‘Everybody’ is rushing headlong into social media, Facebooking and Instagramming themselves into a lather of red-faced emotional excitement. It’s the bright shiny object, and the ‘experts’ are shouting at whomever will listen, “don’t bother with anything else, Facebook etc is where you need to be.”
Well, let’s get a little perspective here. Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and look at things with a little of what I call ‘accurate thinking.’
Let’s take a quick look at what kinds of media are available for salon & spa owners to use in their marketing. I’ll lump Facebook, Google, email, Twitter, mobile phones and anything else you use a screen to look at as ‘Online’. (And I’ll include in that the ‘daily deals’, which are marketed exclusively online.)
Then there’s everything else. All that old-fashioned, dreary, clunky, ‘expensive’ stuff that suddenly is so Nineties, so last season; direct mail, print advertising, TV and radio, outdoor advertising – I’ll lump all that together and call it ‘Offline’.
It seems pretty clear to me that salon & spa owners are increasingly falling in love with ‘online’, rushing to it like lemmings to the edge of the cliff. And in the mad rush, increasingly ignoring everything else. Email, social media, web marketing are the new Kings, relegating ‘traditional’ media as mere serfs and peasants.
Well, I’m here to tell ya, if that’s how you’re thinkin’, you’re missing opportunity. There IS validity in the argument that says “look around at what everybody else is doing, and do exactly the opposite. The herd, as Warren Buffett is fond of saying, is almost always wrong.
Here’s why you need to pay attention:
As more and more businesses abandon ‘old-fashioned’ media in favor of the siren call of online, seduced by it’s newness, it’s perceived cheapness, its ‘instant’ results, they’re unwittingly running into quicksand. The law of diminishing returns applies. You can double the power of a car’s engine, but the speed only increases by 30%, not 100%.
The more people rush to online, the more difficult it is to attract attention, to be heard above the ever-growing noise.
And suddenly, back in the ‘offline’ room, you can hear a whisper. Because nobody’s there. And that’s where opportunity lies, my friends.Think about this: your mailbox was once one of the few methods by which advertisers could reach you. Today, almost nobody sends marketing by direct mail any more.
And here’s the secret: those in the ‘almost nobody’ category are reaping the rewards of near-empty mailboxes.
According to the Direct Marketing Association of America, Victoria’s Secret ships more than 400 MILLION catalogs a year in the US alone – that’s 1.33 per person. And merchants across the US are sending a total of over 20 billion catalogs annually, a figure that’s increasing by 5% annually.
They’re doing it because
a) it works. And it’s working better and better, as it competes with fewer and fewer marketing messages directed at the consumer’s physical mailbox. The air in the mailbox is getting clearer and clearer.
b) They’ve figured out that ignoring direct mail would actually reduce the effect of the effort their putting in online.
The really smart businesses are increasing their use of old-fashioned media, not decreasing it. Victoria’s Secret sales generated by a combination of catalog-driving-to-online are increasing 10% annually, compared with only 4% annual increase in the company’s stores.
Is online really the ‘holy grail’? Not according to some of the world’s biggest ‘online’ companies. Google persistently uses hard copy to pitch its ad space. Hmmm. If Google can’t figure out how to market themselves using only online media, how are you doing?
Price comparison website moneysupermarket.com has just hired a direct marketing company to manage its first hard-copy mail campaign. Huh? Now, hooda thunk it – why would an online company want to use old-fashioned, clunky letters ‘n stamps ‘n envelopes?
And as more and more email becomes pesky, direct mail becomes more welcomed. According to research by Pitney-Bowes (admittedly a direct mail specialist) more than half of people surveyed got annoyed by monthly emails. Only 23% found regular direct mail aggravating.
There are very good reasons we at WSM focus a large amount of time on creating more and more advertising and marketing templates for our member salons in a form designed to be used in good ole hard copy; print ads, posters, letters, mailbox flyers and more. Email and other forms of online marketing might be efficient. But nothing is as effective, as long-lasting as hard copy.
WSM member salons & spas can access literally hundreds of templates for all their advertising needs in the Members Only sealed section website here.