Marketing in 2009
• Review energy costs. Must the light remain on when no one’s in the body treatment room?
• Explore bulk purchases and other ways suppliers can help you save. Read those deal sheets!
• Take advantage of advertising and merchandising help from manufacturers.
• Partner with other local retailers in marketing initiatives. This year, you’re all in the same boat.
• Get the most from the Internet through email and website marketing. 2008 thinking: Save a tree. 2009 thinking: Save the cost of a stamp.
• Put your p.r. machine to work. “There’s so much more credibility to p.r. than to paid advertising,” says Daired Ogle, of Daireds Salon and Spa Pangea in Arlington, Texas.
The major challenge in 2009 may be to promote both service and product in ways that bring in more dollars than they cost. “You can’t afford it all,” Ogle comments. “If you want to do Internet, you have to stop doing what you used to do.” Identifying his average client as 35 years old convinced Ogle to replace Yellow Page and newspaper advertising with increasingly sophisticated website marketing that this year will include an RSS feed and video uploading. In addition, Daireds trades spa treatments for radio promotion, an arrangement that Ogle reports has been highly effective at minimal cost.
Fortifying your in-salon promotion is key, too. Make-up should practically sell itself, but Ogle’s line was languishing. He realized it was not upscale enough to conform to the Daireds brand. “We’re now looking to upgrade,” he reports. “We feel that we’re missing a lot of opportunity in make-up.”
Dermalogica founder Jane Wurwand contends that 2009 is the year to get aggressive with traditional methods of promotion. She suggests:
• Make sure you always provide a written skin analysis and product recommendation list.
• Offer guests a 10-percent discount for prebooking their next appointment before they leave. Wurwand urges, “Tell clients, ‘I want to see you once every epidermis! That’s how you will retain the results you’ve invested in up until now.’ The epidermis turns over every four to six weeks.”
• Introduce a discount on the second treatment when the client brings in a friend.
• Provide a gift with purchase—product gift with product purchase, product with service or even service gift with product purchase. “We offer a free travel size of our number-one product, a daily microfoliant, to clients who have a skin treatment,” says Wurwand. “We’ve also given a microzone treatment free with a product purchase of $100.”
• Spell out options. Dermalogica trains estheticians to recommend five products, identify the three that are most important and further name the one must-have product.
• Establish a punch-card program that rewards clients with a complimentary product or service after every 5 or 10 treatments.
• Give guests tacit permission to stop in for just a product or eyebrow wax. If clients must cut back and drop their regular skin care service, they may avoid coming into the spa altogether. Let them know it’s all right to just pick up their product, or offer a micro-treatment that focuses on extraction or exfoliation. “It allows the client to come in and not feel bad that she’s abandoning us,” Wurwand explains.