I have been talking about the "digital quantum leap" for almost 3 years now. I can't believe we are coming up on three years... time is so strange nowadays. Of course 2020 disrupted our industry in countless ways. From the great resignation to the zoom phenomenon, no-show policies to flex-work schedules - as business owners we have literally pivoted over and over (you should be proud of yourself by the way).
As we slide into 2023, new patterns have begun to emerge. Our guests have settled into their work-from-home routine. Stylists are again seeing the benefits of working for a team-based, commission salon company. The salons that sadly did not make it through the last three years have left a market filled with larger, successful salon companies and busy suites. With all of this being said, competition for guests, talent and resources is only going to grow more and more intense. For any of you that had experienced large influxes of new guests over the past couple of years, I believe that you will now have to market smarter and broader to claim the same marketing share and maintain your position as a market leader salon.
So what does this mean for our yearly marketing plans? It means that we should leave no stone unturned when it comes to developing our brand and marketing to both potential guests AND potential employees. If there ever was a time to revamp your company’s branding and marketing strategies - that time is now. Here are 5 ways you should be securing marketing share and staying ahead of the pack in 2023.
1. Identify your “Value Proposition”:
What makes you stand out from the rest of the salons in your market? You ca no longer hang your hat on the fact that you give an elevated or luxury experience to your guests; or that you prioritize education. Honestly, everyone does that now. What would your best guests tell their friends about why they choose your company? Lean into your culture and highlight what makes your team special. This is what potential guests are looking to connect with - your unique and shared values.
2. Understand who exactly is your competition.
Whenever I ask a salon company who their competition is - they immediately think of other premium commission salons with modern interiors, talented stylists and an elevated guest experience. But what you really need to consider is who are you competing with in Google and Instagram search results. It doesn’t matter if it is a salon suite, national chain or ma and pa shop - if they are coming up in the search results before you - potential guests are meeting them first. Period. Our Marketing and Branding team offers a monthly Competitive Market Analysis that will provide you with a monthly report on how and where you are beating the competition, as well as how and where you need to improve. The best part - it’s only $200 a month. How awesome is that?
3. Redesign your website.
Do you know that 48% of business owner say that they are ashamed of their website? A lot of people believe that websites are sort of a “set it and forget it” landing page for their salon company. But the truth may surprise you. According to Forbes, the average lifespan of a website is 2 years and 7 months. That means you need to be considering a redesign every 2-3 years. If you are looking to work with a team that knows the industry and that is producing some of the most beautiful, articulate and effective websites in the market - look to SSBC. We will guide you through a design process that you will actuals ENJOY. Plus - we write the copy, find the photos and optimize it for SEO )and you can even pay for it with LEVEL points!).
4. Automated Marketing
Most cloud based salon POS systems offer automated marketing as part of their basic subscriptions. Yet many salons overlook this powerful top to communicate with your current guests. Utilizing the automated marketing features of your POS software can dramatically increase the average annual spend of your guests. Birthdays, New Gust emails, Appointment Reminders and even Online Booking confirmations are all opportunities to drive guest behavior. Consider activating and customizing all of the automations available - and watch the numbers increase each month!
5. Sales Funnels
We can use automated emails to market to our current guests - but what about potential guests. You may think that email marketing is a thing of the past, but the truth is 85% of Gen Z prefer using email over other communication channels. Utilizing an email platform like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp allows you to create “funnels” that live on your website or on social. “Sign up and receive $25 off your visit visit all Bella Bella Salon.” What will surprise you is just how many sign ups you will receive. Well-performing funnel campaigns can yield 200+ new emails MONTHLY (yes monthly). The best part - you can set up automations and marketing to these potential guests so that your brand is top of mind.
As we move into the new normal, our market share and our human capital are two of our most valuable resources. By employing a robust and comprehensive marketing and branding strategy, you can secure (and hold on to) the top spot in your market. If you are looking to better your best, remember you don’t have to go it alone. Please visit us at https://summitsalon.com/divisions/social-digital-division to learn more about our training and services, and how we can help you and your team grow faster, better and stronger!