This is Stephanie, reporting in on nuggets gleaned from the EPMEN conference we spoke at this week. Lots of wedding marketing learning. Yahoo!
First stop: the wisdom of Sonny Ganguly, Wedding Wire CMO and chief technology brainiac, who blew our minds with a Back to the Future inspired trip through the changing technology from 2003 years ago to to 2023.
Highlights From “What’s New in Tech”
“When you innovate to what your competition is already doing, that’s not a successful place to be.”
Sonny cited the examples of companies Blockbuster and Kodak who once dominated their markets. Blockbuster was defeated by Netflix’s innovative service that eliminated late fees and the need to visit the store. Kodak was similarly killed by the digital camera.
Both companies attempted to imitate their competition with identical services, failed and went bankrupt.
Unfortunately, too many wedding professionals do the same thing. They do what the competition is doing in an attempt to survive. As a long-term strategy, it’s doomed to failure.
Instead, innovate by finding a need in the market you can serve that your competition hasn’t found.
Go SO LO MO for your wedding business.
SOcial – In order to thrive, your business simply must have a strong social media presence.
Rather than trying to master every social media site, an impossible task, Sonny recommends, “Put a couple stakes in the ground and knock them out of the park.” Focus on a few social media sites and do them well.
LOcal – Think local for your wedding business.
You need to focus on getting local traffic and ranking in order for your business to succeed. This means local keywords are still vitally important.
MObil – Go mobile! Make sure your website is easily accessible via mobile devices.
Right now brides and grooms are trying to access your website from their mobile devices. If they can’t find what they are looking for in a simple format that works on a phone or tablet, they’ll move on to your competitors.
Interesting Social Media Stats
Pinterest has fewer members, but they’re more active.
While Pinterest’s growth has leveled off since its spike to over 40 million users in April and May of 2012, you’ll get 5x more activity per follower than you will on Facebook. Pinterest users are also 10x more likely to repin, comment or like you than Twitter users.
Tumblr is the future.
Tumblr is a micro-blogging site largely dominated by 14-17 year olds. What does this have to do with the wedding business?
In 5-10 years, those Tumblr kids are going to be entering our target customer group as they begin to plan their weddings. Creating a strong presence on Tumblr now is placing a stake in the ground to build on the future of your wedding business.
“Play where your customer is going to be,” Sonny says.
Apps of Note For Wedding Pros
Montaj and Vyclone are new apps with particular usefulness for the wedding business.
Montaj is a free iPhone app that allows you to create up to 40 seven second HD video clips and create a video montage with music that’s perfect for showing off your events.
Vyclone allows you to auto-synch videos from multiple sources into one seamless piece.
Test out sending emails on Saturday and Sunday.
Wedding Wire has found that their emails have a higher open rate over the weekend because couples have free access to email on their mobile phones.
If you send regular email blasts to your couples, schedule weekend mailings to see if your open rates improve.
Don’t send email to people who don’t open and click on your emails.
Email clients like AOL, Gmail and Yahoo are increasingly strict in their anti-spam measures. If you repeatedly email people who do not open or click through your emails, email clients, it counts against you.
Eventually, your emails will not get delivered to anyone.
Sift through your email list and place those that haven’t taken an action in over 90 days on a separate list. Attempt to re-engage them with a message, “Do you still want to get emails from me?” and if you don’t get any action, stop emailing them.
While Sonny always blows our minds with the technological advances, it’s just the wake up call we need to remain the choice for the next generation of brides and grooms.
How is new technology affecting your business? Leave a comment.