Guest Blog: There are No Silver Bullets
I’m just thrilled to introduce Jennifer Reitmeyer, President of MyDeejay, Inc. and Founder of WeddingIQ, this great new blog that focuses on the ins and outs of the wedding business. We recently crossed paths the old fashioned way- I read about her blog through a mutual friend on Facebook and then I declared my wedding crush on her blog in an email. Jennifer keeps rather busy between her business, blog and bringing Thursday Therapy to Washington DC , but she was kind enough to take the time to share her expertise with us.
Without further ado, here’s Jennifer-
I think most wedding business owners would agree in theory that it’s important to have a marketing plan for your business. Unfortunately, though, it seems that a lot of these same business owners aren’t actually utilizing such a plan. Instead, they’re throwing money at all kinds of opportunities and hoping for the best. Inevitably, they’re disappointed when their revenue doesn’t match with their inflated expectations.
I’d like to go on record saying: There are no silver bullets. No one marketing campaign, advertising source or bridal show is going to work magic for your business.
Instead, the magic happens when you operate from a clearly defined plan, one that aligns not only with your budget, but with the kinds of clients you hope to reach.
Here are a few quick steps for evaluating a marketing opportunity before you spend the money:
- Identify your ideal client. This seems like common sense, especially with so much fantastic marketing advice out there on defining your target market. Still, it’s amazing how many wedding business owners consider broad groups like “brides” to be their target market. That’s not a target.Ask yourself: Who specifically is going to buy my product or service? What kind of wedding will she plan? What is her budget? What is her style? Which elements of the wedding are her highest priority? What will be her criteria for choosing her vendors? Where will she find her vendors? The answer to these questions will help you tremendously with step 2.
- Determine whether the marketing opportunity appeals to your ideal client. For example, take a large-scale bridal show drawing hundreds or thousands of engaged couples – a budget-friendly company whose service “appeals to the masses” will likely see more interest and a better return than would a highly specialized company whose service is priced significantly higher and is targeted to a much smaller niche. On the flip side, very cost-conscious clients aren’t as likely to attend a couture bridal fashion event that charges $100/ticket or more, so an inexpensive vendor would probably be wasting money paying to exhibit there.So, using the information you cultivated in step 1, compare any marketing opportunity you’re considering against your ideal client’s tastes, priorities, budget, and preferred planning resources, and it will become much clearer whether it’s a good fit for your business.
- Establish a system for tracking your ROI (return on investment). This will obviously vary depending on the kind of marketing opportunity you’re considering. Some tools for tracking the success of a marketing campaign include a web traffic counter like StatCounter or Google Analytics and a specialized email address or telephone number you use specifically for that campaign. Of course, asking each new prospect “How did you hear about our company?” is also important, whether you’re evaluating a particular marketing effort or not – it’s just good business!
Finally, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to really work whatever methods you choose. If you’re going to run a print ad, make sure you utilize a designer (one that you hire or one supplied by the publication) to ensure your layout is fresh and sharp. If you’re going to advertise in an online directory or on a website, take advantage of every tool offered to you to make the most of your listing. If you’re going to participate in a bridal show, bring high-quality collateral pieces, make your display attractive and approachable, and bring friendly, enthusiastic people to help staff your booth. You can’t accurately assess the effectiveness of any marketing effort if you haven’t given it your all.
Jennifer Reitmeyer is the president of MyDeejay, Inc., a wedding disc jockey company serving the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Her company was named Washingtonian Bride & Groom Magazine’s “Top Vote Getter” for Best Wedding Vendor 2012 and “Editor’s Pick” for Best Wedding Vendor in 2011. MyDeejay was also named Brides Maryland’s “Editor’s Choice” in 2011 and has received WeddingWire’s “Bride’s Choice Award” each year since the award was created in 2009.
In addition to her work for MyDeejay, Jennifer is the founder of WeddingIQ, a business blog focusing on issues affecting wedding business owners, and is a featured blogger for WeddingAces. She also is the Washington, DC host for Thursday Therapy, a networking concept created by Sage Wedding Pros.
More information on Jennifer’s projects is available on her website.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding pr firm OFD Consulting. She is the exclusive wedding pr columnist to wedding marketing journal WedLock magazine and is a highly sought after speaker in the wedding industry. She loves ruffle table runners and Royal Wedding Tchotchkes. To learn how OFD Consulting can assist you with your wedding marketing and wedding pr, please contact us today.