"I would encourage any wedding venue, to take the time to understand The Wedding Method"
How were you managing your digital marketing before DHM?
Like lots of venues, we were really reactive, just waiting for emails to drop into our inbox to respond to, which is often the way with weddings. We would then respond to those emails with either a phone call or another email, and hopefully get through to the point where they would be coming in for a show-around. But with our location being in north Norfolk, conversion from initial enquiry through to show-around is really tricky - it's not somewhere that you just stumble across. So our marketing was all mostly reactive; some web listings, but primarily the strong enquiries would be through our website.
What problems were you trying to solve with our digital services?
We were, at that point, really trying to grow the business. We were doing 20-25 weddings a year, and we really wanted to get that up to 60. The only way that we were going to do that was by increasing the number of enquiries that we needed, and it was an enormous increase actually. So our biggest drive for starting to work with DHM was to try and really push up those enquiry numbers. But also we have a small team here with limited resources, so we were really interested in how we could make the journey for the customer really smooth and seamless and feel very personal, without it being suddenly an enormous amount of extra work and us needing to take on a bigger team.
"It was clear straight away that you guys knew what you were talking about and that there was a real gap we had with our marketing journey."
Sales Manager, Wedding & Events, Holkham
What made DHM stand out from other options?
Well firstly, DHM came recommended from somebody we work with a lot who is very experienced in the wedding industry. For us, it was great that DHM has such a wide portfolio of different venues and clients and hotels so they understand that it's not one-size-fits-all. They understood that the approach has very much got to be determined by the venue and the location that they're in and the individual challenges that venue faces. So that was a really big thing. Also the team at DHM were young, creative and fun so slipped right into working with our team, so it just worked really nicely and was really seamless.
Were there any obstacles that almost prevented you from choosing DHM?
No, I don’t think so. Not necessarily for me, but for some other members of our team who are perhaps not quite as techie, there was a bit of help needed to ensure they understood how that new customer journey would work and why actually we needed that system because we don't have a CRM system to back up what we have here so it wasn't a case of building on what we already had. There was a little bit of educating around that, but I think certainly when we met with Adam, and then some of the rest of the team, it was clear straight away that you guys knew what you were talking about and that there was a real gap we had with our marketing journey.
What features of our digital services were of most interest to you?
The whole personalisation for the customer. So the individual handwritten notes that go out, the fact that every email is tailored to the individuals, even though it's not, but it feels very personal for them all the way through. I love the video aspect of what you do as well. We're told all the time aren't we that video is king so having a really professional team come in and help us create those videos and actually instantly answer ten questions that a couple might have not only makes us look really professional and slick, but also saves an enormous amount of time in terms of going back and forth with a couple, so that was probably one of the really key things for me. I also love the refresh that you guys do based on the seasons that we're in so that our content always feels quite fresh, which is great.
What’s the best thing about working with DHM?
For me, if I don't know how to approach something and I don't know the answer, I can openly go to them and say, "This is our problem." And DHM will say, "Okay, leave it with us. We'll think about it and then come back with a really creative solution." DHM are really good at not promising something there and then that they can't do, but they take it away and they really think about what the right solution is going to be for us, as Holkham, and the problem that we've got. We've had to make some adjustments to our business and DHM have been great in supporting us with that.
"I would encourage anybody, whether they're starting as a new venue, entering into a new market or just trying to grow to understand The Wedding Method."
Sales Manager, Weddings & Events, Holkham
What have you achieved since working with DHM?
Certainly the wedding enquiry journey is much better than it was. In the last year, we've obviously had a more limited team than we would normally have and without the DHM system in place, I would have struggled to manage all of those enquiries coming in throughout 2020 on my own. So that has immediately made life much easier because I know that those enquiries are ticking along quite happily.
What surprised you most about working with DHM?
I wouldn't say necessarily surprised but I felt more supported than I thought I would, in some ways, because I normally have a team of four, but this year at times it's only been me. So it's very much felt like the DHM team has been an extension of ours really and I could call on them at any point if I needed to, which I wouldn't necessarily say is a surprise, but it's very comforting to know that it's there.
What would you say to someone considering DHM?
I would say don't overthink it. We know that digital is the way forward. It's the only way people generally communicate now. I've worked in weddings for 15 years and 15 years ago, the majority of your enquiries came through on the phone. The phone now rings once or twice a week now. Most inquiries come through digitally, so that's what's got to be strong really. It's so key. Especially as millennials and gen Z's come through, digital marketing is going to become more and more important, so you've just got to be ahead of the game really.
What could we have done differently?
We're now changing our model. We originally were growing as a business and now we're actually rethinking where we're positioned and actually, DHM are helping us adapt. Even though it's a slightly different challenge to what we originally had, I think it's still an important part of it, so no, I wouldn't say there's anything.
What are your thoughts on The Wedding Method?
Well, it makes complete sense. Having got married a couple of years ago myself, I've seen it from both sides, which actually is really helpful, but it totally makes sense. I would encourage anybody, whether they're starting as a new venue or entering into a new market or just trying to build on what they've got to understand The Wedding Method.
Your final thoughts on working with DHM.
The other thing for me is being able to have you guys to bounce ideas off, I suppose. If I'm not sure about something, it's great to be able to just pick up the phone to your team and say, "What do you think about this? What are your other venues doing? What's the general feeling in the industry?" I think you guys have got a really good knowledge of what's going on across venues and hotels and lots of different areas. That's the only thing I think I'd really add.
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