Results from the Marketing Survey

Thank you to the 71 people who took the time to fill out our marketing survey on how you market your flower business! I’ve found the responses to be very interesting and I think you all will, too.

Here are the results verbatim:

1. Where do you advertise you floral business? (multiple choice question, listed from most popular to least popular with corresponding number of replies after the selection)
Facebook Page for your business – 64
Referrals by Previous Clients – 63
Referrals by other Vendors – 58
Social Media (twitter, instragram, pinterest, etc) – 56
Your own Blog for your business – 50
Referrals by Wedding Planners – 47
Preferred Vendor Lists – 37
Wedding Wire Website – 35
Bridal Shows – 17
Other Networking Groups – 15
The Knot Website – 14
Style Me Pretty Blog – 13
My Wedding Website – 12
Local Resources Blog (ie, in CO we have “Couture Colorado”) – 12
Local Regional Magazine in your area – 9
Chamber of Commerce Networking Group – 8
NACE Networking Group – 6
ISES Networking Group – 5
Elizabeth Anne Designs Blog – 4
Wedding Chicks Blog – 4
The Knot Magazine – 3
Google Ads – 2
Wedding Sites & Services Magazine – 1
ABC Networking Group – 1

2. Any other place where you promote your floral business? (blogs, websites, magazines, networking groups not mentioned above?) (17 Responses)
1. Yelp
2. ASCFG Farmer’s Market website
3. Work closely with venues and their event manager and participate in their bridal open houses, my
4. Ruffled Blog and 100 Layer Cake Blog
5. Local Bridal Directories/ Magazines
6. I do a lot of networking via photo shoots.
7. my website
8. Magazine and blog “features” [non paid]
9. Yelp! The free listing – not paid.
10. Participate in photoshoots, real weddings that are submitted to popular wedding blogs, The Times Union Albany Ny has a link to my blog
11. Putting together inspiration shoots and getting those featured in magazines or blogs has really been great for my business.
13. I don’t at the moment but we just hired a PR team let’s see what it would do
14. Publications or features rather than ads
15. Farmers markets
16. wedding loverly united with love washinton dc blog
17. Chicago social bride

3. Of the places where you promote your floral business, which ones do you feel truly provide the best leads? (multiple choice question, listed from most popular to least popular with corresponding number of replies after the selection)
Referrals by Previous Clients – 57
Referrals by other Vendors – 43
Referrals by Wedding Planners – 32
Preferred Vendor Lists – 19
Your Blog for your own business – 17
Facebook Business Page – 17
Social Media (twitter, instragram, pinterest, etc) – 13
Wedding Wire Website – 10
My Wedding Website – 6
Bridal Shows – 5
Style Me Pretty Blog – 4
The Knot Website – 2
Local Resources Blog – 2
Chamber of Commerce Networking Group – 2
The Knot Magazine – 1
NACE Networking Group – 1

4. Where else do you promote your business that you feel produces qualified business leads? (21 Responses)
1. Yelp
2. Most business comes from our website
3. Networking events
4. Venues open house events
5. We feel our best leads come from word of mouth…other vendors/professionals, past clients, etc. And our website. Our website is a GREAT tool and worth every penny!!
6. Bridal Shows
7. Special features on blogs like wedding Chicks, united with live Elizabeth Anne designs style me pretty
8. craigslist
9. I think a lot of traffic goes through Wedding Wire…but I have only booked one client through them (which actually came via word of mouth…) but it is nice to have a place where potential clients can look at reviews.
10. since I am a flower farm, I advertise at farmers markets
11. Yelp is the most common response when I ask brides where they found me.
12. California wedding day magazine
13. I joined the NAWP local chapter (National Association of Wedding Professionals). I’ve met a lot of great vendors through the group, and have gotten a lot of referrals from the vendors I’ve met.
14. Design Instruction / classes
15. Referrals are really where I get the most business. Mainly from Photographers and Planners.
17. I think write ups do well. I was written up a few times and got great business from it. We were in harpers bazaar, NY magazine
18. Venue open houses- we are selective about our participation, it can get expensive.
19. Partnering on community events. Non profit etc
20. Preferred Vendor Lists (send lots of thank you cards and the random gift thru out the year to stay in their minds) and referrals from past clients
21. In the local and outer communities; by old fashioned marketing and networking

5. Any current places where you advertise that you feel are not worth the investment of your money and/or time? (33 Responses)
1. none
2. Newspaper, Magazines, Yes, wedding magazines too. Print and radio, in general, has not been successful over the years.
3. probably the Knot and Wedding Wire
4. Knot, wedding wire, my, providing flowers for certain open houses and events (when asked by a fellow industry pro.)
5. not this year but last year I paid to be in the vendor section of Once Wed which was unfruitful and I have had friends say that while being in SMP LBB drives traffic to their websites it does not lead to bookings.
6. We’ve struggled a bit with wondering if our NACE membership has paid off, but recently we’ve seen more activity from it…
7. Magazines – I advertised in a LOCAL wedding magazine and have yet to receive a lead – it’s a horrible feeling – but I just don’t think magazine ads are worth it. I was featured all over the magazine and still – nothing – not a good investment at all
8. the knot and style me pretty
9. Wedding wire
10. I used to do bridal shows. I felt like they were always a waste of money.
11. I stopped most bridal shows I only do one a year not 3-4.. I also stopped advertising in my local magazine..
12. newspapers
13. I have done 2 bridal shows with very little result. (Although very fun!) I think for the amount of money florists in particular need to put in, it is just not worth it for us.
14. local greasy spoon
15. I was on the for a year and got NOTHING but inquires from low budget brides, that led NO WHERE
16. No – I don’t do any paid advertising.
17. Up until this year we’ve built our business completely on word of mouth referrals from planners, vendors and past clients. Two months ago (August 2012) we decided to invest in various paid advertising and really went gung ho to see what would be most successful for us. We went with a Style Me Pretty LBB listing, a local print ad in the upcoming 2013 edition of a yearly Wedding Planner & Guide book and we’re doing our first bridal show at the end of October. It’s too soon for me to know what ones will be a good investment! I’d be happy to share the results we’ve seen when I (hopefully!!!) see you in NYC in March.
18. Bridal shows have not had much return.
19. The Knot
20. Questioning The Knot and SMP (I have let my ad lapse on SMP and I have not really felt it has made a difference in the number of leads coming in).
21. Any place we have advertised in the past was a waste of money would not suggest it
22. Preferred vendor on a few wedding blogs
23. Ruffled, Once Wed,
24. Bridal shows
25. Magazine
26. 100 layer cake
27. Undecided at this time. I’ve been with Elizabeth Anne for a year and have gotten no leads to date.
28. Wedding sites and services!
29. The knot
30. Local magazines
31. WeddingWire has proven useless. I got a lot more inquiries when I advertised on The Knot and may switch back.
32. Print Magazines never worked effectively for us. We advertised for years with a local magazine and not one lead. We decided to pull the plug last June and try something different. We will see how it goes.
33. Bridal shows; the Knot

6. Anything else you’d like to share with us regarding the marketing your business: (19 Responses)
1. Pictures on website most important sales tool.
2. Out of the dozens of shows I did I got only 1 bride. And that was indirectly (referral from another vendor I met at that show) my area is extremely saturated with shows. (100+ from Sept to May) its very overwhelming for both brides and vendors. So I will no longer participate in a show. No return on investment
3. Using search engine optimization techniques such as Alt text for my blog is I think the most valuable marketing strategy I have. I love it when google frequently crawls my blog for new content and reads all the important key words such as “wedding florist metro detroit” then anyone who googles same will see my blog URL near or at the top of the google results and this was FREE just took time πŸ™‚
4. I am so glad you are doing this – I have asked you to do a feature on marketing – and I LOVE THAT YOU ARE DOING THIS – I can’t wait to see the results….
5. I feel the best way to market yourself is by doing your best and you will get referrals!! Get your work out there and get it seen!
6. Nothing beats word of mouth. πŸ™‚
7. I don’t do any paid advertising. I’ll be interested to see if others feel it’s worth it and where.
8. Be true to yourself. Remember this is most couples first time planning a wedding, be kind and helpful.
9. I’m a super small shop and I am having a hard time keeping up with all the work from referrals from clients. Word of mouth keeps me busier than all other marketing avenue combined. I tell my clients that I offer a “referral rebate” of 5% of their total. Someone they refer books me – they get 5% back. Pays for itself and I always have great ROI.
10. There are never enough hours in the day! Especially with social media. I feel like social media is a great way to promote my business but it can be such a time suck.
11. Word of mouth, I think is the best advertisement. If you do a good job, other suppliers will recommend you and most brides don’t start with a florist, they ask the vendor, the caterers and the photographer….
12. A write up or a story on the Sunday new York times or tv
13. It’s hard! And confusing!
14. Can’t wait to read the results!
15. Good consistent reputation in the community. If you help others reach their goals it will come back around.
16. I am in the process of deciding where to do a little advertising: newspaper or a local magazine
17. mouth to mouth.. the best and cheapest way ever.
18. One thing that has worked for me in the last couple of months is making sure that I stay in front of the people who sell venues to couples in addition to the catering managers at the hotels and catering companies. So far it’s worked well along with the random floral drop off to stationers in the city and we’ve gotten quite a bit of business from them.
19. Best way we’ve gained new clients is from networking with customers and previous clients; and our portfolio!

(End of Survey)

What do you all think? It’s A LOT of information to digest! I think it’s great that the survey was anonymous, everyone could speak their minds freely.

One thing I did not see anyone else mention, I receive a lot of referrals from other floral designers in my area. Once a date is booked for weddings, we are all very good at referring business onto each other. I highly recommend getting to know “the competition” and making them your friends!

Did anything in particular stand out to any of you?
Personally I had no idea Yelp was so useful, I’ve never paid any attention to that website.

I found this study very interesting, wondering what our next study should be? Suggestions?

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  1. I’m not a florist but a honeymoon travel agent and I can sympathize with the answers. The knot and wedding wire have done nothing for me, bridal shows are questionable and I’ve gotten referrals from past clients… word of mouth is golden!

    • Thank you, Brenda, for your comment! Reading over these answers I can see where they are helpful for anyone involved in the wedding industry. I agree, word of mouth is golden!!