Death and money — the challenge of funeral marketing

Coffin on horse and cart at natural burial site, Poppy's funerals, London funeral director

Three minute read

Tell people you work for a funeral director, and they might gently raise an eyebrow. Tell people you work in marketing for a funeral director, and watch as their eyebrows shoot up in surprise. Perhaps it is because funeral marketing brings together two taboo topics — death and money.

Funeral marketing is often seen as something distasteful, a way of making money out of someone’s distress. It sparks images of hard-selling, dodgy deals and smarmy salesmen.

And, of course, those images don’t come from nowhere. Many of us have heard stories of poor practice and manipulation. Or even had bad experiences ourselves.

But marketing with Poppy’s is different. Not least because it’s a team effort. There are dozens of people already doing it, without even realising it. About half of our clients come from word-of-mouth recommendation. People who have a positive experience with Poppy’s want to tell their friends and neighbours about it.

Half of Poppy's clients find us by word-of-mouth

The marketing we do as the Poppy’s team comes from the same motivation — it simply reaches a wider audience. We’re involved in delivering our service first-hand every day and we’re proud of it.

It’s lovely when we hear clients say that our staff are compassionate and don’t rush them, or that we’ve made an unbearably difficult experience, painless and smooth, but it’s only what we expect. We always aim to offer the best service possible, and it’s why members of our team have trusted Poppy’s with caring for their own family members.

We want to tell other people, so they can benefit too. We’re recruiting for a new Head of Marketing right now to help us do just that.

Find out more about the Head of Marketing role and apply here

We’re looking for someone who’s ready for a huge marketing challenge — how do you get people to think about death unless they absolutely have to?

But also someone who’s ready for a huge marketing opportunity — this is the one service that everyone needs. No exceptions.

However, simply telling people about our services is not enough.

What does great death care look like?

We will all, one day, experience the death of someone close to us. When that happens, we will want them to experience the best care possible. Great death care is important for family and friends who are grieving, as well as for the person who has died. We believe great death care can and should be accessible to everyone. But, right now, it isn’t.

We want people to understand what great death care is and why it matters. We want to empower people to ask questions and to get the answers they deserve.

We know from experience that great death care can be transformative. It can enable people to say goodbye in a way which is healing and meaningful. It can bring peace and help people grieve.

We know it looks different for everyone, but we also know that it is always underpinned by the same values — compassion, honesty and giving people the information they need to make their own choices.

Great death care is not rushing someone to make decisions or pushing them into spending money on things that they don’t want or need. Great death care is gently enabling someone who wants to wash or dress their person to do so, even if they are nervous or don’t know what to expect.

Great death care is using clear and direct language, instead of euphemisms, so that everyone understands exactly what is happening. Great death care is always calling the person who has died by their name.

Great death care is all this, and much more.

Are you ready to change the funeral sector?

We know that the funeral sector as a whole could be so much better. But it’s only once more of us see the difference that great death care makes, and demand it for ourselves, our friends and our family members, that significant change will happen.

Marketing for a funeral director is a difficult job — but at the same time, if you believe in what you’re doing, it’s one of the easiest.

We believe that everyone is entitled to great funeral care, not care that’s okay, or just-does-the-job, but care that’s great. And that’s something that’s worth shouting about.

Find out more about the Head of Marketing role. Read the full job pack and apply before 23 September.

Hear from some of our team about why they work at Poppy’s

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