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What B2B Marketers Can Learn from the 2020 Wedding Season

Agnes Fotino | August 25, 2020

B2B marketers wedding
Photo by Bin Thiều on Unsplash

For most couples, there’s no more golden, fun, or exhilarating time in life than approaching your wedding date. As a newly engaged sales operations professional here at HMI, working on a fixer-upper, trying to plan a wedding during a global pandemic, however, this wedding season has brought a mixed bag of anxiety, wonder, and tough decisions. I’m sure it’s been the same for many brides and grooms like me and my fiancé.

As flocks of people have had to pivot and think outside the box for their nuptials this wedding season, the creativity and problem solving mentality has brought ideation that could help B2B marketers and their companies rethink their engagement strategies, particularly when it comes to group travel, meetings, and events.

Leave it to the will of a bride and groom with their wedding on the line to solve these tricky challenges that brand marketers are facing every day with their events:

Communication

Anyone have the data on YOY percent increase in sales of “move the date” cards? I’m sure we’re talking about thousands of percent increase, I have 7 on my fridge right now and they serve as the perfect reminder that fun and friends are soon to come and clearly communicate what to expect

The takeaway for brands:

Send your own move the date or change of plans card to the house of your participants. You are sure to be the only move-the-date “company” in a sea of wedding and other events. It is a fun and unique way to stand out and bring your brand to a personal level whilst clearly communicating how you’re working to build trust and safely maintain event integrity.

Additionally, B2B marketers can communicate often and in different formats if there is any question of when and how your event will take place. In these volatile times less is not more, but creativity is everything, so try that new tactic.

Scaled Guest List

Here in Boston, in-person events can take place with up to 100 people attending. This has caused a ripple effect in couples having to make tough decisions about moving forward with their event and the guest list. Who really needs to come? Who are the most critical people you couldn’t bare to have miss out on this momentous occasion?

The takeaway for brands:

Don’t be afraid to scale back the guest list in a defensive play to make sure your VIP, advocates, and brand “family” are on the list and well taken care of. The second cousins and great aunts of your brand channel can wait it out for the next, more inclusive event.

We’ve seen some companies pivot some of these excluded customers to over recognition strategies like including them in their points program for lower earners, a branded “raincheck” package, or even an online gamification tactic. Whether this is a temporary or permanent move is up to your budget and your customers’ interests.

Personalized Favors

In a normal wedding season, you might receive your party favor at your place setting or on your way out from the event. While nice, these small tokens typically are not very memorable. Now, the game has changed. Instead of a post-wedding favor many are opting to do pre-wedding favors as a way of keeping the event top of mind when it’s moved or as a thank you for when it’s cancelled.

The takeaway for brands:

Like wedding favors, a trip gift doesn’t need to be done how it’s been done in the past. Create and send a personalized package to your would-be participants that’ll hit home, create memory value, and keep them excited about your brand and what’s to come. Think about the “wow” factor you want to create when it’s opened, how your participants will utilize the components of the package, and finally the communication that comes along with it.

Conclusion

Eventually, wedding season and group travel strategies will normalize and we’ll once again get to enjoy passed crab cakes and bacon wrapped scallops. In the meantime, B2B marketers and their brands should consider a few things.

Your communication strategy should be early and above and beyond creative. You don’t want to add to the noise and sound tone deaf.  How you’re engaging with your VIP’s. Your most effective tool at this time will be out of the box thinking when it comes to how you’re maintaining those relationships. Personalized tokens, gifts, and reminders. While we’re not traveling or going to many events right now, building excitement for events to come should be one of the major goals of your strategy at the moment.

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