Great Clips is a nationwide franchiser of hair salons, with more than 4,100 locations in the United States and Canada. Post Modern Marketing currently provides marketing services to a franchisee operating 15 locations in California.
adapting marketing efforts to new markets.
As is often the case in the marketing world, one success leads to the next opportunity. The owner of an Amazing Lash Studio franchise to whom we provided marketing services saw how we had grown his location’s digital presence (and profitability). Wondering if our skillset was applicable elsewhere, he approached us, wanting to know if digital marketing could help his Great Clips locations.
easing into a new marketing campaign.
The owner chose 3 out of the 15 California Great Clips locations that he operated, asking us to improve their social media presence and experiment with social advertising. In addition, he asked us to handle reputation management for all 15 locations.
challenges coordinating with the franchise.
To ensure that the hundreds of franchisees across the country maintain a unified brand, Great Clips’ corporate office has a set of guidelines which specify certain required graphical elements, to create a specific recognizable look. We needed some flexibility, and had to work with the corporate office to get the necessary permission to make certain tweaks and modifications.
This took some time, and slowed our initial progress.
considering market behavior.
When working with our clients, we always make sure to never lose sight of the fact that they are the experts in their particular fields. Having an open dialogue with a client to get a better understanding of their field is critical to structuring a successful marketing strategy. For instance, recognizing that the sales cycle of getting a haircut is 30 to 45 days is important to understand when executing marketing campaigns for a client like Great Clips.
You may present a great offer to someone, but if they have recently gotten a haircut, it may be weeks before they can take advantage of it. That presents a question: How do you retain their attention for that long?
In addition to driving sales, we also assisted franchisees with hiring by developing and marketing social media ads to an audience of those with suitable skills.
leveraging facebook offer ads.
With this question in mind, we turned our attention to a specific type of Facebook ad: Facebook offer ads. These ads offer a specific discount—a certain number of dollars off, or a percentage discount—that can be claimed by Facebook users. When the offer is claimed, a digital coupon is generated that is linked to the user’s account. When the user wishes to redeem the coupon, the Facebook app produces a barcode or code that be entered into a POS system.
The most powerful thing about these offers is that when they are about to expire—this expiration date is specified ahead of time—Facebook will notify the user, reminding them to use the coupon. Thus, the benefits of an advertising campaign can last for weeks after the campaign ends.
When we started running Facebook offer ads, we saw a significant improvement in engagement, versus the traditional Facebook ads we had been running previously. At two of the locations, in February we saw extremely high conversation rates—64% and 67%--for an $8.99 haircut promotion. In experimenting with more moderate discounts in April, conversions dropped off, but one location managed a very respectable conversion rate of 46%.
finding a balance between discount and benefit.
As of May 2018, we have just wrapped up our third marketing campaign for our Great Clips locations. We are now at the stage where we are identifying the middle ground between significant discounts which generate a great deal of engagement but cut into profits, versus more moderate discounts that command less attention.
For businesses utilizing discount-based advertising, there are two key considerations:
- The greater the discount, the greater the likelihood that someone will use it. But the greater the discount, the more profit that is being lost. With a business like Great Clips that expects to see the same customer 8 to 16 times per year, a one-time loss can pay off if they gain a repeat customer. But customer retention must be monitored closely to ensure that the campaign generates ROI.
- Regardless of how much of a discount you offer, your advertising spend is going to remain largely consistent. If you offer a very minor discount (say, 5%) that gets people to click on your ad, but fails to get them in the door, you’re still out the cost of that click. It’s important to determine whether an increased cost-per-lead justifies a reduced discount that preserves more of the profits from each conversion.
ensuring customer satisfaction that encourages repeat business.
Digital marketing is important, but you can’t lose sight of what happens when someone walks through the front door. For a restaurant or service business, one experience can mean the difference between having a customer for life, or a catastrophic Yelp review. These businesses might expect to see a customer only a handful of times a year, or even once every few years. But for businesses like Great Clips where customers return so frequently, it’s critical that you don’t give them cause to change their hairstyling habits.
We closely monitor reviews for all 15 Great Clips locations, identifying positive and negative trends to report to the owner. This helps to nip customer service problems in the bud, while cultivating positive behaviors that boost customer satisfaction.