Technology is seductive and tall tales of on-line success abound in the salon/spa world. For most salons/spas the internet with its variety of marketing tools (Facebook, Twitter, and Your Own Website etc.) is a bright shiny object. And bright shiny objects can hypnotize you into a state of “marketing myopia” where you end up excluding things from the world of bricks and mortar in your marketing – the very things necessary to help you get and keep more clients. And bright shiny objects can hypnotize you into a state of “marketing myopia” where you end up excluding things from the world of bricks and mortar in your marketing – the very things necessary to help you get and keep more clients. Why do salon/spa owners develop get “marketing myopia”? Because, with the online world’s hypnotic effect it’s easy for an owner to believe that everyone, their competition and their clients is online. Believe it or not this simply is not true. Although people spend a great deal of time online – they don’t spend their lives on-line and most would rather do things off-line.
- Receive a postcard or letter via snail mail than read an email.
- Watch a DVD on their television rather than on their computer.
- Talk to people over the phone or face to face rather than through email.
- Visit your salon/spa rather than browse your website.
- Sit down and read a book rather than read a book online or on an e-reader.
Although Fresh Direct delivers food to your door after you order it online, people still prefer to go to Whole Foods or another supermarket. Why? Because they like their shopping experience – they like to check out the freshness of the meat, they to smell, squeeze and occasionally sneak a taste of the fruit. The same goes for the salon/spa where it’s all about the human touch, the social interaction, the experience of smelling a delicious shampoo, of feeling the silkiness of a hair treatment or the smoothness of a waxing service. People would rather buy professional products from a trusted advisor who has their best interests at heart rather than from an anonymous website. This is not to say that having an online presence isn’t important – it is. But to maximize your marketing effectiveness you must marry your online processes with your offline processes. So how do you leverage your online presence? With the human touch, of course.
- Give your clients/prospects multiple means of contact – make sure to have a fax number, a phone number and a snail mail address. This signals to your customer that they can contact you by various methods not just by email.
- Use the telephone for resolving problems – not email. People want to talk with people.
- Advertise your online presence off line.
- Business cards
- Fax sheets
- Promo materials
- Answering Machine
- Send thank you letters and special invitations through snail mail. There’s nothing like the personal touch and a heart-felt, hand written thank you.
“Marketing Myopia” is just one of many marketing mistakes you can make, but it’s not only very common for salon/spa owners to develop but also
it can be very costly. So be aware of the “bright shiny” objects and remember people social being who need human interaction.