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Why marketing is like a dinner party

30 November 2018

Planning is everything! 

Would you invite a load of people to a dinner party without first preparing for it?  Of course not! It would likely end in disaster.

Any good dinner party takes a lot of planning and preparation. First of all, you have to decide what you are going to make for your guests. This will mean that you need to know a lot of information about your guests and what their likes and preferences are. Are you catering for meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans, people with allergies and intolerances, etc? How many people are you inviting? Will the event be formal or informal? 

And all this thinking needs to come before you even start to consider setting the table and cooking! 

You will need to research recipes, budgets, meal plans, ingredients, etc, and then factor in the food preparation time for the number of guests you are catering for. 

The same can be said for good marketing campaigns, yet many companies focus their energies on the delivery rather than planning and preparation. In effect, this would be like serving your guests the raw ingredients for them to prepare the food themselves. You may also be serving the wrong dishes to the wrong people or at the wrong time. And it would come as no surprise that your guests wouldn’t be happy.


Catering for your audience

Your target audiences are like your dinner guests. They are likely to be a diverse bunch of people, each with different wants, needs and desires – just like your prospects and customers. They will want to feel special on the evening and they will be looking for a pleasant experience that makes them feel good. 

So why do so many companies focus their marketing activities on tactics rather than strategy and planning? And then wonder why their marketing gets no traction, or a Return On Investment, which is what most Marketing Managers want.

The key is to focus on the strategy first and foremost and the rest will follow. Your campaigns will be more creative, and you will be more creative in their delivery and implementation.

Here are the steps you need to take:


What’s the purpose?

Your dinner party might be an informal gathering of friends or it might be a formal celebration with hundreds of guests.


What is the purpose of your marketing strategy? How is it supporting your business vision and goals and what is the outcome you want?


Who’s invited to the party?

You will need to understand the wants and needs of your dinner party guests, and similarly you need to understand what your prospects and customers want and expect from you. Who are they, where are they, what makes them tick, what headaches do they have, what will make them feel special?


What are you offering?

Catering for an informal gathering is vastly different to catering for a formal dinner. And as the host you will prepare your offering accordingly. It’s the same with your marketing messages and collateral. Know your customers’ needs and wants, and you can tailor what you offer to them.


Taking care of the little things

A dinner party is more than the food you prepare for your guests. The atmosphere and the setting are also very important. You want your guests to enjoy their meal in a convivial atmosphere and you want them to leave wanting more. How do you make your customers feel like the same way? What additional services do you offer that add value to the experience that your customers have with you?

So, you can see that hosting a dinner party and doing marketing effectively are very similar when it comes to strategy and execution. It all comes down to preparation and at Bridge we can help you get the ground work in place before you start to put press releases and blog posts out in to the world. By planning your campaigns strategically, you will ensure that your messages hit home to the right audiences at the right time.

We offer a range of workshops, consultancy and training days all aimed at getting you to better understand your business, your customers and prospects and what you need to do to make marketing work for you. To find out more, get in touch either via the website or ring us on 02476 520 025 or email

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