Marketing strategy is one of the most critical elements for the success of a business. A fantastic concept, a quality product, and the best customer service mean nothing if your targeted market does not know exactly what it is that you have to offer. Besides these important business components is a company’s ability to change and adjust your marketing strategy as the times and clientele change. XO Group, the company behind The Knot, makes a great case study for a business. They have changed with the times, and adjusted their marketing strategy to reflect the current market.
Marketing for Weddings: The Knot
The Knot was founded in 1996 by the married couple Carley Roney and David Liu. They began as one component of the AOL web platform, but in the years since have grown their brand to include the mega website The Knot, plus much more. As their brand has changed, so has their marketing strategy.
At The Knot’s inception, it launched from a larger web platform. Its target audience was brides planning their weddings, and their target customer was advertisers with bridal products and services. For example, their first advertiser was the national gown brand Nicole Miller. The Knot has now transformed into a massive business group that encompasses almost any wedding detail imaginable. According to its founders, The Knot now has five major revenue streams: local vendors who maintain virtual storefronts; national advertising; a wedding registry; merchandise sold by The Knot; and a publishing business that includes the magazine The Knot and all its advertising.
Mega Website = Mega Marketing
With each revenue stream comes a unique marketing strategy. After all, each has a slightly different target audience. At the local level, for example, The Knot features virtual storefronts for smaller service providers. These local businesses pay for a listing subscription on The Knot. The Knot works with these businesses to reach their local market and maximize sales. Their marketing strategy here relies on matching vendors with local customers. The other revenue streams operate on a larger, mass market scale.
Each branch of the business feeds into the other branches. For instance, an article on The Knot may feature ideas on affordable wedding favors, which you can then buy directly from The Knot. XO Group has expanded beyond the bridal market into the newlywed and new parents market, a natural next step after marriage. Couples who utilize The Knot to plan their wedding can easily segue into The Nest, as they settle into their first home together or into The Bump as they go through pregnancy. This long-term marketing strategy ensures that they retain their customer base over a period of many years.
Your marketing strategy is a package that explains who you are, what you have to offer, and exactly who should be buying it from you. You should absolutely know the answers to these questions before starting a business, but the process does not end there. Any number of factors can change over time, from your target audience to the product or service you offer. As your customer needs and product line changes over time, so too will your marketing strategy. You will need to revisit your strategy regularly to make sure that it continues to meet the needs of your business by reaching the maximum number of potential customers.
Web Content Development
The flexibility of The Knot’s marketing strategy has kept them at the forefront of the bridal market for decades and has now allowed them to expand beyond weddings. From its start as a segment of a larger platform it has grown to a brand with its own mega website and a strong presence in print and social media. Whatever your business, a go-to marketing strategy is an essential element for long-term success. Contact Web Content Development today to hone your brand and marketing strategies for a forward-moving business plan!