By Grant Miller, salon consultant
Most people have very short memories about almost everything. Many salon owners also suffer from this as well. They either forget or they lack the motivation to seek out and discover what was successful in the past. Here’s how this relates to your marketing.
I don’t believe there are really any original ideas left when it comes to marketing. Sure, the different medias you use have and will continue to change. But when it comes to the messages, headlines and offers, there isn’t anything new under the sun.
It’s crazy when a salon owner throws together an ad, a radio commercial or any type of marketing piece that has a deadline in twenty minutes while they are sipping their morning coffee.
Your marketing dollars are very precious and you always want to invest them wisely, carefully and feel reasonably comfortable that you will be getting them all back, and then some. Effectively marketing your salon is the highest paying job you have. Nothing you do has the potential to bring you more money than cost-effective, efficient marketing.
So throwing together an ad willy-nilly without some careful thought, knowledge and proper research is foolish. Great examples are available almost everywhere. Research what other successful salons are doing. But don’t just look at tanning salons. Any successful business can provide ideas and inspiration that can easily be translated and used for your business.
One of my favorite places for research and inspiration are old magazine ads. Before the internet and even pre-dating TV and radio, magazine ads were effectively selling products and services over 150 years ago.
Some of the true masters of selling in print are David Ogilvy, John Caples, Eugene Schwartz, Claude Hopkins, Joe Sugarman and Gary Halbert. If those names mean nothing to you, you have not done your homework yet.
There is no reason for you to re-invent the wheel and start from scratch when there is so much of the work already done for you. There is a tremendous amount of information on the web and many great books from all of the authors mentioned above.
Last year, a salon owner invested in one of my marketing systems that contained as a bonus, at least a hundred of my most successful, tried and true marketing pieces. These were different print ads that have been split-tested and refined over the years to maximize the most profitable results possible. Amusingly, his complaint was, “Some of those ads were 3 or 4 years old!” Obviously he didn’t get it. His thought process was, “How could a great ad from 2014 possibly be effective in 2018?”
Do not fall into the trap that you have to be creative and original to be successful. Pioneers most often returned from the wilderness with arrows in their backs. Learn from and use the marketing gold that is already out there, just waiting to be discovered.