There is no denying the power and effectiveness of modern marketing. Whether you are seeking out inspiration for a new hairstyle or looking for some glamorous new nail styles, the chances are after only a couple of searches online you are already on your way to finding the answers you are looking for or, alternatively, sophisticated systems on social media may have pointed a relevant ad in your direction.
A major part of business
According to estimates, spending on global marketing services is expected to reach an incredible $457.4 billion this year, with the US alone accounting for 35 per cent of that. As we’ve discussed elsewhere on the site, the right marketing strategies can have a major impact on the success of a business in the beauty sector and beyond. Not only can they drive new business by encouraging clients to check out your products and services, but they can also increase recognition of your company name and brand and boost your reputation in the process. However, once you have got your clients through the door and secured their business, what next? Do you just continue to focus on more new customers and take for granted that those who have previously used your services will always return? It is safe to say you should not take that chance and, in fact, major research has shown the huge difference that working to retain customers can make to a business.
The benefits of happy customers
According to research published by the Harvard Business Review, taking steps to boost your retention of customers by even just 5 per cent has the potential to lead to an increase in revenue between 25 to 95 per cent. Let that figure sink in for a second. Such findings clearly demonstrate how at the very heart of any interaction with a customer is the opportunity build a strong, long-lasting bond. This is not just about them purchasing your goods and services, but about a business also giving back and thanking them for their long-term support. But just how can you develop a marketing campaign or promotion which will both boost customer numbers and also ensure that existing clients remain engaged and switched on to your services? Well, there are any number of sectors you can look at for inspiration.
Online gaming inspiration
Take gaming for instance. The video gaming world is a fiercely competitive marketplace so some of the biggest names take steps to try and make their offering more attractive than others. For example, people who sign up to a PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold membership get access to online multiplayer gaming, but they also get the chance to play some games for free and a host of discounts on leading titles. With the Xbox, this means up to $700 in free games including Halo 3, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag; free access to game demos; free subescription to channels like NBC, CBS, and FOX; and more. iGaming is another area where customers have plenty of choice, so brands do everything they can to not only entice customers in, but then to also ensure that they remain drawn to their services. Let”s take the example of the Hippodrome Casino‘s Reels Race promotion. The campaign saw the casino pick two slot games to go head to head in a battle to see which was the most popular. Customers were asked to place bets on the one they thought would prove the most successful over a period of time, with those who backed the winner being given 5,000 free spins on the game in question. The idea if that customers may spend time researching the games involved and even trying their hand at them. All of that means they continue to spend time on the casino’s site. Would a similar concept work if you ran a competition related to your two most popular beauty treatments during the Valentine’s Day period?
IMAGE SOURCE: Twitter
The Reels Race promotion brings to mind the concept of gamification, where companies uses game-style mechanics in their marketing. This can work in many ways, whether you encourage customers to get competitive against each other or simply give them targets they need to reach in order to earn rewards. The latter can be seen in Starbucks’ popular loyalty scheme, in which customers use the coffee chain’s loyalty card or mobile app to buy drinks and earn stars in the process. The stars can then be used to claim rewards like free drinks, while customers also get the chance to order ahead, enjoy free refills and also get a birthday gift. Regular users of the service can even graduate to Gold status, where even more gifts and rewards then become available. It is a simple but hugely effective move to offer a scheme in this style, as it not only encourages repeat custom but also ensures that the most loyal members of a customer base get access to special rewards along the way.
What about in beauty?
While the above examples offer food for thought, are there any great examples of loyalty schemes already operating in the beauty industry? Sephora runs the Beauty Insider scheme, which allows to sign up and get access to various benefits. It operates much like the Starbucks concept, with a tiered system which means that while those who register for free get treats such as a birthday gift and free beauty classes, those who spend $350 a year reach VIB level and get extras including monthly gifts and a custom makeover. Finally, those who spend $1,000 go to the Rouge level get everything including free 2-day shipping on orders, a private hotline and invitations to events. Just like with Starbucks, the message is clear – if you are a loyal and regular customer, you will get access to a great range of perks.
Customer care works
Business owners in the beauty sector and other industries have a huge amount to deal with on a day-to-day basis, which means it can be easy to lose perspective and sometimes take existing customers for granted. As all of the evidence above shows however, taking some time to ensure that your current client base is happy and catered for can make a huge difference to the success of your operation. Furthermore, it may also create some great PR and word-of-mouth marketing which sends more customers your way. After all, a little bit of loyalty can go a long way.