Recession Wedding Marketing Tip: Don’t Participate

September 30, 2008 by Andy Ebon

For many people, 2008 has been a lousy year. As of the last week, it looks like things will become more difficult before they improve.

There will be big headlines and bad news throughout the printed and electronic media. Pundits will be interviewed on the cable news channels. Some will speak in jargon. Others in plain English. All will give advice.

sky-is-falling.jpgHere’s some plain English wedding marketing advice, even thought you didn’t ask. Don’t be Chicken Little when it comes to wedding marketing and your business. If you believe the sky is falling, and act as such, it will fall on you.

One thing is certain. Some businesses will be left, dead, at the side of the road, over the next year or so. Job 1 is to not be part of that group. Job 2 is, not-just-to-survive, but to prosper.

80/20 Rule – As it applies to type of business you do.

This is likely not the time to add a whole range of services to your business. Concentrate on what brings in the most revenue, and what your company is recognized for.

Do not attempt to put your peers on a crash course of other services you are now-going-to-provide-in-hopes-of-more-income. Rather, be laser-like in your approach.

80/20 Rule – As it applies to the calendar.

Some markets have specific wedding seasons. Others, in steadier climates, have only mild shifts in demand during the year.

If January is not wedding season in your market, but May is, then focus on closing every sale for a May event. Sell out every Saturday, and book every possible off-day event on Sundays, Friday evenings, or whatever the prospect chooses.

The market will not change for you in January, now matter how much you ‘will it.’

80-20-piechart.jpg80/20 Rule – As it applies to the clients’ needs.

Despite what each of us may want to believe, not all wedding services are equally important to its success. Event people who are wealthy, are less prosperous today, than yesterday. This may not truly affect their ability to pay for their only-daughter’s wedding, but it affects their comfort level with spending money. Their mental outlook becomes their actual behavior.

It may be common sense to note that cutting the guest list is the fastest and most efficient way for the bride to conserve money. However, weddings are an emotional buy, and often times there is a cascading effect of bad decision making when under stress. Everyone’s stress has just grown geometrically.

For example, people in the wedding favor business may have a very tough sell. In my view, there is probably no category of wedding expense that is easier to do away with than favors. On the other hand, the dollar investment in music and facilitating the wedding reception become even more important in lean times. One can have a champagne and cake reception on a shoestring budget, but people will remember whether they danced and had a great time.

80/20 Rule – As it applies to your referral base.

80% of your referrals come from 20% of your contacts. Believe it! Now, as you appropriately reconnect with your referral base, don’t beg or grovel for business. Ask what you can do for them. Shock them by asking for NOTHING, and offering YOUR assistance.

Everyone is, or will be, feeling the pinch. If you think of yourself, first, always, you’re missing the essence of relationship building. Quality networking is getting together with your peers and strengthening those relationships.

Start a monthly breakfast club with your best networking partners (one in each wedding service category). Make the group people you can talk openly with, and confide in. Talk business, problems, opportunities, and mutual support. It can be organic or it can be structured. Just surround yourself with positive people who run quality businesses.

That’s enough for one post. As always, think about what I’ve written, and filter it, as it applies to you. Then take massive action.

One more thing… Don’t watch or read too much bad news. It’s bad for your outlook. Go see a comedy. Watch football or your favorite TV show.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Andy Ebon Andy Ebon (78 Posts)

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