How does it feel to be the winner of the Excellence in Marketing award?
Amazing, I didn’t expect it – especially because of the amazing competition. I was sorry I couldn’t be there but my team did us proud, they videoed it and sent it to me so I felt like I was part of it!
It was a really great achievement – especially for the team and our culture. Our clients are an integral part of our success of course and they enjoy celebrating with us.
What is your marketing philosophy?
Marketing is about everything that we do and also what we don’t do. It’s how we communicate our business offerings to the world and each other. Communicating that message every day to every client – current and potential – is important, as that impacts on our word of mouth referrals. It’s the culmination of all the messages we send, on all channels, all the time.
Our team is our greatest marketing tool, you can have the best marketing strategies in the world but if your team don’t execute it consistently – it’s worthless.
How would you describe your brand?
I think I would describe our niche as affordable quality. We aim to give our clients the best possible service, which is a really high quality, but we don’t charge super high prices.
How would you describe your clients?
We have a very specific target market, essentially its women between the ages of 40-50. Obviously, not all our clients fit that description, it’s just where we focus our attention. A great analogy for this is, throw a pebble into a pond, where the pebble hits the water is your target market, and the ripples it produces are the other clients who you also attract.
We strive to get into our ideal client’s world by asking them what their needs are. We do that via feedback surveys and also face to face. This allows us to dig deeper and influences the services we offer, the music we play, the hours we’re open, the magazines we have and the coffee we serve our clients.
How have you tailored your business to your target audience?
We look at all their needs and how they perceive us on all levels. We want our clients to perceive their service as money well spent and see Reds as a place where they can come to fully relax. We want them to come back and have the same experience every time.
We want to deliver value at every touchpoint, it’s not just about the hair. We wanted booking to be easy, so we made it as simple as possible. It’s the little things that make the difference. It’s all about making their journey smoother – it’s not about us, it’s about them.
As a business owner you wear so many hats and there’s probably never enough time in the day, what advice would you give to salons, spas and clinics struggling to find the time for marketing?
I would say, have a plan. The biggest thing to consider is – what is the purpose of your marketing? What outcome do you want to achieve and why? Start with the big picture, then break it down into specific, more focused goals.
I’m also a qualified business coach, and many of my clients find effective marketing a challenge. This is something I find incredibly rewarding when working with coaching clients: to design marketing strategies that really work.
What is your favourite marketing channel and why?
I don’t have one favourite channel, I think it depends on your audience. I find the most value is in creating a community and a personality for our brand. Social media is a great tool for that because you can schedule your posts and have conversations with clients at the same time. Delegating social media tasks to my staff who are better at it saves me so much time and makes sense! Then there are the great everyday marketing tools that Kitomba offers: online booking, email and text reminders, birthday vouchers and much more. It’s so easy to set them up and forget about them.
What would you say to someone considering entering The Industry Awards next year?
Just do it. The first time I entered was 2007, back when it was the Kitomba and NZARH Business Awards. We didn’t win anything that year, but doing it once made me try a little harder, and I became more focused on what I could do to improve the business. It’s like having a template for what you can work on, and it obviously paid off because the next year we won it! It was so fulfilling and great to see some measurable results. It’s also a great marketing tool because people see the trophies and we become the award-winning salon. However, I don’t do it for vanity, it really does help us measure, monitor and improve our business. I think people should definitely enter, The Industry Awards is such a great event.