The last quarter AND your busy season is almost here! The holidays are a busy time for beauty services providers which means it’s often the time marketing functions fall to the way side. So, before you get busy, I suggest you do a marketing audit AND map out your holiday promotions.
What’s a marketing audit?
A marketing audit is a process that requires you to of taking a step back and evaluating every aspect of your marketing strategy. When done correctly, a marketing audit should force you to look at:
- What’s working
- What’s not
- What needs to be updated
- What needs to be re-evaluated
- What needs to be put in place
After a marketing audit, you should be able to create a plan to leverage what’s working, fix what’s not and finish the year strong.
I always recommend clients do a marketing audit at least once a year. I love the idea of doing an audit before the holidays because it’s a great way to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward and capturing every possible piece of business during the holiday season.
How to Conduct a Marketing Audit
If you have the budget, I highly recommend you hire a marketing professional to conduct your audit. A professional will notice things that you may not. Plus, they’ll be looking at your business as an outsider so it’s an important perspective to consider. Lastly, a marketing professional will be able to help you come up with a strategy to improve your marketing efforts where as if you try to do this yourself you may find it difficult to think beyond doing what you’re accustom to.
If you need to do your audit yourself, here’s a few action items to help you get started.
Where are your clients coming from?
Hopefully you’re tracking where new business is coming from. If so, take a look and see where a bulk of your new clients are coming from. Once you determine your main source of new business, come up with a plan to further leverage that source. For example, if you find that social media is a good source of new business, you might want to consider devoting more resources to social media during the holiday season. This could mean doing paid advertising, or even hiring someone to manage your accounts while you’re busy taking care of clients.
Are you going to meet your revenue goals for the year?
With more than half of the year behind us, many beauty service providers rely on the holiday season to end the year on a high note. With that in mind, I recommend you take a look at your revenue and compare it to the same time in previous years. Are you ahead? Behind? What changed? If you’re head of where you were, figure out what helped you earn more and see if there is a way to incorporate something similar in to your plans for the holiday season. If you’re behind, try to determine and focus on a incorporating your best revenue generating strategies in to your plan for the last quarter of the year.
Evaluate your marketing strategy
Do you even have a plan or are you just flying by the seat of your pants? Truthfully, many people wing it when it comes to marketing. If this is you, make it a priority to get a plan in place for the upcoming year, but if nothing else, have a plan for the last quarter. If you don’t have a clear cut plan that takes you month by month with specific goals attached, you’re probably missing opportunities you could be capturing if you were planning ahead.
Evaluate your marketing materials
Once you’ve looked at how clients are coming in, revenue and your overall strategy, it’s time to drill down and look at your marketing materials. This is everything from your social media accounts to your website and everything in between. Here’s a list of places to look and questions to ask yourself:
- Branding – Does your brand reflect where your business is at and where you’d like it to go? If you DIY’d your logo 5 years ago when you first opened and now you’re attracting elite clientele and pulling in 6 figures, it might time for a refresh.
- Website – Is all your information up to date? Are all your services listed? Is your site easy to navigate? Does it work well on mobile? Is it generating appointments for you?
- Social Media Accounts – Are they being maintained? Do they look professional? Are people engaged? Are they a good representation of your brand?
- Print Materials – When’s the last time you updated your print materials? If it’s been a while, make sure the info in them is still accurate? Do all your employees have business cards? Do you have signage in your studio that promotes your offers or services?
- Email Marketing Campaigns – What are you doing to grow your email list? Are you sending emails regularly? How are you leveraging your list? Is your list segmented so you can send targeted communications?
- Product Packaging (If Applicable) – If you have a product line under your name, or you sell a product look at the packaging and make sure your product packaging is designed in a way that it will stand out on a shelf, the labeling is helpful and customers can easily find the info they need.
A marketing audit can be a powerful tool for evaluating the state of your business and coming up with a strategy for the future. If you need help with a marketing audit, I offer a done for you option where I review your materials and provide a written report on changes. I also offer consulting sessions where we can go through your marketing strategy and materials, then come up with a plan to move forward together.
Your plan for the last quarter of the year MUST include what you’re doing for the holidays. I’m talking about:
- Black Friday
- Small Business Saturday
- Cyber Monday
- Giving Tuesday
- General holiday gift giving
If you plan to run promotions during the last quarter for any of these things, it is important to have a plan that includes how and when you’re going to promote these offers exist. Your plan should include:
- In-studio or in-spa signage
- Email marketing
- A social media strategy
- Team education
- Website updates
You need to talk about your promos early and often to get people to act.
How do I know what promos to run?
If you’ve run a successful promo in the past, don’t feel like you need to recreate the wheel, run the same thing again just make sure your customers know it’s available! If your holiday promotions haven’t been successful in the past, then it’s time to try something new. If you’re not sure what, ask your customers on social what they’d like to see this year! This will not only give you ideas, but also provide a way for you to engage with your customers, make them feel like an important part of your business and get the idea in their head early that you will have specials to watch out for.
Contact me if you’re interested in getting on the schedule for a marketing audit or need help promoting your holiday offers.