Get Married Magazine to close

Get Married Magazine to closeThe rocky road of Get Married Media will come to an official close in the next few weeks. Though this news has not yet been distributed through an official press release, the closure of the company is scheduled for December 16th, 2011.  Multiple sources of The Wedding Marketing Blog have confirmed this outcome.

When an Official press release is in hand, it will be posted, in its entirety.

OPINION: The closure of a national wedding media company is news, and unfortunate. People are losing jobs, at holiday time. Advertisers are probably wondering what will happened to money spent on advertising that will not run.

Unfortunate…

Andy Ebon - signature

 

 

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

InStyle Weddings Magazine to close

instyle-weddings-coverThere will not be an InStyle Weddings Magazine in 2010. Its final edition is slated for December 25, 2009.

InStyle Weddings is the third wedding magazine to close during the past few weeks. Elegant Bride and Modern Bride, both Conde Nast publications, ending last month.

These closing of these three publications is, in contrast, to the recent launch of Get Married Magazine.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Get Married’s Founder and CEO to host new TV season on new network

Season 3’s fresh take focuses on brides discovering their bridal personalities to express their uniqueness

Stacie Francombe, CEO and HOST, Get Married Media
Stacie Francombe, CEO and HOST, Get Married Media

Get Married Media’s production team is creating an exciting line-up for the new season airing on WE tv starting January 2, 2010 every Saturday at 9:30am ET/PT. Premiering at the pinnacle of holiday engagements, season three will present a fresh voice and focus, articulated through the newly launched Get Married magazine and the re-launched website. It’s fresh, sassy and–most importantly–it is all about the bride.

As part of the strategic approach to offer brides a truly integrated and unified wedding lifestyle media platform –on TV, online and in print–Stacie Francombe, CEO and founder, will take on the mantle of show host.

“This year is full of bold moves for Get Married, and the fresh approach we are taking with the show is consistent with our bride-centric focus,” said Francombe. “Brides are at the epicenter of everything we do, and I am incredibly honored to be immersed in their wedding planning as we share captivating moments and inspirations with a national audience.”

Francombe’s background includes a wealth of broadcast experience, from producing and writing for TBS and CNN to launching a successful full-service production company, all of which will further strengthen the production process and final product of Get Married’s TV show.

Get Married’s new season will show brides, and by extension the audience, how to discover their bridal personalities and how to express their uniqueness during their celebration, through trends, services and products. The series will include real brides partaking in fun wedding planning challenges and activities with expert wedding professionals.

With the shift to WE TV, a women-centric network dedicated to the wedding genre, Get Married’s TV show is among an audience of brides seeking bright, innovative ideas and inspirations. Available in nearly 74 million homes, WE tv is the premier source for women looking to satisfy their curiosity with fascinating, original stories and entertaining content. The series will also simulcast to an additional three million on Wedding Central, a 24/7 multi-platform, interactive programming service devoted to weddings, dating and romance.

About Get Married Media
Get Married Media, a national, integrated multi-media wedding lifestyle resource that reaches passionate brides through a highly synergized, tri-media platform: a TV show on WE TV, a highly-trafficked website (www.GetMarried.com) and a glossy print publication (Get Married magazine). Get Married connects brides with local and national wedding vendors and industry experts through entertainment and news.

Launched October 1, 2009, Get Married magazine (circ. 300,000) – the new shopping and trend guide for the savvy bride – moves beyond the traditional ways of delivering a bridal publication – from the newest interactive technology and latest trends in bridal shopping and style to a colorful, fresh voice in the wedding genre. The first issue of the wedding magazine is FREE in single copy (www.getmarried.com/magazine) or bulk (magazine@getmarried.com).

Closely integrated with the TV show and Get Married magazine, the online portal offers brides an interactive experience, including a newly-launched wedding shop that sells wedding supplies and products as seen in the magazine, as well as a wedding blog (bloggerbrides.com), video segments from the show, articles, image galleries and planning tools.

Comment: In a time when a couple of national wedding magazines have closed, and ‘reality’ television shows dominate the wedding tV category, Get Married is going another direction. 2010 Should provide them the opportunity to draw a distinctive difference between their brand and others that serve the bride and the wedding vendor.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority

Wedding Print Media

Wedding Industry Analysis and Opinion

In the wake of yesterday’s stunning announcement by Conde Nast, closing down both Elegant Bride and Modern Bride magazines, I thought it wise to step back and analyze the prospects of wedding industry print media and how the local wedding business is affected.

print-not-deadConsolidation

Yesterday’s news was as much (or perhaps more) a consolidation, than a simple pair of closures. Conde Nast explained its intent to increase the publication frequency of Brides Magazine. That decision will absorb some of the content that otherwise would have appeared in Elegant Bride and Modern Bride.

Rack Space vs. Redundancy

Part of marketing cereal, soda, magazines or any retail product in a grocery store is roadblocking competition by offering multiple choices from one company. However, for Conde Nast, having three separate wedding publications seem to have reached the point of diminishing return. Its move to consolidate doesn’t necessarily represent a sudden, massive realignment in the weddings industry. Rather, a logical, reasonable move for greater efficiency.

Conglomeration

It is fact that virtually all wedding publications also have websites. Many local publications also produce bridal shows. Those that don’t produce shows often are sponsors of bridal shows.

Small Business Relevancy

Is this news about national publications important to the local business? Not so much.

Small business owners are notorious for being easily distracted and failure to have a cohesive marketing plan.

What is the purpose of wedding publications for the advertiser?

Despite the fact that it is a web-centric world, to be sure, brides still read wedding publications, in all shapes and sizes. Free publications, fee-based and subscription publications; local, regional, and national publications. As such, the primary purpose of advertising in print is to drive traffic to one’s website.

Small business often misconstrue the failure of their print ads, blaming it on the publication, specifically, or more generally, on the demise of print. Nonense!

Most Wedding Print Ads Stink

My criticism of wedding print ads comes from reading many publications, in many markets. The ads are often pretty, but they still are ineffective. In my view, I set the stink-factor for local print ads at 75% or more.

Some of the major reasons for poor ROI on print ads are:

  • Failure to use a compelling headline (the name of your business is not a headline).
  • Cluttering an ad with too much information – The purpose of the ad is to make the phone ring or drive people to a website. One doesn’t have to (and shouldn’t) attempt to include any feature or benefit within an ad.
  • Using cheesy illustrations or second rate photographs rather than professional images.
  • Using images of the business owner rather than the happy bride in the wrong situations (there are exceptions, here).
  • Failure to update/improve one’s ad on a regular basis.
  • Failure to track the inbound source of leads, thoroughly (or at all).

The list is actually much longer; however, I think the point is clear. Any wedding publication is a messenger. It is responsible for delivering your ad to brides, in the context of wedding editorial (articles and pointers), packaged in a pleasing, easy-to-read package.

Do not confuse the effectiveness of a second-rate ad and poor lead tracking with the strength or weakness of a specific publication or the decline and fall of the entire wedding print segment.

Here’s your assignment

Without asking you to have a written marketing plan, today (I’ll do that closer to year-end), I urge you to do one thing. Hire a professional copywriter… to refashion your print ads and update your website copy, from top to bottom.

Often, a publisher will accept the task of producing your ad. They often do a fine job of creating excellent finished artwork for a lousy ad because you supply them poor copywriting and concept.

Typically, websites are populated copy that was originally conceived for brochures. That may have been fine, ten years ago. Not today. Surfing brides scan copy. Crisp sentences, paragraph breaks and bullet points are key. The purpose of the website, as it relates to prospect, is to stimulate a phone call or an online inquiry.

The unlimited capacity of websites can seduce one into overstocking it with extraneous content. It becomes like a cluttered closet. Websites can be so overstuffed that the viewer can’t find the important content among the outdated junk.

Seeing The Future

Publishers cannot be solely in print media. To have a present and a future, they must deliver content and advertising in multiple media. Get Married Media is probably the best example of a growing, multi-media company, targeting the wedding industry. They are about enter Season Three of their Television show, they have a national website, with local advertising opportunities, and they are launching their new magazine, this month.

Get Married’s use of Microsoft Tag Technology, beginning with their Premier Issue (October 2009), offer brides the opportunity to transition from the print page to a website/video. This connection between print and web make their magazine stand out by innovation. This technology will spread quickly; however, right now, Get Married Magazine is the first to apply Microsoft Tags in the wedding category.

In Conclusion

Focus on improving your ad, not on the market dynamics, locally or nationally. Business categories tend to expand and contract through natural market conditions. Two publications in your market may be fine. Three may be too many.

Newcomers make big promises. Let other advertisers take those risks. Give the edge to established, ethical, trust worthy publishers (bridal show producers, websites, etc.,) and work on improving your ad content.

THAT is my recommended assignment.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Blog