Using Innovation in Strategic Marketing


Using Innovation in Strategic Marketing

A wonderful book by Seth Godin outlines the concept of a Purple Cow. Sometimes people are just tired of what is being offered and want something different. Having worked in marketing for 8 years, I have found aligning yourself with innovative products and services does wonders for a firm’s marketing potential. Offering families something different gives you artillery in your marketing efforts, sets you apart from the rest and shows that you care enough to continually update and improve your offerings.

Unique Products in Marketing Materials

The Always Bust, a 3D printed product from my company UPD Urns, got me a write up in Funeral Service Insider and gave me a face to face with Robert Waltrip. I can remember taking the elevator, when the SCI associate told me we are going to the top floor to meet Mr. Waltrip. As we sat down at the conference table next to Mr. Waltrip’s gorgeous office, I began to present a product that was different. There are two things that are going to make your marketing stand out: great offerings and attention. If you have great content on your website or offerings to your families, local media and movers and shakers are going to notice, and start talking about you.

Hang Out with Innovators

There’s nothing more inspiring to me than innovation and forward thinking. I recommend aligning yourself with innovators in your local community and profession. These innovative people, which offer innovative products and services, are going to help you stand out in the crowd of other funeral homes in your community. Even if they are not in the funeral or senior care profession, you are going to attract top performers in other fields that can push your firm and marketing efforts forward. When you are working with people who are progressing, innovating and offering products and services that are on the cutting edge, your funeral home is going to grow. What innovators in your community can you align yourself with?

Being Innovative Shows You Care

One of the key contributors to happiness is growth – and if your firm isn’t growing, it’s dying. You can focus on how to cut costs or how much more you can charge for your current service, while still maintaining profit, both of which I highly recommend. But wouldn’t you rather offer something brand new, that gets you on the front page of your local newspaper, gets you an interview with a local TV news station and gives you a wave of revenue that you ride well into next year? Focus on improving your current offerings and repackaging them in a unique way and then use sophisticated marketing to get these new offerings in front of potential customers.

In my day to day work I will regularly keep a list of the most important things to focus on. I’m not as die hard as Gary Keller, the author of The One Thing, which asks: “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” But I do value this concept immensely and expand my consideration to the top three things. Focus on the top three things that are going to move your innovation and marketing forward and focus on those. Conversely, what are the top three things that are standing in the way of innovation. If you are scared of innovation because you don’t have the right lawyer, see if investing money in legal could benefit you. The monthly Legal Zoom subscription is a great service. Offer a product you haven’t yet, such as a $20,000 urn, green burial or 14k gold cremation jewelry. Embrace new and emerging technology, like 3D printing and virtual reality. And have a conversation with your local TV news station. Please feel free to reach out to me if we can move your innovative efforts forward with cremation urns: and

Tyler Fraser is CEO of UPD Urns and founder of Funeral Radio. He hosts two podcasts Funeral Services and the Web and Funeral Startups and is a business graduate of San Francisco State University. Tyler pioneered 3D printed busts for funeral homes and seeks to advance funeral services through technology. He currently lives in Sterling, VA where he manages UPD Urns’ second location, offering fast and free shipping for cremation urns and jewelry nationwide. Learn more about UPD Urns at