By Chris Cummings
How well do you know your customers? I’m not asking how many of them you talk to on the phone or go out for coffee with; I’m asking how well you understand the demographics of the people that are coming into your salon.
It’s an important question because it has huge implications on how you should be running your business. Knowing your audience is the most fundamental when it comes to marketing, but many times we overlook it. We like to assume we know our customer base or know what they want, but we can’t really just assume those things. And with so many ways to gather and track information about our customers, there’s no reason not to.
There are tons of great point-of-sale software platforms out there, including many that are specifically designed for use in a tanning salon. This type of software is great because it allows you to track so much about your customers, including:
Having this information not only allows you to create targeted marketing campaigns; it also helps you paint a picture of your overall customer base. That’s crucial when it comes to creating your general marketing plan for your salon. While you might assume that your clientele is mainly young women, maybe the average age of your customers is 38. And maybe it’s 60% women and 40% men. And maybe you realize that your customers who are over 50 spend the most per-visit. That would change the way you advertise to your customers. It might even change the type of music you play in your salon.
Another way to gather information is through social networks. Sure, we typically talk about using social networks to communicate with your customers, but they can really tell you a lot about the demographics of people who care about your business. Facebook, for example, offers tons of demographic information about the people who like your business page. This not only tells you about the people who are coming into your salon, but the people who have the interest to potentially become a customer. So pushing customers to your social network pages is more than just to offer them specials; it’s to help you decide what kinds of specials to offer.
You can’t effectively design and implement a marketing plan without first knowing who you are marketing to. I know this sounds like such an obvious statement, but so many overlook this step. It’s easier to just assume that what worked in the past will work today. It takes less time to just assume that your customer base is the same as every other tanning salon’s customer base. It’s easy to assume that you just KNOW your business.
But, you know what they say about assuming…