Before we go down this path of new exciting ways to market to new guest, lets educate ourselves on the difference between advertising and marketing!

Have you ever found yourself asking the question “what exactly is the difference between marketing and advertising”.  While both components are important they are very different. Knowing the difference and creating an effective marketing plan can put your company on the path to substantial growth.  Let’s start off by reviewing the definitions of each.

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or

After reading both definitions, are you still scratching your head and still lost?  Me too! The easiest way to describe the two is Advertising  is an ad in such mediums as newspapers, direct mail, billboards, television, radio, and of course the Internet.  Advertising can be quite costly.  I heard an advertising expert explain it to me this way “Advertising does one thing, it reconfirms what your current clients already know about you”. Marketing is everything you do to promote your business on a regular basis.  Its how you get your name out there and what attracts customers to your salon / spa. Think of Marketing as everything that you do to facilitate an exchange between your salon / spa and your customer.

As we have identified Adverting can be quite a costly venture.  However, Marketing is a relatively inexpensive path for getting your salon / spa name out within the community.  Every year you will lose approximately 20% of your clients. No matter what you or your team does, customers will leave.  It is our job to understand why they leave and more importantly how to establish a plan to consistently market your salon / spas to receive new customers and retain them.

Two Easy Marketing Programs!

1. Referral Program- Have you ever heard the statement,” The best compliment you can give me is the referral of your friend or family!”

Referrals are one of the most cost effective and productive ways for you and your service providers to grow your client base.  You and your team may be using “word of mouth”, however, we can take it a step further; create a structured client referral program with real tools to create incentives for your clients to refer their family and friends. Such tools as VIP Cards and BFF Cards are essential to create success in these referral programs. Customizing these cards with your Salon/Spa’s Brand is also key to client’s loyalty to your business.

Things to consider:

What constitutes a referral?  What will you offer as incentives or rewards? How will you track referrals?  How will you get the word out to your staff and current client base about your new and exciting referral program?

2. Frequent Buyer or VIP Rewards Programs Today more and more corporations and small businesses are offering Frequent Buyer / VIP Rewards Programs.

From airlines, to rental car agencies, book stores, coffee shops, etc…   The purpose of these programs is to increase your brand awareness among your customers.  More than 50% of all retailers offer some sort of program to their customers.  Did you know that it can cost as much as 5 times more to find a new customer than to retain a current one?  These programs give your current customers another reason to return to your salon / spa’s.

Things to consider:

Identify your goal for the program, what do you want to accomplish?   Create your enrollment tactic; make the process of enrollment easy for your customers.  Identify your program structure; give your customers something they would want to return to your salon / spa. Tracking System, how will you track your program?  It can be very frustrating to customers when we say we will do something and we do not follow through on programs.

Does your salon / spas marketing programs pass the YES test?

  • Are your programs increasing your average service and/or retail ticket?
  • Will you see an increase in the number of times your client visits our salon / spa?
  • Will you be increasing the number of clients you see at your salon / spa?

To have effective programs in place you will need a specific target audience and have a clear understanding of why you are offering these programs to your clients.  Don’t’ forget there has to be value to these programs for your clients to want to support and utilize them.  Lastly, we must have follow-through and effective tracking systems in place to make sure we are living up to our salons reputation within our community.