When should you advertise?

Promotion generally involves directly spending on adverting across various media.  If you choose to spend, how do you ensure you are targeting the right clients, how do you ensure you get the best return on your investment to ensure that prospects book or buy your product or service?

Photo: Alan Langley

Photo: Alan Langley

If you had an unlimited budget, and you were not concerned about your bottom line, you could advertise all year round, in every wedding magazine, on every wedding blog, in all your local newspapers, on every radio station, etc., however, for the majority of us, on a tighter budget, one of the best things you can do, is to really consider when would be the best time to advertise and where.

Nearly every edition of a wedding magazine contains some sort of ‘The Checklist’ or ‘The Count Down, must-do list’.  These lists imply that they are there to ensure that couple’s planning, for the big day, runs smoothly and nothing is overlooked, and is therefore stress free.  But of course the Editor is trying to drive the reader to the advertisers.  As a supplier you might dismiss these count downs, as you believe they are not aimed at you.  However, if you look at them in a completely different light, they can give you an idea of when best to target potential couples or individuals.

Let’s take a Beauty Countdown for women to the big day in Brides July/ August 2016 edition.  With:

  • 8 months to go, brides should be choosing their hairstyle – Wedding hairdressers to note
  • 5 months to go, book your make-up consultations – Make-up artists to note
  • 4 months to go, get a beauty boost – beauty salons, spas and hotels with spas to note
  • 3 months to go, consider teeth whitening – dental practices to note
  • 2 months to go, think about tanning – tanning shops to note
  • 1 month to go, have your hair and make-up trials, this could be a mother and daughter moment so why not book a photographer – photographers to note

For the majority of couples this will be their first time getting married or having a civil ceremony or even if it is their second time, they will be striving to get it right.  So those interested in some or all of the aspects are likely to make a note of these time lines and follow the magazine recommendations.

We know that a high percentage of your potential clients will be married in the three months of July, August and September (42%, Confetti 2015), so the best time to advertise, and be on the new-stands, depending on the published dates, is probably for:

  • Hair dressers, in the Sept/ Oct issue
  • Make-up artists, in the Dec/ Jan issue
  • Beauty salons, in the Jan/ Feb issue
  • Dentists, in the Feb/ Mar issue
  • Photographers, who offer pre-wedding beauty trail shoots, in the Apr/ Mar – perhaps use to fill up gaps or last minute wedding cancellations
Photo: Alan Langley

Photo: Alan Langley

Of course if your business crosses a number of these activities eg Hair and Make -up why not have two different targeted adverts, in September/ October lead with a Hair image and in December/ Jan change to a more Make up led image.

As a supplier you will inevitably get approached by magazine selling teams, to place adverts in their, let’s say, beauty edition and grooming edition.  You can of course choose to take advantage of their ‘deal’ but remember it is their job to create desire, to sell magazines and advertising space so they generate special or focused editions.  In fact, these innovation articles are what makes the media savvy magazines producers so successful.

But it is in your interest to stop and consider, does their timing or does that particular edition work for your business, is it targeting your potential clients i.e. when they are motivated to acquire your products or services, and is published at the right time of their wedding buying cycle.

Of course not everyone ‘buys’ in the same way, just today with just a month to their wedding a friend has sent out a help message “what is the best place for a tanning, but then she is in the wedding industry so mega busy in July”.  However, I would recommend over the next 12 months ‘treat yourself’ (put it down as a business expense) to the latest edition of Brides, Bride, Perfect Wedding etc. and read them, with a new found insight, and don’t forget to do your own market research by asking your existing clients how many weeks/ months etc. until their wedding or partnership and how or where did they hear about you.

Many thanks to –
– Jessica and Jonathan whose wedding was on 12/06/2016
– Alan Langley at www.doverdesign.co.uk