Wedding Marketing Sucks! Or, Why I'm Very Wrong

January 15, 2014
Market how your audience wants, not how you want

The wedding industry banks billions every year and the marketing machine behind it is impressive and the envy of any good marketer. But I’m in the group of nine million American couples planning to get married in the next 12 months. And I hate wedding marketing.

Reasons I Hate Wedding Marketing

During wedding planning I’ve been marketed to in a number of personally distasteful ways:

  • Your wedding is your one perfect day! I hope my life isn’t peaking this early, y’all. I’ve got plans.
  • Click here to lose weight for your big day! Yup, women appreciate the implication that they should be skinnier. You know, we just don’t hear that enough these days.
  • [This thing] will be the thing everyone remembers most about your wedding! Hand to God, I’ve heard this about the dress, the decorations, the food, the cake and the venue. If there was a wedding planning drinking game every time someone said this phrase, we’d be totally tipsy.

Why I’m Completely Wrong About It

For me, the emotional appeals common in wedding marketing raise my hackles. I’m turned off by attempts to manipulate my emotions, especially with saccharine ploys. Talk to me about services and benefits; talk to me about budget and I’m yours.

While these common tactics and messaging feel disingenuous to me it’s clearly a successful approach for a large swath of the wedding industry audience. According to IBIS World (2011), the wedding industry is worth $48 billion. The persona the industry is catering to clearly responds to the tactics and messagine they’re using today.

Marketing takeaway: What you like and what your audience will like are two different things.

Don’t let your personal preferences for marketing tactics stop you from trying those tactics for your business. My personal dislike aside, I recognize that I may not be the typical audience wedding vendors are aiming for. (I ask about bugets too much.) If I were marketing to engaged couples I’d recommend similar emotion-laden messaging because it’s proven to work.

What does that mean for you? Maybe you’d be caught dead before clicking on a Facebook ad, but that doesn’t mean the same is true for your audience. Even if you personally hate Facebook ads or email newsletters or mobile websites your customers may love them. Don’t let your personal bias impede you from trying new tactics and making new sales.

[Image credit: ShellyP - creative commons license]