Magazine article Marketing

Why Marketing Death Has a Very Short Sales Life

Magazine article Marketing

Why Marketing Death Has a Very Short Sales Life

Article excerpt

Let's face it, undertakers are not huge clients. 'Top agencies pitch for big funeral director' or 'Hot shop scoops crematorium win' rarely grace the front pages of our angelic trade press.

So I was a tad surprised, and flattered to hell, when the National Association of Funeral Directors - no less - invited me to address their annual conference some time ago. Their invitation suggested my theme should be 'Why funeral directors should advertise', and promised me an audience of 300 or so fully paid-up professional undertakers. My ghoulish curiosity was titillated. The prospect of meeting and addressing 300 morticians was too good to miss. But their conference clashed with a long-standing something or other, so I missed it. I offered my services at some future date, but the invite has yet to be resurrected.

Occasionally however, when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood, I wonder what I'd have said, had I been able to accept their invitation. More particularly, I wonder why they don't advertise.

Dying is, after all, a sizeable market. There are about 650,000 funerals each year - about one-third of the number of new cars - worth some [pounds]300m. That's bigger than the shampoo, baby food and microwave markets, to mention three sizeable spenders. It's fragmented market, but there are some major players (including the Co-op). And anyway, that's an opportunity as well as a challenge; a big spender could murder the competition. It can't be that such advertising would be in bad taste. …

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