In each city I speak to, I almost always get the question, “Where should I spend my Money for my wedding advertising”. This question is a hard question to answer as there are so many dynamics that go into bridal advertising. If you look at a bad ad in a great place, it will have the same or similar effect as a great ad in a bad place. It becomes your (you the business owner) responsibility of insuring that you can do your part so when you put an ad in a magazine, a booth in a bridal show, you join an association that the medium becomes a mechanism that is successful for your business. Marketing to Brides can be a tough propostion.
Here are three things I want you to do to insure you get the best results and that you have done your job in showing up with the best possible message that will get the Bride to Act.
1. Due Diligence. When selecting a medium, you first need to do your due diligence. I advise my clients that they call people who have participated in using that medium for the longest (they have a good view and will tell you the ups and downs. Further, any references that are given by the medium themselves should be great and say nice things about them (would you ever give out a bad referrer? They are smart and will only give you the good stuff just like you will). Make at least 10 calls- 5 to those you may know and 5 to complete strangers (introduce yourself and ask if now is a good time- the strangers may be a little prickly with you, especially if they have close friends who do what you do. They may be protective of that friend.
2. Understand taking the Bride to the next step. You need to do more than design an ad that tells all about who you are and what you provide. You need to take her by the hand and take her step by step by step. If you put something out there that is simply stating who you are without helping her to understand what to do next, you are throwing your money away. You further need to put out a special offer/Call to Action that makes sense for this medium (that call to Action needs to be something that pushes them to the next stage of the buying process)
3. Have a goal that is agreed upon in the beginning. When you go forward wrapped in ambiguity, you never know what to measure and how to measure it. To set this goal, you need to go off of some figures which will be provided by those who are selling the medium you are interested in. You need to know the “how many’s” the reach and the depth of what they are doing. For a Bridal show, how many typically show to this show (if they do several during the year, you need to measure for the show they have at this time of year, not another time of year) for a magazine, it is how many copies are distributed in the hands of Brides (not how many are printed) for a website, it is how many visitors, and what is their penetration to the category you will be listed in. Mind you none of these mediums can force Brides to go to your ad/booth/webpage and make them take the next step. Their job is to get the brides to the medium, yours is to stand out. Once you understand the necessary information, you need to write (not just think) about what your goal is. In setting your goal, you also need to realize that the more places that you are out there, the more diluted each medium will get with direct results. If you are in a magazine that publishes 10,000 copies per print run, it is not reasonable to think that they and they alone will bring you 100 customers. You may be able to do that, but simply said, there is competition there also, there are the dynamics of when and where it picked up in the bridal buying cycle. I recommend that you create a form that asks where they heard about you and list all of the sources you advertise in, not asking which specific one got you there- the special offer you put out there will do that for you.
Take a studious approach to your marketing and you will do better each and every time.
Until Next Week, Here’s to your Success!

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