How do you plan to spend your precious warm summer days?
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 23
In post-pandemic New York events pop up everywhere. This summer, we consciously decided to take advantage of New York City’s breadth of festivals – many of which are free.
In addition to major events like the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the Gay Pride Parade and the Fourth of July Fireworks, many of the New York City parks offer a variety of events.
Central Park is home to Summerstage, Shakespeare In The Park and The New York Philharmonic. Bryant Park, Lincoln Center and Little Island have a calendar of events.
As a marketer, consider what summer activities are available where you’re located.
- Can your business participate in these activities to support your marketing?
- What about a fun day to strengthen your teams and/or generate new ideas.
I plan to go to the beach at least once a week as long as we have Goldilocks weather, not too cold or windy and not unbearably hot and sticky.
You may be surprised to learn that New York City has 14 miles of beaches maintained by the New York City Parks Department. Even better, they’re free to enter and enjoy!
Last Thursday, my husband and I played hooky and headed to Brighton Beach when it was less crowded. Fortified with blueberry muffins and coffee from Dunkin Donuts, we set up our chairs and umbrella on the relatively empty beach.
On weekdays, Brighton Beach is less than an hour’s subway trip from our apartment. As the train crosses over the Manhattan Bridge, you get to view the Statue of Liberty, her arm extended over the Brooklyn Bridge. Like a kid, I always make sure that I have a seat with a window facing west towards New Jersey so I can see her. Just seeing her makes my heart swell.
Just sitting on the empty beach listening to the waves rhythmically meet the sand relaxes me. While the strong breeze was too cold to wear a bathing suit, we enjoyed getting warmed by the sun as we read our books.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
► Wedding Bells Ring In Dollars
Grounded in fairy tales like Cinderella, many girls dream of their wedding day. For them it’s a magical event where the bride looks and feels like a princess.
Did you know that June was historically the month of choice for weddings?
Because Romans thought getting married during the month of the goddess Juno, the protector of women, was auspicious.
Don’t let this fool you!
Because most aspects of getting engaged and married provide marketing opportunities.
Do you know who the most significant wedding marketer was?
With an eye toward increasing British industry, Victoria chose to wear a white wedding dress. This contrasted with the colored wedding dresses women previously chose for their practicality to be worn again.
Victoria’s white dress was made of satin woven in the Spitalfields, London’s historic center of the silk industry. Her white dress showed off the delicate English handmade Honiton lace. Further, she asked that no one wear white except her bridesmaids. (Source)
► Weddings Translate To Big Business
Don’t take my word for it! Stop at any magazine stand to check out the bridal magazines. They’re stuffed with advertising. And many brides buy more than one. Even non-bridal, women’s magazines often have an issue with wedding suggestions.
BTW, I used photos of an airport newsstand to show the importance of wedding-related marketing to a client who had a product line targeting pre-wedding and wedding events.
The average 2022 wedding in the US cost $30,000 plus an additional $5,100 for the honeymoon. Expect higher prices in eye-poppingly expensive locations like New York City ($60,000), San Francisco ($54,000), Boston ($50,000), Chicago ($47,000) and Washington, DC ($40,000). (Source)
And this doesn’t include the cost of the engagement ring, photographers and related events.
Since most of us live in the real world where budgets and practicality matter, you may want to think about how and where you want to spend this chunk of money related to your wedding. Of course, who’s footing the bill plays a big role in your decision. It may influence other factors such as where the wedding takes place and who gets invited.
The major wedding items include:
- Reception venue,
- Wedding dress and attire including the bride’s hair styling and makeup,
- Photographer and possibly a videographer,
- Catering and wedding cake,
- Music (live or DJ),
- Transportation and
- Rehearsal dinner.
Regardless of cost, you have a lot of decisions to make. Even worse, many relatives and friends feel free to share their opinion whether you want to hear it or not.
I get it!
This week is our 15th Anniversary and we threw our wedding in New York City.
Decide which items are most important to the two of you as a couple. I cared about the rabbi who married us, the photographer and our honeymoon. For example, I bought my wedding dress at a sample sale exactly 2 months before the actual wedding date.
Then compromise or reduce wedding costs where necessary or unimportant to you.
Bear in mind your invitees also need to weigh the costs of attending your wedding, buying gifts and attending other wedding-related events.
► How Marketers Can Take Advantage Of Wedding Season
If part or all of your business involves weddings, make sure you reach prospective couples and their influencers where they seek wedding-related information.
At a minimum, social media is a must based on research by The Knot.
Even though I got married 15 years ago, ancient history by digital standards, I used search to find other options for key purchases.
Most notably, we had discussed a few options for our honeymoon get away but hadn’t made a decision. So I came home from teaching one night and entered the words “Romantic Honeymoon” in Google Search.
As a result, we wound up going to the Cook Islands for 10 days.
Don’t forget to tap into old fashioned word of mouth and networking to maintain good contacts with previous clients to get referrals. This works well for photographers and music providers where couples don’t feel like their friends will have copycat weddings.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Assess how your organization can tap into this high spending market. This works well for museums and other unusual locations. For example, my nephew got married in the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI.
- Promote products new couples may need. For example, my husband bought a new vacuum less than a month before our wedding since our old one died.
- Figure out how to help couples with their wedding. Perhaps it’s special hours to select their bridal registry.
Modify some of these suggestions for brides and grooms:
► What Your Marketing Can Learn From Georgia O’Keeffe
Last Friday, my husband and I saw the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, “To See Takes Time”, at the Museum of Modern Art (aka: MoMA). While best known for her oil paintings, this show brings together O’Keeffe’s extraordinary series of works on paper using charcoal, pencil, watercolor and pastels.
Between 1915 and 1918, O’Keeffe was experimental and prolific in her works on paper. She produced as many pieces on paper as she did during the next 40 years. Together, they reveal her emerging style and motifs that she later repeated and transformed.
Often these small gems are viewed individually. By showing them together, MoMA’s curators give these works a new context based on how O’Keeffe created them.
Actionable Marketing Tips
- Consider your visitor’s context when they come in contact with your marketing and/or offering. With increased use of a variety of devices, content formats, timing and location, initial impressions may differ from what you expected. Also, where and how they find your business may vary.
- Test different presentations of your products to determine which ones yield the optimal results. Consider how you organize your major product categories. Think about how and where your customers look for your products. For example, many stores place small, low-priced products near the cashier to encourage last-minute additions.
► Georgia O’Keeffe Experiments And Creates A Visual Language
In many ways, seeing O’Keeffe’s visual vocabulary evolve is similar to how marketers create a language for their brands.
Her early work blurred the line between observation and abstraction. It shows her progress using bold lines, organic landscapes and frank nudes.
While classically trained, O’Keeffe’s art evolved significantly after studying with Arthur Wesley Dow. Instead of copying nature, Dow believed art should be created using elements of composition, such as lines, mass and color. So the artist progressively builds over time through a series of exercises. In the process, art became a means of self-expression. (Source)
This point of view is reflected In O’Keeffe’s words, “I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at – not copy it.” (Source)
► How Others View Georgia O’Keeffe’s Visual Language
Curator Samantha Friedman’s comments on O’Keeffe’s Evening Star series could be applied to a marketing campaign or content in terms of how a brand’s logo becomes a symbol for a product or company.
“O’Keeffe’s Evening Star series of watercolors in which she traced the phenomenon of a Texas sunset. … And you can see that sense of awe and wonder translated in her shift to a much bolder palette. And one of the things that’s really interesting about this series is that it’s so explicitly numbered. We have a beginning, we have an end, and therefore we have a story. It unfolds over time.” (Source)
Want to see images from the Georgia O’Keeffe Exhibit explained by MoMA experts?
Check this link: https://www.moma.org/audio/playlist/329
When creating or modifying your brand, consider all of the elements that represent your business, offering and communications to your broader audience. This includes your employees, customers and competitors.
For example, look at how Nike’s logo has evolved over time. It was originally inspired by the ancient Greek Goddess of Victory.
Other Marketing Lessons Inspired By Georgia O’Keeffe
- Don’t stop with your first draft regardless of content format. Like O’Keeffe, allow yourself the freedom to keep trying different approaches to improve your work and message. Also be willing to remove whole sections to streamline your message. Remember, audiences have short attention spans.Similarly, my dad, an amateur photographer, taught me to take lots of photos since you never know which ones will turn out to be “keepers”.
- Test different materials and tools to create your content marketing and other personal expressions. Your goal: Discover what unlocks your creativity.For example, “ At times [O’Keeffe] found that she even preferred lower-quality stock, because of the liberty it granted. “Why—it’s just like scrap paper,” O’Keeffe told Stieglitz of the license afforded her by a thinner, newsprint like paper, “I throw it in the scrap heap and go on to something else.” (Source)Personally, I love O’Keeffe’s approach. While I have stacks of beautiful notebooks I’ve collected over the years, they make me feel like the work I produce must be high quality or I’m wasting them. Instead I keep my journals in cheap grid lined composition notebooks. Also, I write drafts on the back of printed computer paper.
► How To Take a Break
This summer, take a break from reading the latest marketing books.
Instead of the usual beach reads, dive into books that open new options for you.
Since there are limited independent bookstores to wander through and get inspired, I read a few newsletters that recommend books.
- Austin Kleon’s Friday Newsletter. I always find something of interest that takes me down a rabbit hole where I learn something unexpected. Try this one focused on Summer (Un)schooling.
- Ryan Holiday writes a weekly newsletter and a monthly letter on the books he read during the past month. In addition, I particularly liked his book, Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts.
Also, I ask friends for their recommendations. For example, my friend and colleague, George Stenitzer, strongly recommends Barbara Kingsolver’s Demon Copperhead. (BTW, it won this year’s Pulitzer Prize.)
Do you have newsletters or websites you recommend for sourcing new book recommendations?
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► CX Connect– June 13–15, Online via Zoom
CX Connect will feature three days of thought-provoking presentations from the leading experts in customer experience.
► The Conversation Design Conference – July 24th – 25th in London, UK
bringing together the leading thinkers and doers in Conversation Design
Organized by VUX World.
► Marketing AI Conference – July 26 – 28 in Cleveland, OH
Register now with the promo code: RAIMOND100 for $100 off of the purchase price.
► Voice and AI – September 5th to 7th in Washington, DC
► Content Marketing World 2023 – September 26 – 28 in Washington, DC
► MarketingProfs B2B Forum – October 4 – 6 in Boston, MA
► Are you hosting an event that you’d like us to add to the Marketing Calendar? If so, let us know by using our Contact Form with the Subject Line: Event For AMG Newsletter Calendar.
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