This might just be the most important few paragraphs you read this week, this month, or even this year.
It was sparked by a converstion with a brand new WSM member, who called shortly after the courier knocked on her door to hand over her Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit®
This salon owner was clearly overwhelmed by the task ahead of her. “There’s so much material in the Toolkit, I just can’t get my head around what to do first,” she wailed.
(My immediate thought, left unsaid, was ‘maybe we’re giving Members too much material’. But then, how do you eat an elephant? Same way you eat a hamburger, one bite at a time.)
So I told her to take a deep breath, and took her through the only THREE things she needs to concentrate on. “Once you GET this,” I said, “everything else becomes easy, logical, simple.”
When we take on a new Member salon into our flagship marketing & mentoring program, My Social Salon, we work on three main areas, and here they are:
First, under Message: what do you say to your past, present and future prospects, customers and clients that is magnetic… that cannot be ignored…that must be responded to. In other words, what is your
USP – Unique Selling Proposition
Most salon business people – and this applies even MORE to big, dumb companies who pay advertising agencies a fortune in shareholders money – make the mistake of believing that some cutesy slogan is their USP.
Eg., here are some slogans used by three of America’s biggest advertisers:
1. We’re with you.
2. That was easy
3. The stuff of life.
Do these bring instantly to mind the name of the company? Nope, vague, meaningless drivel, all three of ’em.
Here’s what’s instructive: these slogans could be used by almost any company on the planet, with about as little impact. As Dan Kennedy writes in a recent article “…if anybody and everybody can use your USP, it ain’t one…”
I’d be a rich man indeed if I had a buck for every time a salon owner told me “Our USP is ‘we give our clients great service’….”
Put your USP through this test: is it a GREAT answer to the question, ‘why should I do business with YOUR salon as against any of the others?’
If not, go back to the drawing board. Take some of the truly great USPs as a model, lay them down next to your USP, see how they compare.
Does yours do for your business what Tom Monaghan’s did for Dominos Pizza? “Fresh, Hot Pizza Delivered in 30 Minutes – Guaranteed”…?
Does it answer the question like Federal Express answered with “Absolutely, Positively Overnight.”
Let’s say you’ve crafted a great message with a terrific USP at its core, next problem: your MARKET.
Who do you deliver that great message to – and deliberately, who do you exclude from it – do you do that effectively, efficiently with little or no manual labour, are you smart about this or are you simply throwing mud against the wall?
When asked ‘Who’s your target market?’ most salon owners will say ‘Er, all of the adult female population within a 5 mile radius.’
Terrific. If you want to send a postcard once a year to all adult females within a 5 mile radius of your salon – hardly an intense, focussed campaign – what’s your budget have to be? Um, $50,000. How much have you got? ‘Uh…600 bucks.’
Problem. Somehow, preferably by science, you have to shrink your target market to a small, carefully-selected list of the best prospects so that your marketing efforts are concentrated for maximum effect with minimum expense. Jump up and down in a puddle, not the ocean.
And third, the MEDIA.
Having chosen your target market and crafted the perfect message to that target market, what MEDIA are you going to use to deliver that message to that market?
(If you haven’t twigged to this already, once you’ve figured out your perfect target market, and the message to send to it, the media tends to choose itself).
That’s it in simple terms. Message, Market, Media.
Get those things right, the rest almost automatically falls into place.