is 65+
  • 80%+ access the internet in any 12 month period
  • 70%+ access the internet at least once per week
  • They spend on average 7 hours per week on the internet

*Source: ACMA's Digital lives of Older Australians published in August 2016

So what this shows is that contrary to popular belief older members of our community are digitally aware, although not to the same extent and in a different way to millennials.

What this does indicate is that this older sector of the market must also be included into the digital strategy that the organisation deploys or risk losing those sector as well.

Strategy, Efficiency and Inter-Connectivity 

Strategy: Any death care organisation that is not doing something to transform themselves into the future will impact heavily of their future sustainability …

Force = Mass x Acceleration

If you don't have forward movement with a strategy that pushes the organisation and creates and critical mass for change, the status quo will remain and the business will struggle against the sheer power of the market expectation.

In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi… "Let the force be with you" 

EfficiencyDisrupting a market is all about streamlining and improving both sales and operational parts of the organisation to increase revenue and decrease costs which, combined will create improved reserves and stronger sustainability.

Inter-Connectivity: No organisation can exit as an island and this so true for the death care industry where cemeteries interact with funeral homes, funeral homes interact with plaque manufacturers, florists interact with families and so the chain continues in an ever increasing web. Simplifying and automating these interactions improves the customer experience, drives more revenue, reduces cost and increases choice.

Each of these can be achieved through digital transformation and using the amazing technology that is available today. 

Marketing and Communication

If ever there was a driver for digital transformation and the adoption of technology, it is in communication with your ecosystem and driving new sales opportunities through a diversified range of digital marketing activities.

Today you must have:

  • A digital presence across social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
  • A website that effectively engages the traffic to the site (landing pages, promotional offers, search engine optimisation)
  • An outbound and content drive communication capability to keep your ecosystem informed and loyal while delivering your message and building sales (newsletters, event invitations, industry news, memorialisation up-selling)

With so many factors affecting your organisation today, can you afford to ignore the digital life of the organisation and the deployment of technology to make it possible.

Keep an eye out for our next post, in which we will show you what pieces make up the puzzle of your technology stack to create solutions for the above.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2018

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