Reimagining obituaries: Q&A with Matt Frazer, CEO and founder of Tribute Technology, parent of AdPerfect


Get to know LMA R&D member AdPerfect, featuring the largest obituary network in local media

Matt Frazer

Frazer

Matt Frazer is the CEO and founder of Tribute Technology, which acquired AdPerfect, an R&D member of Local Media Association, in February 2020. Here’s what Frazer had to say about the acquisition and AdPerfect’s capabilities:

Tribute Technology already has more than 15,000 funeral home clients that support a direct-to-consumer obituary platform. Why buy AdPerfect, a media-to-consumer obituary platform? 

For a couple of reasons. First, having so many funeral home clients across North America and listening to their concerns and goals, one of their biggest pain points was having to rewrite, recreate or republish obituaries from their content management software onto a different one. With the acquisition of AdPerfect, funeral homes in the Tribute Technology network can easily and conveniently publish the obits from their content management systems onto a newspaper’s obituary platform. The other reason is simple — we believe in the importance of local journalism and by offering a freemium model with an e-commerce revenue share, we’re providing an effective way to help local media companies cut expenses while generating significant incremental revenue. 

How is AdPerfect able to offer a freemium model for a white-label obituary platform? 

With over 15,000 funeral homes in the Tribute Technology network, our easy to use and convenient Tribute Store provides sufficient scale to support providing the AdPerfect obituary platform to publishers for free. Our goal is to provide grieving families and friends a simple and hassle-free way to send flowers or plant a tree, or trees, in honor of their loved one. Obviously, at such a difficult time, we want to provide our funeral home clients and our media clients with everything they need to serve their customers and the community. 

What are some of the challenges that you see local media companies face in the obituary space? 

  • Many current online obituary display and product companies significantly hinder publishers’ ability to increase obit vertical revenue. 
  • Growing discord between funeral homes and local media brands.
  • Few self-serve methods for private party (non-funeral home) memorial customers – a growing cohort.
  • Processes not aligned with print and digital strategy.
  • Not always allowed to keep brand local and in the forefront.

What are some of the opportunities that you see for local media companies in the obituary space? 

  • More than 3 million people die each year in North America (U.S. and Canada), a number expected to rise to nearly 4 million by 2030 (according to the World Health Organization).
  • AdPerfect estimates a little more than half of those deaths in North America each year are memorialized through a local media brand — which means a significant number are not.
  • AdPerfect conservatively estimates obituaries, death notices, etc. generate roughly $800 million in revenue for local media companies annually.

What are some trends in the DCI (Death Care Industry) that local media companies should be aware of? 

This year, the Baby Boomers cohort comprises 76 million people, all between the ages of 56 and 74, but by 2030, that number will drop, while remaining very large at 61 million. Conversely, Millennials will number 78 million in 2030, while comprising 75% of the workforce for the death care industry — meaning they’ll be in position to make major decisions for their families, especially around death care and estate planning. With deaths increasing over the next decade and more millennials making significant family decisions, it is important that local media companies partner with technology partners that can service both demographics at a high level. 

AdPerfectWhat resources can AdPerfect provide to local media companies?

Expertise around obituaries and e-commerce, certainly. Whether it is leveraging our self-serve process for any of your business channels or providing marketing guidance to grow a particular vertical, we’re a customer-service focused company. Your success is our success.