When the future is so uncertain, developing a marketing plan can be very tricky. Our biggest problem right now is that our best customers are no longer in the habit of coming to the salon. And they’ve managed without us for so long that we can’t convince them that it is essential they come back in – that message won’t resonate. Our marketing message needs to change.
More positively though, we can tap into the massive surge of love for local businesses. Share your story with current and potential customers, why you started your salon business in the first place and what’s different about coming to you as opposed to going to an impersonal alternative. The more stories we can bring into our marketing, the more that marketing will resonate. Humans have passed stories along for thousands of years –it’s how we communicate best. Keep sharing personal stories in your marketing efforts.
You should also keep communicating your safety messages in your marketing. While COVID remains a headline, safety is going to be a priority. Naturally and very understandably, there’s going to be anxiety around personal services. Reassure your customers that you are adhering to safety guidelines and doing everything you can to keep them healthy.
While we’re looking for a new way to market, it’s a smart idea to keep cost comparison at the front of your customers’ minds as well. Position your salon visit as something indulgent, or to take care of their mental wellbeing, or a chance to decompress and compare that to the holiday they can’t take. Suddenly that extra service in the salon looks like a bargain!
Make sure that your marketing is lockdown proof. Make that Plan B for service offers and also plan on extending the validity of vouchers due to lockdown; though we all hope the worst is behind us we just never know.
If you’ve followed my work for any amount of time you’ll know that I love salon memberships, but while the last of the uncertainty is floating about, don’t put salon memberships out into the marketplace. You can talk to your customers about whether they want a future salon membership, and even begin a waiting list, but it’s not the time to open that membership up.
There are anti-Facebook vibes, which might affect your marketing. No matter what happens with Facebook and its subsidiaries, there is a fragmentation of the social media market which has been accelerated by Clubhouse. In the past, we’ve come to depend on a single platform to help us keep in touch with many different people (our friends and families, celebrities, and our customers). Those days are ending and your customers are starting to expect to speak to salons on a different platform to where they socialise. The great opportunity here is we can focus on expertise more – just select your chosen platform carefully.
Whatever your direction, keep building that email list – not just a following on Facebook groups, pages, or Instagram accounts. Facebook can change their rules at any time but your own list is an asset that you control and that you can bring to new platforms in the future. We’re also seeing that those salons that kept in touch via email through lockdown are bouncing back the fastest – a lesson for the future, for sure.
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