(Editor's Note: We're just two weeks away from a BIG announcement for WeddingIQ! In the meantime, we continue our look back at game-changing posts from our past. On the docket today, Jen's May 2012 post, "Why We've Said "No" to Wedding Venues' Marketing Brochures.)
Boy, was I hot under the collar when I wrote this one. I remember so clearly how excited my former business partner and I were when our DJ company started seeing referrals roll in from our favorite venues. It was so validating, like all our hard work was truly paying off, and paying off in spades.
And then, the calls started rolling in. We went from receiving a few requests to advertise in our favorite venues' new marketing books - beautiful, photo-rich books, to be truthful - to receiving dozens. The quality of our referrals dipped. And after a couple of years of this, we said "enough."
My original article goes into much more detail about why these books are problematic for wedding vendors, wedding clients, and even the wedding venues who benefit from this gorgeous (and free - to them, anyway) marketing. However, I'm sad to say that, while my original post was the most highly-read and highly-shared WeddingIQ post of all time, it didn't achieve my ultimate goal of eradicating these books.
Unfortunately, the publishers I mentioned in my original posts are still pitching these books to venues (although their links are different from the ones I cited; you can now see them in action here and here). Last week, I had the privilege of speaking about brand integrity to a wonderful group of Washington, DC area wedding venue managers, and the topic of these venue brochures came up. One especially nice person, who oversees a venue my team loves and performs at often, asked my opinion on the brochures - not having read WeddingIQ, obviously - and she expressed her own trepidation about the ethics of the brochures. Her concerns were many of the same concerns I outlined in my post. And I was hopeful. She sees it, I thought. She understands how these books can break small businesses.
Sadly, for this particular venue manager, the fact that she was apprehensive about these brochures didn't make it easy for her to decide whether or not to accept the publishers' offer of continuing to produce a brochure for her. Her venue, as part of a non-profit organization, struggles with its marketing budget, and turning away a stunning lookbook was difficult, to say the least.
And believe me, I get it. We all struggle to make the most of our money when it comes to running our business, and marketing ourselves effectively can really break the bank.
Still, I stand by what I wrote in my original post, that these brochures are highly problematic for the wedding industry and everyone in it. And when something is as disempowering and ethically questionable as these books, then even free is too high a price.
Check out my original post, Why We've Said "No" to Wedding Venues' Marketing Brochures, and let me know your thoughts!