Marketing is like a Wedding

Recently I had the opportunity to talk to Wedding Professionals of the Triad (North Carolina). I was flattered, as I am anytime someone actually wants to listen to me, but I wondered how I could be relevant to them. Then, with my laptop and discussions with the talented people I work with, I realized that Weddings have a lot in common with what all companies need to do. So, here are the “10 things that Weddings have to do with Marketing”:

  1. You must plan ahead: know your audience (demographics, focus test), know your goal (target) and allow enough time! Do I hear an “amen?!?”
  2. Seek counseling (before, during, after). Dr. Chapman who wrote “The 5 Love Languages” (Words/affirm, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch) reminds us to know how to talk to our spouses. Companies need to talk to the professionals who know how to best talk to their audience.
  3. Develop a Theme – Then do it with consistency (2008 Wedding Theme of the Year? Green/Environment: giveaways include plant saplings, Water Bottles, Charity donations or –-gulp– compact fluorescent light bulbs) 2008 Wedding colors are orange, yellow and silver. With companies, your theme is the brand you establish. Make sure you Communicate it. In Unison! On all your materials.
  4. White space – the goal. When you stand at the back of a ceremony, the Bride dressed in white draws your eye. Marketing materials NEED white space. It draws the eye to your ad, brochure, etc. and helps them want to look at the important stuff (see the next point):
  5. Concentrate on Three Elements (just like the Bride, Groom and Preacher) – everyone else at the wedding directs to them (they’re also in a place of honor). Decide, out of the three, which is the one priority (because we all know that the Bride is the most important element in the wedding). If it’s the only thing people see, it should tell them enough – it should be a Promise.
  6. State your vows (promise/positioning). Decide what you’re promising your customer. “To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part.” Use the obvious or be creative. Because creativity makes people listen. Remember the last wedding you went to when they wrote their own vows?
  7. Remain faithful or expect a divorce. Stick to your vow! Don’t confuse your clients with not delivering your Promise. Or switching to another promise.
  8. Take a Honeymoon – Keep it fun! And enjoyable. All that Planning is worth the honeymoon! Keep your eye on the positive.
  9. Send “Thank You’s” – this is follow-up (test again, thank your customers). You have direct access to the customers you have. And they’re the easiest to get referrals from. Do I need to tell you that your “Thank You” needs to confirm the “Promise”? It’ll make it easy for them to talk about you.
  10. Renew your vows. It’s always good to regularly revisit your positioning/promise. Take the time to remember your first love. Remember the passion you had when you started? Renew the vow to reliving it. Renew the vow to customers.

Anyone have more to add? It’s always fun to look at metaphors. A wedding is like marketing because…

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