According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there were more than 44 million persons 65 or older in 2013, representing about 14% of the nation’s population. By the year 2040, seniors will make up more than 20% of the population and by 2060, there will be almost 100 million people aged 65 and older in the U.S. (www.aoa.acl.gov/aging_statistics/)
These numbers make it imperative that salon owners better-understand this growing demographic and develop marketing strategies that will effectively reach and attract older Americans. Mastery of marketing to mature clients will help salons retain clients as they grow older and gain market share by adding older Americans to their client base, and avoiding these common salon marketing mistakes is a good place to start.
Are you making any of these salon marketing mistakes with your salon’s mature clients?
1. Assuming Mature Clients Aren’t Tech-Savvy
Once thought the purview of the younger generations, technology has permeated nearly every aspect of life in the U.S. Mature clients are just as likely as younger clients to be actively using devices for email, social media, banking, news consumption, texting, entertainment, appointment booking and more.
It’s a mistake to assume that mature clients aren’t going to interact with your salon brand online or that digital media won’t be effective marketing channels in helping to reach older Americans. For this reason, it’s important to understand how paid social media, search and display advertising can be created and targeted to help your salon attract and engage mature clients online.
2. Assuming Mature Clients Aren’t Adventurous
Today’s seniors aren’t just tech-savvy, they are fashion and style savvy too. It’s a mistake to assume that mature clients will adopt a hair style and keep it “forever” or that they aren’t open to new ideas and suggestions.
There are pioneers and early adopters among the population in every generation. Finding those individuals among the mature clients who patronize your salon could be the key to finding the clients who can give you the most word of mouth marketing bang for your buck with older generations. Since they are willing to try new looks and change their hairstyles often, they can help you show off your skills on social media and your salon’s before-after photo galleries, helping you attract new clients of any age.
3. Assuming Mature Clients’ Styles Are Stereotypes
It’s time to forget the stereotypes many in the beauty industry have held about the type of services and hairstyles mature clients want. Today’s clients are accustomed to expressing their individuality through their personal appearance and no one-size-fits-all senior hairstyle mold is going to suffice.
Likewise, mature clients want to see how styles, services and products work on and for people in their own age group. Using imagery with only 20-something models could fall flat with older Americans, as will imagery that seems condescending, stereotypical or pandering.
4. Assuming Mature Clients Don’t Work
Older Americans are staying active in every area of their life, including the professional aspects of their lives. From those who are working to an older age to those who take advantage of “retirement” to open businesses and give expression to their inner entrepreneurs, increasing numbers of older Americans are professionally active now than ever before, and this trend will continue.
Being aware of this, salons who serve this demographic may need to extend their hours to accommodate the needs of older working clients. Salons may also be able to gain market share by building a before-after photo gallery and service menu designed to attract and engage older working Americans.
5. Assuming Mature Clients Won’t Leave
Not only are older Americans tech-savvy and trend-savvy, they are service-savvy, too. It’s a mistake to take them for granted and smart salon owners will find ways to keep their older clients interested, engaged and motivated to keep rebooking.
Retention and customer service efforts need to be stellar with mature clients who have a wide base of experience to draw on. Not only has their life experience has given them ample opportunity to observe what constitutes “good service,” they have also paid their dues and many expect to be treated with especial respect and deference.
We would love to be part of your story.
We can help your salon better-connect with clients of any age with tailored marketing services or consulting advice. Contact us at 253-234-4130 or contact us online to find out how we can help.