We conducted this educational survey to help participants to comprehend the most effective strategies for marketing, identify changes in the marketplace, and learn about what tactics other businesses in the wedding industry are utilizing in their business promotions. The results of this survey can provide the entire industry with insights into the trends and values of the many marketing strategies wedding vendors have choices to implement. Responses were from all over the country in multiple wedding vendor categories.
Takeaway: Considering word of mouth is crucial to the growth of business and that a referred client is a much warmer lead, think about what you can do to be more proactive about generating referrals.
Takeaway: Understanding that some of the businesses surveyed do not have a physical location, the importance of walk-in traffic is remarkably low. Today, your website is the equivalent of a front lobby or a store window. Just like somebody that walks by a window display, they are looking at your business through the window of their computer or mobile device and decide whether they want to stop in or make an appointment.
Takeaway: The importance of advertising on the wedding websites right for you is indisputable. However, deciding which platforms fit your needs is very strategic. Also, wedding websites are only responsible for driving traffic to your website. The effectiveness of the website is going to be an important determinant on how successful your online advertising is.
Takeaway: Wedding vendors have a diminished view of print advertising. The main obstacle is the determining of direct response. Readers can’t click onto your ad from a magazine but they can create recognition for your business that can lead to a familiarity with your company when then see you online that can enhance the responsiveness of your virtual presence.
Takeaway: Direct mail is used less and less in wedding marketing. The right direct mail approach can generate results because wedding couples are receiving increasingly less mail than years ago.
Takeaway: Improving online visibility can be helpful to the growth of any business. However, the strength of the website has a great determinant in maximizing the conversion of the traffic generated. Also working on your reputation is extremely important to the process, striving for strong reviews on all important review platforms.
Takeaway: Bridal shows remain an important marketing strategy, but to maximize these results always be prepared with a strong booth and a strong follow-up system in place. The key is to capture the leads of the booth visitors rather than relying on a master list of all attendees (many show producers no longer include that).
The results of this prompt are as follows:
- We actively recommend each other (78.9%)
- We display each others’ business cards (37.4%)
- We exchange client information so that each company may contact their respective customers (20.3%)
- We do not proactively network with noncompeting businesses with the same clientele (13%)
- We rent space to another vendor (3.3%)
Takeaway: Networking is a key ingredient in helping many businesses. The more possible touch points established between vendor partners, the more successful it proves to be.
The most heavily selected responses to this prompt included:
- I do not exhibit at bridal shows or party planning showcases (26.8%)
- One show a year (21.1%)
- More than three a year (20.3%)
The majority of survey participants responded:
- Emails (77.7%)
- Social Media (40.2%)
- Phone Calls (34.8%)
Takeaway: Your satisfied customers are your best brand ambassadors to generate referrals. If you have not taken the time to develop a database, now is the time to start. If you have already, send anniversary cards and personalized notes to check in on them. Keep your business on their radar screen.
The most heavily selected methods of communication included:
- Email (95.1%)
- Engage on social media (70.5%)
- Phone follow-up (66.4%)
Takeaway: Facebook and Instagram are the most popular social media tools for wedding vendors. So many wedding vendors do not post content on traditional blogging platforms. Social media is more about sharing than posting. Doing blog posts about your actual clients is something to ask your customer to put on their social media platforms and share with their family and friends. Blogging is also an easy way to update your site, which is something Google favors for site ranking.
For this prompt, the majority of the responses were as follows:
- Real weddings (73.9%)
- Spotlight happenings about my company (73.1%)
- Promotions of my company (68.9%)
Takeaway: Real weddings are usually the best type of blog posts to feature because they are the most shareable with your clients. Unless you are in the rare minority of wedding businesses that have a community of return readers.
Takeaway: Referral Incentives can be very powerful but you need to be generous with the reward. Remember getting a referred client is more profitable because you did not spend money in advertising to acquire that customer. Send that customer dinner for two at a restaurant or a gift card. If you figured out the acquisition cost to get a new client from your advertising and marketing channels, referral incentives will in comparison usually be lower.
The top three responses to this prompt included:
- Posting them on company website (72.1%)
- Displaying thank you cards from customers (31.1%)
- Referral of testimonials to other customers (19.7%)
The top results of this question included:
- Business cards (89.3%)
- Four color postcard (36.4%)
- Four color brochure (30.6%)
Takeaway: With such a vast majority of wedding businesses having updated websites, if your website is not updated or mobile friendly, you are at a strong disadvantage.
Takeaway: For those who do not have an SSL Certificate or understand the importance of site security and client trust, please read this article. https://www.brianlawrence.com/2018/06/29/wedding-business-website-needs-an-ssl/
Takeaway: Any wedding business that is not doing some sort of effective marketing online is losing business every day. It’s hard for a business owner to know they are missing but that silent majority of wedding couples are getting most of their wedding vendors either from referrals or responding to some sort of online marketing.
The responses for this question were as follows:
- TheKnot.com (59.1%)
- WeddingWire.com (48.4%)
- Pay per click with Google (43%)
- Yelp (12%)
- WeddingVibe.com (11.8%)
- Wedding.com (10.8%)
- Perfect Wedding Guide (7.5%)
- HereComesTheGuide.com (6.5%)
- MyWedding.com (3.2%)
When we created this survey, our intention was to shed light for wedding businesses what their peers are doing and thinking when it comes to marketing. I also hope it serves as a blueprint for many businesses to understand what options they have to take charge of their business future. As I have said in the past, “If businesses rely strictly on word of mouth, they will be swallowed by their competition.” Have any questions? Email me directly at [email protected]. If you have a wedding vendor audience, please share this on your industry platforms.