By Andy Ebon, “Wedding Marketing Expert”
Marketing Decisions are sometime made in a moment; other times, it days, weeks or months to make a firm decision… if one is made at all. This is a challenge for wedding professionals and wedding couples.
A wedding couple’s decision making process, if viewed from the position of a wedding professional often feels mind boggling. What should be a ‘no-brainer’ or so we think, looks quite confusing to the couple. The reason is simple: In most cases, the wedding is a first-time event, involving hundreds of choices, large and small, offered up to a couple with little or no experience… IN DECISION MAKING.
While business owners and managers may condescend to couples that waffle over choices, wedding professionals suffer from the same kind of brain freeze; even when it comes to routine marketing decisions.
Why is decision making so challenging?
When teaching college a few years back, I noticed the high school system had trained its students for answering TRUE/FALSE, YES/NO, MULTIPLE CHOICE. In the real world, searching for THE right answer is often folly, and leads to head-scratching. I notice the same symptoms in business professionals, today, when giving seminars.
The choices presenting themselves usually involve multiple options. A single best choices is usually different for your business than someone else’s. More complex opportunities, such as ‘Which Social Media Platforms are best for your company?” create a myriad of permutations. After all, it’s not enough to choose several social media platforms, one has to have an overall social media strategy, tactics for each platform chosen, and methods for measuring ROI to determine the value of all elements.
Part of the challenge exists, because we don’t stop everything and plan, frequently enough. Having 1-year or 5-year plans for your business used to be enough. Now, a 1-year marketing plan is too long a time period. It’s fine to have 1-year business goals, but marketing needs to be tweaked at least twice a year, perhaps as many as four times a year. Yes, changes and opportunities move that fast.
There are some easy choices, so commit.
You’ve been exhibiting with a solid bridal show producer for 5, 10 or 20 years plus. They do what they promised to promote the show… Brides and Grooms show up to all shows. Rebook for the year, making this commitment a foundation of your marketing budget, improve your in-show presentation, and challenge yourself to better pre and post-show marketing. The show promoter’s job is to get people to the show. It’s your job to follow up with prospects and close the sale.
Shiny New Objects
It’s not necessary, and rarely smart, to latch onto the new publication, bridal show, website, etc. the moment it presents itself. Let your competitors be the guinea pigs.
I had a simple formula when presented with new ‘lead generating’ opportunity. I asked myself if was following up effectively on all the leads coming my way from existing sources. If the answer was NO, I used it to stiffen my backbone and do two things. 1) Say No Thanks, or Not Yet to the new choice and 2) Get busy with following up on existing leads.
Your website doesn’t make sales… online inquiries don’t make sales… bridal show generated leads don’t make sales. These are tools that feed your pipeline, but only you make the sale.
Don’t get confused by the existing options, or worse, the new shiny options. Ask better questions of yourself, nail down the obvious marketing options, and stop looking for simple answers on the rest. You may well find yourself with multiple-tight answers. Those are tough choices, but if you’ve assessed the choices, well, you are in a no-lose situation. Nice problem!