This September marks five years in business for @need Marketing, a full-service agency dedicated to raising the bar for marketing standards in the funeral profession. wrote an in-depth profile of the company here.

The story of @need Marketing begins with the Outlook Group, where Michael Anderson worked alongside his cousin, Tyler Anderson, and Jenny McClanahan to fulfill the preneed marketing needs of their partners.

Even before their merger with Precoa in 2017, requests had been coming in from partners —including Anderson’s own father, a funeral home owner in Cincinnati — for marketing support that boosted their at-need business. The team was able to get its feet wet with a few successful one-off projects but was unable to fully expand the scope of the Outlook Group to include at-need marketing services for all partners. With the added resources of Precoa, things began to change.

“Suddenly, we didn’t have to say no anymore,” said Anderson, now president of @need Marketing. “With the support of our new Precoa family, who totally believed in us, we were able to fully explore what an at-need marketing program could look like. Our goal was to prove the concept of an at-need focused marketing team with 10 partners. We weren’t going to take this any further until we knew that we could serve them with the same level of thoroughness and competence we delivered on the preneed side.”

It didn’t take long for Anderson and McClanahan to secure those 10 partners. Confident in the custom creative they could provide, @need (as it was known colloquially but not yet officially), had only to prepare for the shifting advertising landscape, which was continuing to demand better and faster digital solutions — namely, search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads.

“At the time, there was nothing that was built for the nuance of funeral service,” Anderson said. “We really had to engineer our whole SEO strategy from scratch, but we were happy to do it because our partners deserved something that was made for them and that produced actionable results.”

In the five years that followed, @need would grow exponentially. Along the way, @need Marketing became a separate LLC that remains owned by Precoa but operates independently.

“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come,” said McClanahan, now creative director of @need Marketing. “We’ve learned a lot and continue to add to our capabilities, but the one thing that’s never changed is the energy of our people. We maintain the same excitement and passion that we had at the very beginning when it was just Michael and I on the road, meeting with partners and learning about their funeral homes. We’ve been very intentional about building our team with brilliant, energetic people who share that same passion because honestly, there’s no point in being here if you can’t get excited about what our partners are doing.”

In the next five years, @need looks forward to growing the right way with the right people, as well as to the technology and innovation that will allow them to reach families in new and creative ways on behalf of their funeral home partners. Suffice it to say, “There’s so much in front of us.”

Read the profile about @need Marketing.


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