Wedding Photography - Markting

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by GerryDavid, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For those of you that do weddings, do you give any thought to marketing? Or do you just wing it?

    If you do give thought to marketing, do you do it yourself or did you hire a merketing firm?

    Whats your target market? Do you try to appeal to the upper class, middle class, working class, under class, or all the above? Sure you could make more from the upper class per wedding, but you may not have as many weddings as if you focused on a lower class. It all depends on what are your area is made up of I presume.

    Is there a certain age group you aim for? This might be obvious since its mostly the younger ones that get married, then the middle aged, but theres also the older ones.

    Do you try to go for a certain Religion/denomination? Most of the weddings Ive assisted were Catholic, Id say like 80% or more. This could have just been random, or just my boss got more word of mouth in the catholic church in town.

    And how do you advertise? Mostly word of mouth? Newspapers? Local tv stations? Referal program with the general public, or deals with flower shops, wedding dress shops? Perhaps look through the newspaper for engagement notices and you write them a letter or thier parents letting them know about your services?

    Do you do any market research to find out what customers want or do you just depend on them asking you for new things? This may not be to relevant since we probably hear about new things way before they do. Like the new type of wedding album thats all printed and binded.

    And do you do anything extra to surprise the customer, or just give them what they expect? In my marketing notes, "the key to customer satisfaction is to match or exceed customer expectations". And according to my marketing class, after a customer makes a large purchase, they feel some regret about spending so much money. And since you want to keep the customer happy, it doesnt hurt to do something to exceed thier expectations to boost thier satisfaction. After all you want positive word of mouth after the fact. But this could backfire and the new client is expecting a certain "extra" and you do somthing different, and they dont see it as the same value.

    This is probably overkill for most of the photographers here. Im sure alot of wedding photographers just set thier prices so thier comparable to the rest of the competition in town and try to get the most jobs you can, no matter who the people are.
     
  2. AIRIC

    AIRIC TPF Noob!

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    Because I work full time I get most of my work by word of mouth so I don't really do much marketing. However when I do a job, such as the air-to-air shoot I posted from the weekend, I make a habit of giving more then promised. All I promised was CDs with images that they can used exclusively. The crew I worked with was great, gave me no greif and I did not spend more time on site then I planned. Oh ya, and no hassle writing a cheque, that is a big one for me. So when I fired them off the CDs I included 4 8x12 prints as a bonus so they could put something on the wall right away but also to prove how the shots should look. You never know they may take them to a printer that is carp and that will make the images look like poor quality.

    As a side note for weddings I always get them to write all cheques in advance so you don't have to hunt someone down on the wedding day and hound them for payment.

    Eric
     
  3. GerryDavid

    GerryDavid No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the reply airic.

    The way my boss does it for the payments is 50% to hold the date, and the rest before the wedding actually happens. It works for him but im not sure if I could get away with it starting out, since people dont like giving out that kind of money before the goods are delivered. I like the idea of the post dated check but I dont fully like checks anywase, ive gotten some that have bounced in the past, although it wasnt alot of money.

    Im taking a marketing class so im just trying to apply what I learn towards photography, and I thought it would be a good discussion on the forum for all to learn. :0)
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks for sharing what you are doing in your class...

    As with most businesses, I believe the marketing, sales & service are a large factor in the success of the business. A mediocre photographer can make a ton of money if they are good with the business side of things. Their photos just have to be good enough to please the clients. On the other hand, if the photographer is wonderfully skilled & artistic but can't keep the finances straight or book enough work...the business just won't work well. I'm sure this is common knowledge and an over simplification.

    I look forward to reading more about your marketing class & how you apply it to wedding photography.
     

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