By Joey Villani, CEO of Intergroom International & VP of World Dog Expo
Do you know your ROI (return on investment) for your marketing expenses? How are you marketing your salon? Marketing is so important – if clients can’t find you, your talent is wasted, and potential income is lost. Even the best of the best need to let clients know about the salon and the grooming services available.
How can pet parents find you? They ask their neighbors. They ask people walking a well-groomed dog at the park. They ask their veterinarian and pet sitter. They check out Google and Yelp. They may even go to the National Dog Groomers Association. Some may go to the Yellow Pages. With so many options for the pet parent, you must focus your marketing efforts to target both your audience and your area. Unfortunately, most of you are guilty of having a poor marketing strategy, and you leave it up to chance that a pet parent will find you and schedule an appointment.
To identify your target area, I like to ask a simple question, “How far will you travel to buy groceries?” This distance is usually how far MOST people want to travel for any service. Focus your marketing dollars on your target area – no point in wasting money on pet parents outside your area since many will not travel beyond that ‘shop for groceries’ area.
Targeting your audience begins at home so-to-speak. Target your current clients by getting everyone on a schedule – 6 weeks is the normal schedule. Rebook that pet before they are walked out of the salon. You have the client in your salon, face-to-face, so take advantage of having this direct contact in your salon to simply say, “Fluffy will need to be groomed in 6 weeks so why don’t we reserve a time now – this way you get to pick the time that is best for you.” Use the WIIFM (What’s in it for me) idea – by scheduling now for 6 weeks from today, the pet parent gets to choose a day and time that is best for them (instead of having to rearrange schedules to get the pet in for an appointment). I would suggest giving some type of incentive if the pet parent schedules that appointment before they walk out your front door. FYI, this is also a WIIFM for you, the groomer! You know that you have steady work booked. For the mobile groomer, you can now control your coverage area, so you are grooming more pets and not wasting time and money traveling all over the place.
Don’t waste time and money on marketing your grooming talent. I like to tell groomers to find a good marketing program that fits your needs. For me, I have found that BizBark works well. BizBark can easily help you track, book, rebook, remind, and promote – everything you need to let pet parents know where you are, when you are available, how they can schedule an appointment, and when they need to come in again. Don’t get lost in all those crazy search engines. Don’t leave it up to chance that a pet parent will talk to one of your current clients at the dog park. Don’t make it hard on yourself to market your salon – get BizBark and be the big dog on campus.