In 2013, June was the most popular month to say those two little words that change a life. I Do. With wedding season right around the corner and several weddings to attend, I started thinking about the many steps to plan a wedding. It made me realize that planning a wedding uses several of the same steps it takes to plan a marketing plan.
How so? Think of the client as the “bride,” remembering that it is their big day and they have the final say in everything. Callis, or any agency, is the planner that makes sure the hopes and dreams of the “bride” are met and exceed expectation. There are so many steps to make a wedding a dream come true. By starting with a date, a budget, and an established guest list, a proper location can be chosen. Perfecting all of the details way ahead of time allows the bride to enjoy their big day. By making a check list and narrowing the to-do’s to these six simple steps, you’ll be ready to plan a wedding or your next marketing campaign.
1) Set a date
For a campaign of any sort it is important to know the time frame. The average length of an engagement in 2013 was a total of 14 months. That allowed for 14 months of planning. The key difference about a campaign is that it depends on the client and the product to determine the correct amount of time. A campaign should last long enough to make impact and achieve results. However, if the campaign is too long, then customers could lose interest.
2) Set a budget
After the date is set the most important thing to do is set a budget. Every bridal magazine suggests setting a budget before looking at any other ideas. This is the same with a campaign. By knowing what the budget is, the money can be spent most efficiently. Having a budget helps a bride stay within it. With a wedding budget of $7,000, one can’t have a sit-down, served meal with prime rib. However, by having a buffet with chicken, all the guests will have plenty to eat. This is the same with a campaign. With a budget of $50,000 to spend on advertising, a company can’t spend $30,000 on one advertisement in a magazine. Instead, they should split the money up so they can have several ads and more depending on the market.
3) Create a guest list
At a wedding, prices depend on the amount of people the bride and groom are inviting. By knowing the amount of people they are hosting, they can determine how to break up the budget. In a campaign, you must know the target audience so the advertising budget can be spent reaching them.
4) Find a location
Location and target audience go hand in hand. When surveying for a location, the amount of people attending can make a difference. If the specific venue will only hold 200 but the guest list is over 300, then that location will not work. The budget can make a difference too. If the location is too expensive and won’t work in the budget, then that location isn’t the right place. For a campaign, think of the location as the general area one wants to reach with the message, as well as the type of media the campaign is advertised through. Whether this is TV, billboards, print, digital, or social media, the type of media should directly correspond with the “guest list” of the campaign and what the target market will most likely see.
5) Organize the details
Details are everything. For the campaign, think about the main message as the “meat and potatoes” of the meal, or the main course. The main course is what the message says about the products and the “sides” of the meal are the subtext that goes along with the main message. The presentation of the campaign is in the art and the design of the ads. At a wedding the flowers and decorations add to the overall theme of the wedding. The advertising art should do the same thing. By adding to the overall look, it can enhance the overall message and make the message more memorable. Finally, what would a wedding be without a photographer to capture the big day? Analytics play a role in capturing the campaign in numbers so there is data to look back on after the completion of the campaign.
6) Enjoy the big day
All the hard work is done and it is time to sit back and enjoy.
A bride can become overwhelmed with all of the details and steps, but with the help of the right wedding planner, all the pieces will fall into place. Much like a wedding, once the time frame, budget, and audience are established, the proper media channels can be chosen so the details can be perfected and the client can sit back and enjoy the marketing campaign.