Creative Marketing on a Budget

Do-It-Yourself and Start Today!

by John Moroney

Every salon needs a marketing plan that should encompass how you will retain your current clients, increase their per-visit ticket and recruit new clients to enable your business to grow.

High-impact salon marketing programs do not always demand a high budget to produce.

Find your best clients and aim for more. The first step is for the salon to identify who their target clients are and how they would like to receive information. They can then create messages specifically for those clients, often yielding great results at a very low cost.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Talk to your clients. Find out what social media (like Facebook and Twitter) they use and how they prefer to get messages from your salon. Be sure you have their e-mail address on file so you can tell clients about promotions or new services. Posting commercials or instructional videos on YouTube is another great way to show your clients what your salon is all about.

“I use the Internet to let clients and potential clients know about our products and services around-the-clock,” said Ale Bonilla of Salon Estoerica, Fort Worth, TX. “In most cases it’s free or at least inexpensive, and it’s ‘green.’ Today’s younger generation look salons up online when they need a service. From there they can find my website and see prices, business hours and staff bios. They can even book online.”

• Look to all your resources. Include your manufacturer partner to supplement your marketing efforts. There is an entire marketing toolkit at for use by our partner salons. Tapping into these sources will help you get the biggest bang for your marketing buck. “We go right to P&G’s website to pull images and marketing materials,” said Teresa Jackson of Spalon Montage, Minneapolis, MN. “Then we post the images all over the salon so clients can see what’s happening with trends.”

• Use available talent to draw business. “Every quarter we do a signature event at our salon that focuses on a local artist,” said Janine Jarmin of Shear Genius fame and owner of Hairroin Salon, Hollywood, Calif. “We host the show during hours when the salon isn’t normally open, so there is no lost revenue. We also cross-promote the events through another local business’ social network; a cost-savings to us that also lets us expand our reach to non-clients. We do four Art Openings a year, and most of our artists are our clients. They invite their friends and family, who also book appointments after the event.”

• Make your salon newsworthy. A mention of your salon in an exciting new way in your local media will help deliver your marketing message in a low cost manner. “We are involved with our local football, hockey and cheer teams,” adds Teresa Jackson. “We offer a gift card at every home game and the promotion is seen on the Jumbotron. The winner comes onto the field for a gigantic gift card. This helps us sell services to women and gift cards to men.”

• Train your staff to market. Teaching your entire salon staff to treat clients like “returning guests” is important, as it makes their every visit feel like a first-time visit. Reg Laws of PR at Partners Salons in the Washington D.C. area said, “We knew it wasn’t the money, but the experience that caused some guests to move on from our salons. Now our pros talk with every client during each visit about their hair, how they liked the last cut, color or style and how the products they took home worked for them. We listen and they know we care about them each time they visit our salons.”

• Keep it simple. “Using all your resources can be more cost-effective, cut down on clutter and avoid frivolous expense,” adds Ale Bonilla. “Clients relate to the power of well-publicized and trusted brand names when looking for salon services or products. Let your retail displays do the talking for you.”

• Keep up with the latest in hair care, color and styling ideas. If you add a new service be sure to share the news with your clients. “We promote and inspire our clients through education,” adds Janine Jarman. By letting them know that you know what’s new and what’s happening on the fashion and beauty scene, they will look to you as their ultimate beauty expert, and their loyalty to you and your salon will follow.

Remember, marketing success in today’s economy comes from having what clients (and perspective clients) want, when they want it and where they want to shop. Create an environment that is friendly, yet professional, as well as clean and tidy. Meeting and exceeding your customers’ beauty needs stems from employing creativity and a dedication to professionalism. Put these ideas to work for you and you will create a high-impact marketing plan that fits your budget.

John Moroney is Vice President of Salon Business Development, P&G Salon Professional.To learn more about products, marketing tools, artistic inspiration and business building ideas from Wella Professionals, Sebastian Professional, Clairol Professional and Nioxin, contact your P&G Salon Professional sales consultant, visit the website or call 1-800-347-4424.

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