Hashtags and Ham Sandwich Marketing

ham sandwich marketingAs I was reading every possible book and resource on blogging, I came across the great title: No One Cares What You Had For Your Lunch: 100 Ideas for your blog. It turned out to be one of the most important marketing lessons, about blogging, micro-blogging (Twitter), social networking (Facebook), and business networking (LinkedIn).

Now, we add the posting of nonsense hashtags to Twitter and Facebook to a long list of pointless activities. And not just nonsense hashtags, but many, on a single post. Don’t think it looks hip or smart, momentarily, but there is no upside impact, particularly on Facebook. In fact, the reverse is true.

Each HASHTAG should have a purpose…

The essence: In all forms of advertising, marketing, social media, and networking you are vying for people’s attention within brief and/or limited time constraints. It is important for your words and images be pithy, crisp, motivational, interesting, and memorable.

To rambling about topics which don’t pass the ‘Who cares?’ test is not just a waste of a reader’s time, it increases the likelihood they will tune you out in the future.

Facebook offers many options for people to lessen your presence, including demoting you to acquaintance status or turning off the appearance of your updates in their news feed. So, with those choices (and others), to unfriend or block someone and likely offend them; you can simply silence them.

Just what is Ham Sandwich Marketing? It is my buzzword phrase, inspired by the aforementioned book. It is my notation of meaningless posts and status updates that are useless and annoying to everybody but the person who initiated them.

Example: “Just had lunch at Wolfgang Puck with Susie, Johnny, and Big Al.”

My response (Either mentally or actually, by Direct Tweet, Direct Message or Public Facebook Wall Post): “Did you have a ham sandwich?”

ham sandwichIt’s my not-so-subtle sarcastic way of nudging the poster or blogger with the subtext: “I read your item. Am I supposed to know who Susie, Johnny and Al are? Am I supposed be impressed you lunched at Wolfgang Puck. Why don’t just tell me you had a ham sandwich. That would be equally unimpressive and unnecessary?”

If you’re lunch was outstanding, take a picture of the ham sandwich. post about the freshly made Dijon mustard, the soft fresh-baked roll, and what variety of ham was involved. Then there is possibility of being entertaining. Otherwise, you’re just engaging in Ham Sandwich Marketing.

In today’s fast and furious world of communications, being boring is a big crime. Being irrelevant is a felony offense.

Don’t waste people’s time. Be interesting or be gone!

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

LGBTQ Wedding Windfall? Don’t Believe The Hype

LGBTQ Wedding Windfall

NEWS, ANALYSIS, and OPINION

LGBTQ Wedding Windfall has been a story looking for a reality in the last couple of years. Print, electronic, and social media have a predisposition to shout about the present and coming infusion of business, resulting from the passage marriage equality legislation, state by state, and now, the SCOTUS decision to unify marriage law, nationwide.

Do The Math

The LGBTQ population is less than 10% of the entire United States population. Published posts and articles often site Average Wedding Costs, attempting to project the immediate and future revenue from this new niche market. It’s a classic case of editors with a preconceived conclusion, looking for facts to support such a notion.

Professional wedding businesses understand about 1% of the general population is involved in a wedding, at any time. Simplistic logic would suggest a logjam of LGBTQ couples rushing down the aisle now, as legalization knows no borders.

For the LGBTQ community, the 1% weddings, computes down to one-tenth of one percent of the entire population. Not exactly overwhelming.

It Ain’t Necessarily So

As law changes occurred, state-by-state, there was anticipation of court appeals. In numerous cases decisions were reversed, temporarily. In those situations, many couples headed for the local courthouse to have a simple ceremony, before a court appeal was filed.

The reality, in the long term, is age and length-of-relationship both matter. A same-sex couple in their 40’s-50’s, with relationship of 20+ years is not likely to suddenly have a wedding for 125 – 150+ guests. It is more reasonable to believe such a couple has hosted a commitment ceremony, some time ago, and now, a wedding and reception are more likely to a smaller, intimate group than full-scale.

A couple in their late 20’s to early 30’s is more likely to proceed on a traditional time frame (12-18 months) for their wedding and reception.

What this means to your company

The massive publicity about marriage equality, over the last three years, has been key in evolution of opinions and moving the country forward. However, the change in business flow is more likely to be a bump in demand, rather than a spike; then steady demand into the future.

Your mileage may vary

Exceptions will occur for companies which have been working with LGBTQ clients over years, prior to the SCOTUS decision. It is unrealistic for a business which is not LGBTQ-literate or experienced to simply access these newly available clients, quickly and easily.

“The complexities of educating your staff about the range of LGBTQ tastes, concerns, and preferences should not be underestimated. This is not an overnight process.”

Be conservative with your business projections. If you choose to focus on LGBTQ weddings, it can make a measured difference to the bottom line… just don’t let financial optimism overtake real-world sales projections.

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Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Pricing Service Strategy: Is it time for a change?

pricing service strategyWedding professionals are often frustrated by brides and grooms don’t appreciate the value of their services. Ultimately, aside from ‘customer service,’ there are three major factors that come into play.

  • Hours of service
  • Price for product/service
  • Quality and Value of the result

One problem is traditional wedding service pricing structure. For example, DJ Entertainer and Photography pricing is quoted within the framework of ‘time in direct service with the client.’

While customary in the wedding industry, linking pricing only to face-to-face service at a wedding, or wedding and reception, drastically understates the total service time. 

A wedding couple doesn’t know how many hours it takes to prepare custom introductions, tracking drown obscure music, travel or a host of other event-specific tasks. It’s hard for the couple to understand why the price is so high (in their eyes). Hours of work at a wedding and reception are a specific measure of your effort; however, grossly incomplete. The result is more subjective. Hours of performance do not equal the value of your work.

It is not enough to show a prospect video clips of successful events and expect an instant understanding degree of difficulty. All special events have their own degree of difficulty. It’s unreasonable for your prospect to know that, going in.

If one doesn’t explain situational differences in equipment, lighting, skill level, etc., you are just hoping the prospect figures it out. Likely an unreasonable expectation.

A disc jockey, photographer, or videography service (among others) usually prices itself for a specific number of  performance hours. Travel and set up are typically not mentioned not in discussion or noted in an agreement (unless the event is outside the local market area).

What effect might occur if proposals and agreements included a ‘simple informational statement’ indicating a summary of unseen work, associated with your event service, not occurring during the reception time frame?

Effective service implementation, meeting or exceeding client expectations, includes explaining the total scope of your service, at some level.

  • Maybe this approach should become an industry-wide standard for wedding marketers?
  • What would change in the process of selling if every prospect understood you total measure of service, and its impact on a successful outcome?

I know, I’m turning wedding industry pricing and selling approach on its ear. Maybe it’s time to do that.

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

MidWest DJs Live Conference Details

MidWest DJs LiveMidWest DJs Live will convene its conference, Sunday and Monday, April 12 & 13 at the Crown Plaza Milwaukee. It is the seventh year for this gathering of entertainment professionals within the region.

Andy Ebon will be representing WeddingWire as parts of its National Education Team. He will be giving a 2-part presentation on blogging, one session on each day of the conference. His content will cover the vast marketing, technical, and creative elements of blogging, with focus on why every small business owner should have a blog.

Some of the other industry presenters include:

  • Mitch Taylor
  • Peter Merkle
  • Alan Dodson
  • KC KoKoruz
  • Howard Wallach
  • Scott “Smokin” Silz

For those who would like attend, for details and online registration, visit MidWestDJsLive.com

Noreen Azuzu
Contributing Writer
The Wedding Marketing Blog