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Stacey Soble | February 24, 2012 | 1:16 PM

Of all the business-themed issues we’ve done in SALON TODAY, those revolving around marketing, promotion and PR have always been my favorites. Our long-running marketing column, which typically showcases images of salon service menus, direct-mail pieces and flyers, usually stands out as one of the best pages in our issue. And, when it comes time to divvy up categories for the SALON TODAY 200 judging, I always grab Marketing first. There’s just something about the combination of an original creative idea, some striking imagery, and a business-building homerun that makes the topic of salon marketing so compelling. 

So last year when our editorial team started tossing around ideas about launching a third salon business competition to add another jewel to our crown which includes the SALON TODAY 200 and SALONS OF THE YEAR, we naturally gravitated toward a marketing competition.

First, we wanted something fun and relatively easy for our owner readers to enter. We know the SALON TODAY 200 application process is fairly arduous, and it should be in order to evaluate best business practices. And, SALONS OF THE YEAR is limiting, because only new or recently renovated salons and spas can apply.

Second, we wanted a competition that was a level playing field for salons and spas of all types and sizes. While some businesses may draw on huge budgets to initiate a large-scale, sophisticated campaign, some of the very greatest marketing ideas draw their strength from a captivating concept and a shoestring budget.

Third, and more selfishly, we wanted to fill our magazine, website and e-newsletters with proven salon marketing ideas that our audience of owners could quickly and easily adapt for their own businesses.

Show and Tell

So in September 2012, we’ll host STAMP, or SALON TODAY’s Annual Marketing Program, featuring the award-winning marketing ideas of salons and spas in 28 different competition categories. Our magazine, website and e-newsletters will be overflowing with great ideas in everything from traditional marketing (think print ads and radio/TV commercials) to digital marketing (think salon websites, mobile marketing programs and blogs) to branded salon materials (think service menus and business card). We even threw in a free-for-all category to include marketing ideas we didn’t imagine.

The competition is organized like a giant Show and Tell, where we ask salon and spa owners to pick their best marketing ideas over the past year, invite them to “Show” us any materials and “Tell” us about the program and its success. There are no mandated essay questions in this competition, we leave it to you to pitch us your best ideas.  

CLICK HERE to download your STAMP application! Got questions? Call Joyce Alverio at 847-415-8037. Submissions must be postmarked by May 31, 2012. Good luck!

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