Original article source: TMG Ventures, Inc. Friday, May 8, 2020 11:23pm TMG Ventures is the parent company of The Hair Society, and The Hair, Mind, and Body Wellness Group
We are in a global pandemic. Our lives have changed.
Our industry has been walloped.
When life and business get turned upside down, it’s natural to go into “hunker down” mode. It’s understandable to want to cut as many expenses as possible and anticipate the worst-case scenario.
None of us should feel bad about these very valid (and sometimes practical) reactions. There are so many things out of our control at the moment. Recently, we reached out to over 119 salons across the US and in over 136 other countries in which we currently serve, including those in hair replacement, hair restoration, Trichology clinics, and salon that offer only salon services. What we very quickly found was that all of the data points to; marketing is NOT one of the things that you should be suspending right now. There are many reasons why marketing should continue and even accrue more of your resources.
We understand that making cuts during an economic downturn are usually among the first things you cut. There are several reasons why that should NOT be the case. Not only does marketing need to continue, but it also needs to be increased while strategically pivoted. Shifting your business’s focus can be scary, it’s necessary however to survive this or any economic crisis.
Let’s dive deeper into some of the reasons why you should keep your marketing efforts going through this pandemic and how you can evolve your company’s efforts to service your customers more effectively.
1. People are on social media now more than ever.
It doesn’t take a complex study to point to the sharp rise in social media usage (and trust us, there are many studies out there). It makes sense because just about everyone is now working from home or shut down, and spending a lot more time following current events.
On a “normal” day, over 281 million Americans online spend an average of 144 minutes per day (that’s roughly 2.4 hours daily), surfing the web and posting on social media. Today, more people are on social media trying to interact with others than ever, and those that may have seen an increase in downtime are spending it online. Social distancing is transitioning your daily activities to A more digital way of life, so increasing your digital marketing efforts, not decreasing, is really an obvious and excellent way to continue to bring awareness, and revenue to your business.
If you run creative digital marketing campaigns on social media, now may be a great time to double down. Attention is in high supply, and the competition may have pushed the pause button, giving you a unique opportunity to garner more attention and to be top-of-mind to your target audience. Who doesn’t want to jump ahead of your competitor, even if your competitor is one of those large corporations? Many of them have paused their marketing and have furloughed employees.
In particular, the leading platforms like Facebook and Instagram are likely to be incredibly high-value to your business as people follow breaking stories and argue about politics (Facebook) while sharing inspiration and life stories (Instagram). Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits to help business during this challenging time. Google is offering grants for small businesses towards ad spend as well.
2. Building an email marketing list may be easier than ever right now.
People everywhere are looking for hope and inspiration. They are looking forward to the day when they can socialize again and see life get back to a more comfortable routine. Now is the time to create content that inspires and helps others within our industry.
Now maybe the time to change your marketing strategy and launch that online marketing offer, email newsletter, podcast, download, video series, webinar, or pillar page that helps your audience navigate their challenges. Now may also be a great time to use content to build your email addresses, your social media custom audiences, your podcast subscribers, your video followers, and any other channel that you are building a community around.
Small business owners like yourselves are looking for hope and guidance. Be part of the solution and provide help to them, and when everyone is bursting out of this crisis and moving full-steam ahead in business, you will have been part of the solution all along. That gives you the social and business currency to turn that loyalty into revenue. That is real marketing equity.
3. Marketing is not a switch; it’s an engine.
In times of turbulence, it’s tempting to think of marketing as a switch that can be turned on and off, but that’s not how it works.
Marketing is an engine that starts slowly and then builds momentum as you speed it up. The more you add fuel and the more momentum you gain, the faster and more effective it is.
Marketing can’t just be turned on, and suddenly leads and conversions pour in. It’s a long road with twists and turns that lead you to your destination. Dropping marketing efforts turns that car around immediately, reversing all efforts to obtain leads and increase sales. This pandemic is creating new behavioral patterns for your customers, and your business needs to consider how it can adjust to those changes now, not just in the future. Now is the perfect time to develop a marketing plan that implements the standards moving forward and beyond this global crisis.
If you suddenly grind your marketing efforts to a halt, you have to start over by building momentum again. You may have to re-earn your audience’s loyalty if they haven’t heard from you in a while. You may have to re-gain SEO (or search engine optimization) rankings because the competition kept going and surpassed your rankings, and if you have not done any digital marketing in the past, this is the absolute prime time to begin.
Rather than halting marketing, you are likely better off maintaining or even increasing your efforts, so you are running strong when the storm passes.
4. Businesses are reinventing themselves.
While some salons are unfortunately struggling, others are reinventing themselves. From hair replacement and restoration salons, and Trichology Clinics to salon-suit entrepreneurs, many B2C businesses are pivoting in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in creative ways.
Ask yourself these questions: How can your business serve the local community in the current environment? What can you do to pivot and adapt your message?
Yes, there is some negative news out there. However, there are also some fantastic opportunities to create some very effective marketing and drive revenues.
5. A recession is a time to increase market share.
No one likes saying the word out loud, “recession.” We don’t know how long (or short) it will be, but it is likely. When this occurs, your competition is more likely to cut back, and this is your opportunity to gain ground.
It’s been well-documented that increased spending in marketing and advertising during a recession can pay off. Forbes magazine wrote:
“…there have been several studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining their marketing or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterward.”
The article continues:
There are several reasons to advertise during a slowdown.
The “noise level” in a brand’s product category can drop when competitors cut back on their ad spend. It also allows advertisers to reposition a brand or introduce a new product.
Brands can project to consumers the image of corporate stability during challenging times.
The cost of advertising drops during recessions. The lower rates create a “buyer’s market” for brands. Studies have shown that direct mail advertising, which can provide greater short-term sales growth, increases during a recession.
When marketers cut back on their ad spending, the brand loses its “share of mind” with consumers, with the potential of losing current – and possibly future – sales. An increase in “share of voice” typically leads to an increase in “share of the market.” An increase in market share results, with an increase in profits.
Many companies became the uncontested leaders in their space by increasing their marketing strategies and tactics during recessions.
Now is the time to offer services like online eCommerce, tutorials, and how-to-videos, make sure you communicate with your clientele, and not just in a simple post on your website. When is the last time you updated your website? This is an excellent opportunity to do just that, as well as develop an email marketing strategy, along with other marketing campaigns that will drive revenue today and into tomorrow.
TMG Ventures, Inc. owns and operates The Hair Society, and The Hair, Mind, and Body Wellness Group, and tracks over 500k visitors each month to its news and marketing sites. We have over 35 years of direct-to-consumer digital and traditional marketing experience, and we have been focused almost exclusively on the hair industry space for the past 20 years. We understand this industry intimately, we are not just a marketing company; we also own multiple salons, so we understand what you are experiencing, and we have a proven track record. Our revenues are increasing during this global pandemic, while many others have fallen off. We can help you navigate these turbulent waters, and put you on a course to increased revenues. Call us today at (786) 496-0519