Marketing to Millennial Brides and Grooms

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Last week I was the guest expert on the popular Wedding Market Chat that Julie Albaugh hosts every Wednesday on Twitter. My topic was Marketing to Millennials Part 2 (a followup to the first Wedding Market Chat I did in February). Julie has a full transcript here that you can check out, including my answers to participants' questions. Below is a copy of the Q+A scripted portion. Since the chats take place on Twitter, all of my answers are short and to the point.

What does the term millennial mean?

Millennials are the generation born between 1979-2000, also known as Gen Y, Echo Boomers, Trophy Kids.

Millennials are the largest generation alive (1/3 of total world population) and are 33% larger than the Boomers (second largest).

Millennials made up 83% of global wedding clients in 2011 according to Splendid Insights.

How do millennials find their wedding pros?

Vendor sourcing isn't either word of mouth OR word of mouse, it's both/and. Millennials research everything.

Top four sources: Internet search (57%), friends/family offline (56%), wedding pro referrals (38%), blog/website feature (35%).

What factors are important for millennials to hire wedding pros?

The most important factors in wedding hiring are what I call the three P's: portfolio, personality & promptness.

91% say portfolio matters, 97% say personality matters & email/phone response time can be a deal-breaker as well.

Millennials value peer feedback because they grew up learning in groups. What their friends/family think of you matters too.

These stats are from Splendid Insights - an unbiased survey of over 14,000 people married in 2011.

How important is budget to the couple?

Millennials like to think of themselves as financially savvy, so staying on budget matters to them, even for high-end.

91% of couples globally say staying on budget matters, 91% in US, 85% in UK, 93% in Canada.

Grooms care slightly less than brides do about staying on budget (90% vs 91% globally).

For millennials, if parents are paying, staying on budget is respect issue. If they're paying, it's a practical issue.

40% of millennials pay for their wedding themselves, 55% of parents of the bride or groom pay.

What mistakes do wedding pros typically make in losing the sale?

Biggest mistake in losing the sale is focusing just on bride. 65% of grooms are involved & decisions have equal weight.

Another mistake is pushing a "leave it to us and relax" message. Millennials want to collaborate, not solely delegate.

How can wedding pros improve their sales approach to millennials?

75% of couples want their wedding to be FUN. Show that what you do contributes to that.

Detail shots get you published, but people shots get you hired. Photos of guests dancing, having fun helps close the sale.

Creativity is the top trait millennials think people should possess, so explain your process to show that you are.

Most importantly, be yourself. The possibility of becoming friends with their wedding pros matters to 49% of couples.

How important is it to have an up to date Website? To reply to Email messages?

94% of couples say the speediness of email replies matters when hiring wedding pros. We're talking within 1-2 hours, not 24.

Websites should be phone/tablet compatible. A lot of branding/opportunity is lost because sites and blogs have flash headers.

More important than a website is an updated blog. Your website is your business card, the blog is the conversation.

For example, 85% of Ritzy Bee's clients hired them because of their blog & then those clients refer via word of mouth.

Where do couples spend most of their time reading wedding related material?

Pinterest is number one, followed by forums (like The Knot, Offbeat Bride, etc), Twitter, then Facebook. But Facebook is number one in the UK.

1 in 3 engaged couples use Pinterest for wedding planning (and so do their moms - pinning ideas before their kids are engaged).

Because millennials value their parents' opinions, mom saying "I love their stuff on Pinterest" is huge emotional buy-in.

61% of couples read wedding blogs like Style Me Pretty and 100 Layer Cake on a daily basis and 1 in 3 read on a weekly basis.

1 in 6 engaged couples read wedding magazines on a daily basis and 39% read on a weekly basis. Print still matters.

What would couples like to see more of in wedding related media?

Couples want to see more of real weddings (22%), practical planning tools (19%), and real wedding advice (not styling) (19%).

Only 6% want to see more inspirational mock wedding photo shoots (and 35% said they want to see LESS of these).

What would like everyone to take away from this Wedding Market Chat ?

Wedding marketing is different today than it was just five years ago because the core client (now millennials) is different.

Millennials and Food Infographic
Why Millennials Need So Much Praise and Feedback

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