Marketing: Your salon’s lifeline in a downturn

‘Alice, with the economy showing little sign of picking up soon should our salon be cutting its marketing spend?’

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked this question by hair and beauty business owners.

The answer is a loud ‘NO’.

Here’s why (and what you need to do instead):


Change your salon marketing spend in a downturn

A slump is not a reason to stop spending money on marketing. But it is a reason to change how you spend it.

In other words:

You need to pivot your marketing mindset.

And don’t just take it from me, business and finance experts across the globe agree. Research shows that the businesses that bounced back most strongly from previous slumps were the ones that did not stop their marketing spend.

BUT they did change what they were spending their marketing budget on. And that’s the key.

History is clear. In lean times smart salons need to learn both:

  • where to cut marketing spend
  • where to maintain spend

Think of hard financial times as a salon growth opportunity rather than a reason to batten down the marketing hatches.

Here’s why:


Nurture loyal salon clients in a slump

It’s simple:

Don’t shut down communications with your existing clients because they are your future revenue.

When times are tough the last thing you need is clients walking across the road to your competitor because they feel neglected and undervalued by you. It’s soul-destroying.

It will also be a hard and expensive marketing job to try to win them back as the upturn starts and customer spend increases. Mission impossible in many cases.

Action to take:

Remember people are feeling unsettled, wary and risk averse right now. Invest your marketing budget in nurturing your existing clients through the tough times and safeguard your future revenue.

This does not mean offering them discount promotions. It does mean building trust in your expertise, team and client care through, for example:

  • the right salon social media posts
  • your monthly e-newsletter
  • client blogs packed with useful tips and advice

Just think of all the time, effort and money you’ve invested growing and nurturing your brand and client base. Why throw it all away now? It will take years to rebuild.


Win new salon clients in hard times

During stormy economic times many of your salon competitors will lose their nerve and slash their marketing as an early cost-saving step.

This makes them incredibly vulnerable because if they are not connecting regularly with their clients then, as we just saw, these clients may well walk.

The good news is…

If you are marketing hard and keeping your brand highly visible on salon social there’s a strong chance they will walk into your salon.

Those trust building, advice-packed social posts not only help retain your existing clients, but they also ensure you’re front of mind when your competitors’ clients decide to vote with their feet.

If you can keep your head and your marketing spend while those around you are reducing theirs, you will win new salon clients from your local competition during this downturn.


Make your salon marketing budget work smarter

Research confirms that businesses that cut back dramatically on everything performed the worst as we came out of the last recession.

Whereas those who combined selective operational cost cuts with proactively investing in growth and marketing were most likely to survive and thrive.

I get that marketing in a financial slump is never easy, often because it means going against your first gut instincts. But it undoubtedly pays off to hold your nerve and look for ways to change your salon marketing rather than panic and slam on the brakes.

Marketing is one of the core drivers of your business. To axe it as one of your first cost-saving steps is madness.

Pivot your mindset as recession blows in – take a look at how you can work smarter, not harder on your salon social marketing (and save tons of money if you’re currently outsourcing) with my Salon Social Club.

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