Not that there is a connection, but in the time it takes to listen to a radio commercial, 5 people in America will pass away. Over the next 12 months, this statistic will end with 1.8 million funerals. When you account for all of the components of a funeral including embalming, caskets, and flowers, the average American can expect to pay about $9,000 to lay a loved one to rest. This makes death-care in the U.S. a $15-billion dollar per year industry. To participate successfully in this industry, a Maine small business that creates headstones and memorials utilizes radio advertising to attract new customers to their showroom.
Although grave markers have existed for eons, what we think of today as tombstones, headstones, gravestones, or memorials date back to the 1600s. These markers tended to be a simple statement of the deceased's name, age, and year of death. With the advent of public cemeteries in the 18th century, the appearance of more ornate and complex memorials began to flourish. For instance the memorial to Sir Isaac Newton who was laid to rest in London's Westminster Abbey reads:
"Here is buried Isaac Newton, Knight, who by a strength of mind almost divine, and mathematical principles peculiarly his own, explored the course and figures of the planets, the paths of comets, the tides of the sea, the dissimilarities in rays of light, and, what no other scholar has previously imagined, the properties of the colours thus produced. Diligent, sagacious and faithful, in his expositions of nature, antiquity and the holy Scriptures, he vindicated by his philosophy the majesty of God mighty and good, and expressed the simplicity of the Gospel in his manners. Mortals rejoice that there has existed such and so great an ornament of the human race! He was born on 25th December 1642, and died on 20th March 1726." [translated from Latin]
Since 1919, Maine Memorial Company in South Portland has been helping families show their love and respect in ways that are as unique as they are permanent. Stonecutter Paul DiMatteo is the third generation of his family to operate the business. Paul says, "Our product is not a commodity. It's artwork and you really need to see it. But you really need to come in and see it because everything is custom made. It is not made in a factory. So we use radio advertising to get people to come into the office to see our artwork." Listen to Maine Memorial Company's current commercial:
Radio Advertising Allows Small Business To Target Their Most Likely Customers
According to Paul, the target consumer for his service is at least 50 years old. "Teenagers," says Paul, "aren't coming out to buy my product so I can't be on a rock-n-roll radio station because it is not going to hit my target market." Paul goes on to say he depends on his radio account executive to provide the research that demonstrates which station does the best job reaching his most likely customers. One of the best research tools for this purpose is produced by Media Audit, a survey that indicates the socio-economic and media habits of consumers living in Portland and the Southern Maine area.
As part of its overall branding and marketing strategy, Maine Memorial Company has developed a very robust and aesthetically pleasing website. But when it comes to marketing on the web, Paul does not yet see the value. "I know that internet is a big thing," says Paul, "but I think my market isn't wholly into it. When I have [older] people come in, they haven't been surfing the net." Paul believes that may change in a few years, but for now he needs to continue to cater to the media habits of his target audience and those people are listening to the radio.
Here are recent stories about other Maine small businesses that have used effective radio advertising to achieve their marketing objectives.
- Portland Maine Small Business Learns: The Medium Is The Massage
- Maine Small Business Makes Radio Ads A Member of The Sales Team
- Radio Advertising + Online Media Delivers For Maine Pizza Stores
- OMG...Maine Restaurant Uses Radio To Build Text Message Followers
- Radio Is Perfect Fit For Portland Maine Shoe Store