Marketing 101: Know Your Audience

After our anniversary trip to Manitou Springs, I found a new magazine in the stack of mail that had accumulated while we were away. The Nest.

As you might suspect, The Nest is designed for newly married couples and is an extension of the Web site of the same name, which is a spinoff from The Knot – a wedding planning Web site and message board I used to find local vendors for our wedding last summer. And though I haven’t visited The Knot since the first month after our wedding (to post the obligatory vendor review), nor used The Nest (is it necessary to husband-bash with total strangers?), somehow, I received the Premier Issue on my first anniversary.

Just For Fun, I flipped through. First, the introductory letter from the editor (edited here to highlight the key points. Oh, and it helps if you read it in the coked-out Minnie Mouse tour guide voice I mentioned the other day):

Ready to nest?
You think planning a wedding is a big project? Try buying a home, organizing your finances, deciding when to have a baby, making boundaries with your mother-in-law and hosting Thanksgiving. Believe us, the fun of official adulthood has just begun!

Is that a fact? The fun of official adulthood has just begun? And here I thought I’ve been enjoying official adulthood for, I don’t know, about twelve years. Who knew that adulthood didn’t officially begin until I got married? I don’t recall seeing that in the manual (yep, they even have a manual: The Nest Newlywed Handbook: An Owner’s Manual For Modern Married Life.). Does The Nest think I’m a complete moron? Let’s read on to find out.

Every page is inspired by you—our smart, sophisticated Nesties.

They think I’m smart and sophisticated! Whew. Glad they cleared that up! Let’s keep reading to see what’s in this issue, where every page is inspired by me. Ahh, a few morsels from the table of contents:

  • Fashion: Not sure what to wear to brunch with your in-laws? Don’t panic—we’ve got his and her looks that will impress even the fussiest MIL.
  • Modern Love: Does your mate have an F.O.S. (Friend of the Opposite Sex)? Learn how to deal—and how it can actually improve your marriage (really!).
  • I’m Sorry Gifts: Hey, we all make mistakes. Lucky for you, we’ve got the gift to get you out of the doghouse and back on your sweetie’s good side.
  • Basic Training—Cheese Primer: A guide to the good stuff.

Now there’s some information that will come in handy. I know my mother-in-law is really concerned with what I’m wearing to brunch—and how I dress her son. F.O.S.? All along I thought we had to trade them in at the alter. I even made the husband send out form letters to all of his women friends informing them of his change in status from single / female friends allowed to married / men friends only. At first he was mad at me, but thanks to The Nest, I have a handy gift-guide to buy my way out of trouble with things like cell phone holders, throw pillows and milk bath products. And where would we be without a cheese guide? Why, just last week I started crying at the fancy cheese case in the middle of the store when I couldn’t tell the difference between the edam and the stilton.

Such quality content! What other pearls of wisdom can The Nest impart?

1) If I apply for my very own The Nest American Express card, I can use it for:

Your first party as an officially married couple / the new couch / the new puppy / the twenty new squeaky toys / the dinner with the in-laws (your treat) / the late-night cocktails to recover from dinner / the impromptu weekend road trip / the gas for the road trip / the new matching beach towel set / and more. You can also save money on newlywed essentials from travel gifts to jewelry!

2) To impress my mother-in-law, a smart choice of neutral color pants, a trendy sweater in my fave color, 3 fun accessories, and flats = a stylish wife.

3) Feeling a bit taken for granted? Try some of these no-miss tactics to show one another your appreciation:

  • Give an out-of-the-ordinary compliment, like, “You’re such an efficient organizer.”
  • Kiss goodbye in the morning, even if you’re chomping a bagel.
  • Call an annoying person who is important to to your spouse, fake being pleasant for 5 minutes, and he’s done until next month.
  • Spiff yourself up once in a while! Men: Brush your teeth. Ladies: Get a bikini wax. (Erm, how is THAT fair?)
  • Run to the door and give him a bear hug if you’re so inclined. (Wow, I guess I’m pretty lucky – my husband pounces on me and licks my face like Dino when I come home, and he didn’t get the idea from a magazine.)

4) Pour a can of Coke in the toilet and let it sit for 30 minutes. The acid eats away bacteria and stains. (Mmmm… Imagine what its doing to your stomach lining.)

5) When decorating your shelves, look for books with cool spines. (The Nest says it’s okay to judge a book by its cover.)

6) Frame small pieces of eye-catching wallpaper or wrapping paper to create a colorful accessory. (In other words, Got Crap?)

7) Dare to be different – turn a toothbrush into an artistic wall display by grouping a few of them in a shadow box. (Got More Crap?)

8.) Never underestimate the impact of a plush and expensive hand towel perched on the spout. (Uh-oh, I don’t think ‘plush expensive hand towel’ was on the approved The Nest American Express Card purchase list.)

9) Are you ready for grown-up budget know-how? P.S. No one’s saying you have to stop buying shoes. (Grown-up budget know-how? Are all new brides just leaving mommy and daddy’s cushy homestead?)

Okay, I’ll stop there. Are women really like this? I realize I’m not your typical 22-year-old blushing bride, but still—is this how young girls think these days? Does Daddy really take care of everything, until young women find their husbands who will then continue the vicious cycle of learned helplessness while they stay home, decorating and shoe-shopping and waxing their bikini lines? Are we all doomed?

Coke :: toilet bacteria
The Nest magazine :: the minds of young women

Dear The Nest Editorial staff: take a crash course in target marketing. And then stop sending me—and all newlyweds—this 1950s June Cleaver consumerist patriarchal propaganda. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

One thought on “Marketing 101: Know Your Audience

  1. I must read The Nest. Perhaps it will teach me how to be a better corporate wife.

    In answer to your question do most women go from Daddy’s payroll to Hubby’s. I feel the answer is yes. I sure as hell know quite of few.

    I was on my own payroll for only a short time and I was damn poor.

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