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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

5 Marketing Lessons Learned From A Closet Monarchist

O.k.!  I admit it.  I am a Monarchist.  I am not really even sure when that happened.  But I must come clean and admit it. Maybe it was growing up and drawing out Union Jacks, despite the obvious fact that I am of Scottish ancestry, but I won't go there,  Maybe it is because I grew up looking at the Queen on most of our money..or..or..who knows.  I just am.  So, now that it is out, I will even share some of my photos with you in this post.

I also have to admit that my title for this blog was going to be: "Confessions of a Monarchist", but because I actually working in social media and content marketing, I know that headlines with a number in them, do better...they really do!

So, what I have learned from being a Monarchist?  Apparently a few things:

1.  Pomp and Circumstance is a great marketing tactic! 

The Royals know how to do this better than anyone I know.  They make an announcement like an engagement, but don't announce the date.  They hold a media event to show the ring.  All the experts weigh in to demonstrate their knowledge of procedure and protocol.  The speculation begins on the "where will they get married and who will design the dress".  Excitement and anticipation is created.  The date gets announced, more experts weigh in and photos are shared.  Speculation on who will be invited starts.  The wedding is held and everyone waits with bated breath to see the dress and of course and  "the fascinators".  Then there is anticipation about when will there be a royal heir.  This isn't a campaign of days or even weeks!  No, this has been nearly a three-year campaign!  Brilliant.  Talk about keeping the conversation going! 

I took this photo on June 18, 1983, - Royal Visit - Campbellton, NB

2.  Tradition Trumps A Flash-in-the-Pan Initiative 

Sure there are traditions that just don't make sense and really are stupid. However, there are some traditions that come and go, and when the Royals have something to celebrate, the fun and good ones come back.  In terms of fun, I can't help but think about the above mentioned fascinators that we saw at Kate and Will's wedding.  Sure, some were downright silly looking, but they were great fodder to chuckle and ask:  "why?".  Others were quite nice and many women adopted them, at least for a little while. A new revenue stream for some!  Then there are the wedding dresses.  I was till youngish when Diana and Charles married, but years later friends had replicas of Diana's dress made for their high school graduation dress.  Seriously!  I kid you not.  I am sure I have a pic somewhere of a friend, but I don't think she wants to be "in" my blog post.

3.  Use the Right Mix of Media

The new guard is definitely in town.  Prince William is on Facebook and updating his masses about the birth and then posting pics after the fact.  Even Queen Elizabeth has a page on Facebook.  And, then of course there is Twitter.  The British Monarchy has their own Twitter handle:  @britishmonarchy, and why shouldn't they.  Nearly 576,000 people want to hear from the Monarchy on their Twitter feed.

Digital media aside and reinforcing the tactic of tradition in your marketing and communications plans, the Monarchy didn't just go new school.  They mixed tradition right in the middle.  Imagine, taking an announcement and placing it on an easel outside Buckingham Palace. Really?  Despite rain, police officers had to form a makeshift guard of honour at the gates to control the crowds who came to see the easel!  The easel! 
Yes, I have Union Jack cushions (& MacLean Tartan in the back)

4.  Demonstrating Strength, Honour and Commitment Through Tradition

Love or hate the Monarchy, they get noticed.  They know how to get noticed and quite frankly, they know how to throw a bloody good party - think Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the latest Royal Wedding. (again great revenue streams for many)

Speaking of parties:  My invite to the Palace Holyroodhouse - My Second Dinner with Prince Andrew

There is something comforting in tradition; and despite a few hiccups, Queen Elizabeth has been an outstanding source of pride, strength and honour.  From the time she was a young girl and driving an ambulance during WWII to her unwavering commitment to duty and pretty much always being "on", the Queen is a an impressive lady.   

5.  A Baby Means Hope, Renewal and Promise

Every time a baby is born we feel this way.  Every little bundle is an amazing accomplishment - one to be protected and cherished.  A Royal Baby however, means that we have more pomp and circumstance to look forward to!  More of everything in fact.  More tradition, more merchandizing, more British tourism, more trips abroad.  Like it or not, the Royal family also generates revenue and creates jobs both at home in Jolly Ol England and abroad. I am sure that can still learn more from the marketing genious that just might be "by accident."

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