“Perception is reality. Change a person’s perception and you change their reality.”
Marketing and advertising is a big business today. We cannot go anywhere without being bombarded by messages that tell us what to eat, drink, wear, drive, think, believe, etc. Whether you find yourself humming a little “jingle” or buying a certain item, the marketing works. And it matters not the industry, marketing is everywhere, even in death. Okay, I admit, we don’t see commercials yet for caskets with orthopedic mattresses or urns that will make you the envy of your friends (both dear and departed), but give it time…hopefully a lot.
Here are some of the most common marketing and advertising tactics today in many areas including funeral service as well as how you can avoid the pitfalls that come with them:
“Packages” – Packages do two things: they provide a quick “bottom line” and include the basics. The downside is that they often include options that may or may not be what you need. When looking at any package, check the details to ensure you are not paying more than you need because of things you do not want.
“Starting at…” – This is one you see everywhere. What happens when you actually go to buy, however? The item is much more basic than you shown, it was out of stock or the price was good at a different location than the one you happened to walk into.
“Serving you since…” – Surely being in business a long time is a good thing because it means you are doing something right. Did you know that Enron, one of the largest bankruptcy and fraud cases of our time, could claim that they had been “serving you since 1931”? Of course, the company had different ownership back then and had since been bought out, but the history of trust was bought with the company.
“Insert name here Company“ – I know, a name as advertising and marketing? Well, there is a reason that many business sell and the buyer pays a premium for the name. It is because all those years of trust and service go with that name, just like Enron did in the previous example. The truth is that names do not tell you anything about ownership or who sets the rules and prices anymore. Find out who owns the business, who sets the prices and who is accountable for answers.
There are still businesses out there that put people before profit and service before sale, that is the reality. Unfortunately, marketing and advertising can alter your perception and make it harder to see that reality. Take the time and use due diligence to find out the truth, and then let that be your reality.
Until next week, focus on the reality of living, laughing and loving.