Marketing to Women CEOs
Susan B. Anthony Speaks Up - Are You Listening?

Experience the Glow

One of the most successful topics for marketing to women online is - weddings. I know this from personal experience having had one daughter marry last year, and another getting ready to marry this year. Both of these technology-savvy young ladies used the Internet for a great deal of their preparation. Mostly, they both opened an account at The Knot to give people (friends and family) a gathering place to exchange notes, find out how the plans are coming, look at where they are registered, and to communicate.

Sounds like a blog, doesn't it?

Well, it isn't. It doesn't have the chatty, informational, real-time connections that blogs have. However, it is a very useful, functional website that knows its market. Its market is women. Not just women - specific kinds of women: Brides.

Brides are very much like babies. Everyone oohs and ahhs over them. We tend to think all brides are beautiful - and since I have yet to meet one that isn't, that's a fair assumption. It's the goal of the bridal shops, and the bakeries, and the event planners, and all of the businesses connected to a wedding, to help assure that the bride is beautiful. They know - and you should give this some thought - that it isn't just the bridal dress and veil that make the bride beautiful. Those businesses in the wedding business have learned through experience or research or just plain gut instinct, that it's the experience of the wedding that helps make the bride beautiful.

Experience. Yours and mine - and the bride's and groom's. These days, grooms have a lot more to do with weddings than in years past. Grooms participate and sometimes even manage certain aspects of the wedding, from arranging the reception hall, to choosing the flowers or the wedding cake!

In the end, if the bride and groom are happy (let's say they need to be more than happy - they need to be ecstatic), then the wedding will be memorable, and the bride will be beautiful.

After all, blushing brides ecstatic with their wedding service, their rehearsal dinner (and the food), their reception hall, their cake, their music, and all else that goes into a wedding, will exude beauty from every pore. The adoring eyes of her groom, who is also ecstatic (that it's all finally over?), will adorn even the plainest woman with a glow of beauty that will last for weeks. Brides_mag

The wedding industry knows this. They also know how to deliver that experience via the Internet - by offering visuals, ways for the bride to organize her event planning, and ways for her to connect with her wedding party, her groom, her relatives all over the globe, and all the relevant businesses she will work with - to plan this big, big event.

Which group of women are you hoping to reach? Are you as successful as The Knot, marketing to those women? The lesson is there - free for the asking. Experience the glow - talk to a bride, today.

Comments

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Wedding Planning San Francisco

These days, many technology-savvy young ladies use the Internet for a great deal of their wedding planning preparation.

Yvonne DiVita

Michael, you are proof positive that the world has changed - and it is no longer just the women who are wedding planners. I like that! Your comments here are well taken. I hope everyone 'gets' it... as well as YOU do!

Michael Rubin, WOMMA

Thanks, Yvonne, for posting a topic on what's become one of my favorite subjects in the past two years.

Having had the pleasure of marrying an amazing woman last October and now participating in weddings this summer for my sister and sister-in-law, it's been an interesting to experience the industry as a marketer -- in addition to being a groom, brother, or brother-in-law.

The main thing that I came away with is that this business, almost more than any, thrives and dies on word of mouth. All of the prospective vendors we worked with, for instance, were thoroughly "vetted" by reviewing TheKnot.com's online message boads. You can see how one good review -- completely unsolicited from a happy customer -- can translate into an avalanche of business. You can also see how a bad review can do so much irreparable harm to a photographer or caterer that they can't recover from the loss of business.

I also thought it was amazing to see how one group of women in the Chicago area decided to up and leave TheKnot.com's message boards and "relocate" to a new community-run board called the Chittie Lounge. Even though they still primarily talk about weddings, this group of women had forged strong enough relationships that they now talk about everything from pets to babies.

Not that I am privy to any of this. *grin* My wife tells me all about it as she shows me pictures of all the cute babies.

Extending this beyond TheKnot.com, here are some suggestions I would make about marketing and the wedding industry.

1. LISTEN -- Listen some more. Every couple is different. This business is *not* one size fits all. Listen. I can't stress it enough.

2. TALK -- Your last point is spot-on, 100% correct. *Talk* to women and understand them. Don't market *at* them. It's 2006, not 1986 or 1976.

3. ACKNOWLEDGE THE MAN -- Recognize the world is different in 2006. Men do participate in wedding planning far more than they ever used to. They want and need to do more than "just show up and look handsome." Aiming all your marketing at women (or worse, only acknolweding the presence of the woman if you go *into* a place) is counterproductive and loses out on 50% of your business.

4. GO INTERFAITH -- Recognize that more couples are marrying interfaith. I can't tell you how frustrating it was at times to talk with vendors who would give you the blankest of stares if you mentioned the words "chuppah" or "hora".

5. PEOPLE LOVE TO TALK -- Do well for a couple by following up on your promises. I promise you that you'll have tons of business in the following year just from the couple telling all their friends and family, "Oh you definitely have to use HIM as your photographer because he was just fanastic, reasonably-priced, and easy to work with." It really is that simple.

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