Friday, February 19, 2010

Where to spend your Marketing Budget?

Everyone’s budgets are tighter and a bit slimmer this year. But it isn't time to fret -- it’s time to be smart, savvy, and creative. There are many ways to spend marketing dollars, but you need tried and true ways to benefit from those precious pennies. Below are some proven efforts that turn those hard earn marketing budgets into sales!

Brand Builders
There are several methods to improve your name recognition and grow your repeat business and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Many salons/spas spend a lot of money on radio ads, print ads in a local papers, or coupons in various direct mailers. While these can be successful at times, many of them are one hit wonders. They don’t hold extended value. I would recommend a bigger bang for your buck is building a stronger brand.

The easy way to do this are developing a consistent look and feel to all items that touch your customer. Are your signature colors red and black? Then those colors should be incorporated in your décor, packaging, gift certificates, appointment cards and beyond. Your logo should be featured on all these items to reinforce your business. Think of it as your walking billboard. Everything that leaves your business can be seen by others and advertises what you do and who you are. Are those items saying what you want them to say? You are in the business of selling image so your marketing materials should show that you care about your image too!

Don’t know where to begin? Let are in house art department and sales experts help you the create your unique branded look. With our FREE art options and FREE samples we can make sure you look as great as you are!

Promotion Power
You need something customers can get interested in. Promotions can create excitement, draw attention, and bring in additional sales. You can use a portion of your marketing budget to offer gifts with purchase or discounts on current products/services that outshine your competition. A portion of your marketing budget can go to pad the lost margin with the promotion. Your goal is to get the customer to fall in love with the product/service so they will pay full price next round.

Talk up your promotions or customers won’t know about them. Use in store signage with acrylic frames on your front counters, retail areas, stylist stations. Sales staff should be educating clients when appropriate. Mail inexpensive postcards to announce big events or specials. Encourage customers to bring in the card to take advantage of the offering. A monthly promotional calendar is a must to get everyone on the same page. Click here to check out our Promotion Calendar to get your creative juices flowing.

Get Social
Another free (or almost) way to market your business is to get social. Use the power of email and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Email can easily blast your latest special or newest product launch. You can talk up your promotions and gain loyal followers on various social community pages. Create a page for your business and encourage clients to sign up. Provide meaningful content to keep them engaged. Tie in those brand building lessons learned above by using your logos and colors on your communications.

These are just a few ideas to get you started. There are many inexpensive ways to help market your business. Please comment below and share your most effective inexpensive marketing effort. Together we can grow the industry!

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