October 21, 2014

Get Married Media, Inc. – The Rise and Fall

NEWS, ANALYSIS, and OPINION:

I first met staff members from Get Married at the Wedding MBA Conference 2008, in Phoenix. It was an exciting, new company, rooted in television, with a companion website, getmarried.com.

The company, founded by husband and wife team, Stacie and Dave Francombe had its roots in Atlanta, GA, building a regional starting point with a TV show, Get Married Atlanta (2006-2007). Its big breakthrough was the launch of a national show (October 1, 2007) on Lifetime Television, hosted for its first season by David Tutera. Tutera now hosts My Fair Wedding on WeTV. For the second season Get Married replaced Tutera with Colin Cowie and co-host Deanna Pappas. Tutera and Cowie are both high profile wedding and event designers.

Roughly concurrent with the foray into national television was the sale of the company from its originators to Taylor Corporation. The nature of the sale was ‘in the background’ and not obvious to Get Married advertisers.

In October 2009, Get Married announced the launch of national magazine, published quarterly. The magazine would make it the first wedding media company with a presence in TV, print, and the internet.

For seasons three (2010), the company turned to its founder, Stacie Francombe to host the show. The show turned away from a celebrity host, and focused more directly on featured brides. Francombe was also the center-point for Get Married’s New Year’s Eve Promotion: Get Married in Time Square. Though complicated by incredibly bad weather, in the NorthEast, Get Married managed to get through its promotion, successfully.

Shortly after the 2011 new year, Francombe and Get Married parted ways. As well, TV show was discontinued. Get Married was now being managed by Anita Brady. She had come on board, as President in June 2010.

The company sought to redesign its website, getmarried.com, and launched a fresh version in late spring 2011.

ANALYSIS: It seems that the redesign of the website was too little, too late. The absence of the TV show, the changing direction of the magazine, and underachieving website traffic were all sapping the energy of Get Married Media, Inc.

There are many competitors in the wedding niche and Get Married was unable to keep up. The Knot continues to bolster its print and internet presence. WeddingWire.com , an internet-only company, has eschewed a magazine presence, entirely. It is one of the fastest growing companies (a technology company, in the wedding niche), continually accumulating strategic partnerships along the way. National media company, The Perfect Wedding Guide, has a newly-minted square format for its publication (localized by market), has a solid website, and produces bridal shows of various sizes, in many of its markets.

The competition seems endless, and with its fortunes flagging, Get Married Media, Inc. closes its doors December 16, 2011.

There many stories to be told and many lessons to be learned from Get Married.

Stay tuned…

Andy Ebon - wedding marketing expert

Andy Ebon
Wedding Marketing Expert
The Wedding Marketing Blog

Regular Contributor – Wedding Marketing Expert
The Knot B2B

Comments

  1. Good recap Andy.

    What I find weird is that GetMarried is still trying to squeeze some last minute revenue from vulnerable wedding professional that man not know they are closing the lights on Dec 16th. I just received this marketing message yesterday.

    Subject: 24 hours only – $100/year for a FULL online listing!

    24 hour sale!

    For 24 hours, Get Married is offering a Full Online Listing for $100/year!

    Website Listing Includes:
    · 9 color photos
    · 250 word company description
    · 3 bride testimonials
    · Contact information & links to your email, Facebook, Twitter, and blog
    · *new* Video links supported by Vimeo

    BONUS: Take 60% off our online upgrades!

    – (add on) Premier Placement upgrade: $300/year $120/year

    – (add on) Lead List access: $600/year $240/year

    To secure your $100/year listing, please fill out the attached order form and email it back or fax it to 678-302-4441. You can also call me at 678-735-3313 to get setup over the phone.

    Offer valid for only 24 hours (expires November 30th, 2011) – so don’t miss this opportunity!

    Perhaps no one told the sales reps that they are going out of business? Not sure

    Pay for a year….or 17 days??

    Best

    Jason Hennessey

  2. Jason,

    Already addressed in this post.

    Andy

  3. Great analysis. Two questions: was turning away from a celeb host on the TV show a play to save cash? And when they saw it wasn’t working, why not immediately return to a successful format?

  4. I led the web team at GM from 2009-2011. The move away from a celeb host was primarily because of money. Taylor Corp was never a fan of the show, and felt it too expensive to produce for what it returned in revenue.

    Anita Brady had zero experience running a company, and to make matters worse, had zero experience in the online realm. I’ll give her credit for the Times Square production, but once she managed to oust the founders, there was nobody left in charge with any vision at the company. I’m thoroughly convinced that Taylor intended to unload Get Married in the spring of this year. They had been trying to sell to Wedding Wire and others, but nobody was biting. Key people would leave, and they weren’t replaced. We went from a headcount of 40 down to low 20’s in the span of 9 months.

    I’ll be writing a more extensive post mortem on GM this weekend over at my blog, but long story short – Get Married is a cautionary tale of what happens when you put incompetent people in charge of a business.

    Ted

  5. I can’t believe I had to hear this hear. We advertise with GetMarried and after reading this I have tried contacting 2 different people in the company. I still have not heard back from them. I wonder what that means since our advertising isn’t supposed to end until June of 2012.

  6. Susan Stroud says:

    It should be made clear that the TV “show” was an infomercial. Get Married paid for the time slot in the infomercial portion of the day. The products showcased were all bought and paid for by the product owners. The show was never able to garner any viewership so it never drove traffic to the website. It was very expensive to produce and celebrity hosts didn’t do anything to boost traffic.

    The premise of Get Married was flawed. Its execution poor. The founder(s) are the ones responsible for its demise. Taylor bought a company on the brink of bankruptcy without performing the due diligence that would uncovered the failure they were buying.

  7. I’m so upset. I sign a contract for their online present in August. I receive countless email and phone calls to sign up for their January issue and Thank God I didn’t sign up, but I’m still on a year contact that end 9/2012 for online. This is not right. I’m very upset. If anyone know who I can contact please send me an email. Sandrajnpierre@hotmail.com
    Thank you,

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