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10 marketing lessons from the Royal Wedding

James Thomson /

The big day is almost upon us. Tomorrow, billions of televisions around the world will be tuned into the wedding of the future King of England, Price William of Wales, to his fiancée Kate Middleton.

Regardless of what you think of the Royals (or marriage for that matter) there is no mistaking that this is likely to be one of the biggest events of the year. And big events with big audiences mean big opportunities for smart marketers.

With this in mind, here are 10 marketing lessons from the Royal Wedding – it’s not too late to use some in your business.

Become an expert

With the media desperate for any sort of content in the lead-up to the wedding, an army of business people – from fashion designers right down to humble bridal shop managers – have emerged to pontificate on everything from bridal dresses, wedding cars, wedding cakes and even cutlery. In most cases, these people aren’t privy to the actual details of the wedding, but that doesn’t matter – they are “experts” in their field and therefore have a platform.

Back it up with social media

Any event with a big television audience is almost guaranteed to create huge social media traffic and the royal wedding is no different. With this in mind, any promotion or marketing must be supported by an appropriate social media campaign – something the Royal Family itself is doing well with a steady stream of Tweets from its account @ClarenceHouse.

One of the best examples of a specific social media campaign comes from Schweppes, which is itself an official supplier to the Royal Family. The company, which is selling a special range of Royal Wedding-branded bottles, has created a virtual giant wedding card on Facebook for users to sign.

Control the flow of information

The Royal Family have given marketers a master class in how to control the information around a big event. While Clarence House can’t control the experts weighing in on potential wedding dress designs, they have been able to set the official agenda around the wedding by releasing a steady stream of information, including selected members of the guest list (which killed off speculation around this) details of flower arrangements and seating plans and photos of rehearsals and other events. Clarence House has even gone so far as to decree the sorts of souvenirs that can be produced (tea-towels and aprons are out, by the way).

Tailor your content

Getting some wedding-related content out to your customers or potential customers in a timely matter is crucial if you want to get even a small slice of the interest around the big event. It might be a blog on how your industry is involved in the wedding or it might be a special wedding-related event or promotion. We’ve already seen bookmakers offering novelty odds on the wedding (you can bet on the colour of the Queen’s hat or the length of Middleton’s train) but there are plenty of ideas out there. For example, an email bulletin from a travel agent on five destinations the couple should go on their honeymoon is a great idea to catch a big of the buzz.

Even small details can be big news

In a big event like this, even the smallest connection to the players can be newsworthy. For example, a group of Australian wool growers contributed handfuls of wools that has been made into materials for suits and given to Prince Williams as a wedding present. The idea, which came from Australian Wool Innovation, is a clever way to leverage the wedding in a relatively low cost way.

Build anticipation

The wedding itself may only take a few hours, but clever marketers have been working at building anticipation for months. It’s a great lesson that business owners can use in the lead up to a big event – count down clocks and marketing messages saying there are “two weeks to go” allow you to stretch out the marketing impact.

Sentiment sells

While modern marketing tends to concentrate on the smart, slick, innovative and satirical, there is a decidedly old-fashioned lesson in the Royal Wedding – sentiment still sells. While many consumers in Australia think the monarchy is a rather outdated institution, there is no getting around the fact that everyone loves a wedding and a bit of romance.

Beware the backlash

The Royal Wedding has received its fair share of bad press. Concerns about the cost of security and the amount British taxpayers stump up each year to keep the Royals in the manner they have become accustomed are inevitable around an event like this. If your event is controversial or has its critics, be prepared to address any negativity.

Have fun

Everyone knows that getting excited about the Royal Wedding is a bit silly, but marketers shouldn’t be afraid to get caught up in the spirit of whole thing and have a bit of fun – particularly if this is part of your brand values.

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