Anatomy of a Celebration: Marketing to Hosts & Guests

The celebrations market generates more than $38 billion dollars making party hosts a key target among marketers. But what constitutes a party host? Here we will take a look at party host demographics, relevant consumer trends, strategies to reach them and what role the guests play in the celebrations market.

What’s in a party host? 

There are two types of party hosts – those who invest time and effort into planning every special celebration and those who plan celebrations because they have to. Marketers need to pay attention to the first kind of host, because caring about planning a party translates into dollars spent. A few facts about a typical party host:

• Women plan the majority of parties and events

• Involved party hosts can spend up to 4-6 weeks planning the perfect party

• Party hosts primarily use the Internet to plan their parties

Your best bet in trying to market to these key party hosts is to provide a wealth of information. Party tips, celebration ideas, recipes, organizational tools and any kind of valuable party planning content  will make you a resource that they will visit time and time again.

Anatomy of a Celebration: Marketing to Hosts & Guests image Anatomy of a Celebration: Marketing to Hosts & Guests

Punchbowl’s party planning section on the website includes party ideas, recipes, hints, and advice for party planners. 

Party trends

Popular cultural trends affect how people throw their parties. Music, fashion, and even beverage trends dictate the types of parties people throw as well as where they spend money. As a brand, focus on what’s happening in the world around you and cater the information you share with party hosts based on those trends. Here are some things to address:

• Music: What songs and artists are popular right now? Are there any trendy dances or music videos that everyone keeps talking about?

• Popular Culture: What television shows, video games, movies and celebrity news is saturating the mass public?

• Cultural trends: With every decade, there comes and goes various trends that affect fashion, decor and the things people personally care about. Good examples are recent trends in all things green and eco-friendly and the fallback to 60’s styles in both fashion and hair.

Tips for reaching party hosts

Based on what you know about party hosts, it all boils down to the specific marketing strategy you choose to use. As with any marketing tactic, the message needs to be simple and to the point. A few helpful hints to remember when narrowing down a brand message include:

• Focus on educating your audience. Give them real information that they can use to plan their party. When you bring useful information to the table, you will be rewarded with loyal fans of your brand.

• Use your audience as a resource. Rely on message boards, feedback and social media to inform your message.

• If you are a niche brand and you don’t have the knowledge you need, partner with another brand or rely on brands that do know your audience.

Ultimately, the key to reaching any party host is to ensure they see your message when it matters – during the course of planning the party.

Keeping guests in mind

And then there are the guests. They make up a huge population of the celebrations industry, and it’s a safe bet to assume they too plan parties and will take away information from every party they attend. For instance, consider a kid’s birthday party. For every kid, there is a mom. And, for every mom, there are parties that they too have to throw for various reasons – birthdays, family holidays, sports parties, and more. As a celebrations-based brand, Punchbowl knows how to reach not only hosts but party guests too.

• Depending on the type of event, hosts send up to 30-40 invitations – that’s a lot of people buying presents, bringing food and alcohol, etc.

• It’s not always easy for brands to reach guests, but focusing on seasonal events and holidays is key.

• Include guests when crafting your marketing message – they are paying attention to and can play just as big a part in planning as the host.

Anatomy of a Celebration: Marketing to Hosts & Guests image Anatomy of a Celebration: Marketing to Hosts & Guests

Punchbowl’s Potluck feature allows guests to interact with the party host and include items they would like to bring to the party.

As a brand that can benefit from marketing to party hosts and guests, creating a marketing plan that positions you as an expert and makes party planning easier for your consumer. Because holidays, birthdays and other celebrations happen every year, marketers have a captive audience in this market. Learn more about specific content marketing strategies that help brands reach moms who typically plan and attend many of these celebrations.

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