This article was written for the June issue of Disc Jockey News.
Recently on a PHDJ podcast Mike Walter and Joe Bunn discussed how much follow up is enough, too much, or not enough. At one point in the podcast Mike, paid me a nice compliment about well marketed the Marquee Show has been. He did however call into question if the amount of emails that he was getting made me look desperate for attendees. It segued into the question, how we as wedding/special event professionals look to our clients or potential clients when we are marketing to them. It is a great question and a great podcast.
There is no absolute way of marketing, if there was, we would see more individual huge companies in their respective fields of business that dwarf all of their competition. Ultimately you need to market the way that you feel best represents your brand. Most dj companies however haven’t gone as far as establishing what their brand is. This may be your first step as a business owner but that is another topic for another day. You also need to realize that we sell and market the same way that we like to be marketed and sold to. You need to stop thinking that way and start thinking like one of today’s wedding couple if that is the market that you service. What does a weeding couple in their late 20’s / early 30’s find appealing about the service that you offer?
I responded to a post that Mike had created with a link to his podcast. I pointed out that while Mike had gotten a ton of emails about Marquee, they weren’t all coming from me. I had only sent out one that week. I had enrolled the help of Promo Only, The Knot, Imaging Spectrum, ADJA, Disc Jockey News and other sponsors to get the word out about Marquee and that particular week, they all sent out emails and perhaps Mike assumed they all came from me. I still don’t consider that a bad thing. In a perfect world, they could have been scheduled a little further apart but I still like the fact that my brand was being put in front of a specific consumer audience with an interest in disc jockey repeatedly.
In the wedding industry we have a very small window in which to get our brand across to the wedding couple. Some will speculate that this window is a year, some say 6 months, and some say 90 days. Today’s wedding couples have more choices than they ever had. There are far more ds, photographers, photo booth people, etc. than there ever have been in past years. The costs of advertising continue to rise while the number of brides continue to decline. We are at an all-time low marriage rate in this country. Your cost of lead acquisition is more than likely higher than it ever has been and you need to follow up more now than ever before. These are the facts.
The Superbowl is the most viewed sporting event in the U.S. averaging 112 million viewers per year. Even with this football game being an annual event that has become a social event for family and friends, everything about this one game is marketed over and over and over again. This is even with a 50 plus year history. We know what cities are applying to host this event years in advance. We know who will be performing at the half time show months in advance. We know which advertisers will be running commercials during the Superbowl before we even know specifically which two teams will be competing in it. The commercials for it run on the broadcasting network for months in advance. Even with all of this consistent marketing no one views the NFL as desperate. This was true these past two years even with the national anthem controversy. This is also true of the movie industry and even more so with movie dynasties like Star Wars. Bed Bath and Beyond sends an old school post card every 4 weeks like clockwork hoping this is the month that you need or want something that they sell. No one considers any of these brands desperate.
So how does this apply to the wedding / special event industry? Exactly the same way. You need to consistently be proactively putting beautiful, inspirational, interesting, educational, and/or entertaining content in front of your clients and your potential clients. If you are simply putting out an email with a discount special and your company logo at the top, you don’t look any different than the other 30 emails a wedding couple gets each day because they attended a bridal show, registered at David’s Bridal or on The Knot and are now flooded with emails, post cards, etc.
Today’s wedding couple want to know that their wedding is going to be special, different, fun, unique, elegant, etc. Does your marketing convey this message? If it does, they will call you, email, or click through to your website that hopefully will also convey that same message.
Over 70% of lost sales are lost due to a lack of follow up. Just because a wedding couple showed interest in your company doesn’t mean that they are ready to book your services as fast as you would like to sell to them. If you meet a bride at a bridal show, she may have just gotten engaged and your job is to brand your company to her while she goes through the beginning of her wedding planning so that when she is ready for your service category, you are first in her mind. Three weeks of a sales funnel is not going to work with this bride because she just isn’t ready for you yet.
My philosophy is to continue marketing in a polite, proactive way until the client either engages with you or chooses to let you know that they are not in need of your service. As long as you are polite and listen to them you are serving their needs they will respond back accordingly and you won’t seem desperate in the process.