Over the past few months, I have been pondering what I see as the direction of the wedding Industry over the next 5 years. In doing so, I looked back 5 years to see how things have changed, so I could better predict a new trajectory. In doing this “see where we were, where we are, we are we going” exercise, I realized that there is a new “normal” that most don’t recognize in the industry.
Three of the “old” normal standards in the wedding industry used to be the following
– My phone rang without much effort
– Brides had a predictable buying cycle/timing
– Price was less an issue due to ease of financing and less stringent credit policies
Three of the “new” normal standards in the wedding industry are as follows
– You need to actively market stronger and further (casting a wider net) just to be in consideration due to new marketing strategies of Facebook, twitter, craig’s list, etc…
– Brides are unpredictable with their buying cycle due to being overwhelmed and a larger amount of brides who are having to change vendors midstream because they went with someone less reliable (typically a new person who is less experienced)
– Price is higher on the scale of “important items” because of the credit crunch and the fear (most times a fear, not a reality) of potentially losing their jobs or the possibilities
With these three “new” normal’s, come three new actions that we as wedding vendors have to meet to not only survive, but to stay ahead of the curve. It is crucial if you plan on staying in business for the next three years (with the quickly changing landscape, it is my suspicion that things will revert again back to older norms) to accomplish these three action items not only to completion, but with gusto- do them very well!
Here are the three items
1. Take a renewed focus on your internet strategy. Searches will begin here and those who are better at being found will be getting the business. Focus on YouTube and Google, specifically keep an eye on Google +.
2. Relationships will trump reputation. Maintaining relationships will be a key factor in maintaining business. This is not to say that reputation doesn’t matter, but if you sit back and rely on simply your reputation, those who focus on building relationships will win.
3. Testing and trying to keep your ear to the ground on what works. Things that work today will change tomorrow and things that work tomorrow will change as well. By reading articles, joining webinars and following “those in the know”, you will hear and be able to implement winning strategies and techniques. One important strategy includes going past the “one and done” appointments where you hope to sign the Bride on your first meeting. It may take 2 or more meetings to get to the same result.
These are just three suggestions, knowing that each Wedding business has so many different dynamics that it would be near impossible to list everything here. Follow those three general principles and you will find yourself staying on top easier.
Until Next week, Here’s to your Success!