Consumer and staff surveys revealed a perception that Catholic Cemeteries were too “hard sell” in their marketing and that there was a lack of understanding about Catholic funerals and their importance to the Catholic faith.
An advertising audit concluded that this perception was reinforced by the organization’s messaging (see previous ad below).
A competitive analysis suggested a huge opportunity to educate Catholics about proper Christian burial and focus on the Catholic Cemeteries faith-based mission of care and compassion, rather than products and price.
The new strategy and messaging focused on three key messages, which became their tagline: Compassion, Care and Christ.
The focus of the advertising shifted from impersonal price and products to the heartfelt expression of care and understanding, along with the positive reassurance that Catholics are blessed with the promise of resurrection. That death is not the end, but the beginning of life-everlasting.
The call-to-action shifted from closing the sale on various products to reminding families about the blessings of a pre-planned funeral, which include relieving their loved ones of emotional stress and financial burden. A complimentary funeral preplanning guide was also offered.
The new strategy was employed consistently throughout all media; print and radio advertising, brochures, websites, sales and training materials, as well as changes to the organizational culture and practice. Within three months of the campaign launch, there was a significant spike — in some cases 1000% year-over-year increase — in the number of media impressions, positive social media mentions, website visits and visitors, requests for preplanning guide, and leads for preplanning services.