This week it's about
So... the item or service you need has a flashy website.
Proudly on their site or blog they are proudly displaying a badge stating that the y were
some sort of Wedding Industry Finalist or Winner. Great news! you think to yourself.
- Here's s site that can be trusted!
- I mean, it's won an award for gods-sake!
- So they must be really good?
- Highly recommended?
- They are actually Industry experts! So they can be trusted on many levels.
If you are thinking all the above is true.... then you need to read on and see what I found out!
For the last couple of years and certainly within the last 6 months, I've seen award after award pop up and more and more websites and blogs proudly displaying everything from Wedding Magazine Awards to so called Wedding Industry Expert Awards. The awards are given out almost willy nilly and most are nothing more than a marketing ploy!
MOST and I use that word wisely MOST of these awards involve some or all of the following:
- The supplier of good and or services pays a fee to enter (£50 is not uncommon)
- A view of the award giving site looks pretty dapper and rather posh! (Remember... it's designed to get money from those who enter!)
- The participant goes wild on Facebook to get everyone to place a vote for them. Please note, this is not directly proportional to the number of CLIENTS they have dealt with and who have been satisfied with their work. In fact... Joe Blogs can enter himself as an Expert, without even taking a photo! It's as easy as setting up a website, buying a few stock photos from the many companies out there, paying a fee and getting people to vote! In reality, that person can win an award by hiking up their votes through friends, family and other social networking places and/or have very little competition in their local area that have entered.... Therefore WINNING by default!
- They offer little or nothing in the way of Prizes... other than a certificate.
- Finalist (everyone that entered) is invited to their Award Giving ceremony... but entrants have to pay 'Big Bucks' to attend. (Which they do because they think they are in with a serious chance of actually winning!).
WHY IS MY BACK UP!
Lately, I was inundated with businesses in the Wedding Industry pleading with me to VOTE FOR THEM. I looked on the website to find that this Award company was actually based in the US! The competition was to be decided by so called Industry Experts (to be frank, I googled their names and websites and some of them need some serious help if they really ARE experts!). Then 2 days later I see that Everyone I know who entered actually had displayed on their Facebook pages, blogs and websites that they were Wedding Industry Experts Winners 2013! The results were out just a couple of days after the award had ended and was awarded on VOTES! No need to have experts adjudicate in the first place then? To be honest... I was sick and tired of the request from people who have just started out in the business and have very little if any, experience, never mind wanting to call themselves EXPERTS!
At best, these awards are no more than a popularity contest. Yes... they may get more hits to their websites.... but hits and sales are completely different statistics!
SO WHY DO I
HAVE A PROBLEM
From the Brides point of view:
I am seriously concerned that Brides and Grooms seeing these badges on a website, gives them false hope of quality of goods or services.
The award is NO MEASURE of how good the company is.
How long they have been in business.
Whether they can be trusted
or even if they are actually GOOD at what they do!
From the Wedding Suppliers point of view:
I am concerned that it's mostly NEW or very YOUNG businesses that get swept up in these so called Awards. They pay out money to enter, some even have to pay for a certificate if they actually get to the finals (which of course they do!). They somehow 'believe' that having this award will bring in more business... It WON'T! Brides haven't a clue what the award is for and to be honest, most working on a tight budget could be terrified of anyone displaying the word EXPERT on their site as been far too expensive and out of their league.
To Brides: Most Industry Experts.... don't need a worthless award to prove they are good in their field. Most of us are far too busy with work, not to even care about these awards.
Take these awards with a pinch of salt! Ask to see your suppliers portfolio of work they have done for past clients.
To Businesses: BE CAREFUL! You have to think like an advertiser and marketing expert. You can be sure.... there's a LOT in it for these people and VERY LITTLE if anything in it for you! .... except perhaps for less money in your bank account.
The only REAL way to build up your business and gain trust from Brides and Grooms is to actually offer the best service possible and have the recommend you to friends. Give value for money, go out of your way to LISTEN to your clients..... Your business will prove your success in your field, not some award which was gained by how many clicks you managed to get! :-)
What are your feelings on this?
Brides: What do you think of these so called AWARD BADGES?
Businesses: Have you been fooled in this way?
Has this made you think about these awards in a different way?