Introduction

:
According to Kotler (2003, p.15) ‘The marketer’s task is to build a marketing program or plan to
achieve the company’s desired objectives. The marketing program consists of numerous
decisions on the mix of marketing tools to use. ‘Proper marketing leads to better profit.
Case in focus:
The intention of two individuals opening a hair salon named ‘A Cut Above’ in Dhaka,
Bangladesh. The salon provides services that include haircutting, shaving, facials, hair colouring,
dandruff treatment, manicure, pedicure, massages, etc. The individuals who are about to start
this business seek advice regarding the issues that should be focused on, for effective marketing
programmes.

These issues include the 7P’s of marketing, market segmentation, marketing

communication and the importance of customer service.
The proper use of the marketing concepts for effective marketing programmes:
 The 7P’s of Marketing: According to Lancester and Reynolds (2004, pp.15 and 407)
The four P’s of the marketing mix are Product, Price, Promotion and Place, but when it
comes to service marketing 3 new P’s are added which are processes, people and physical
evidence. They are the key issues that should be focused on for effective marketing.

1) Product: The Product is the first thing that customers scrutinize in order to know its
benefits decide whether they should buy it or not. In the case mentioned above, the
product is a service. Kotler ( 2003, p.16) suggests that the product should comprise of
many elements which include variety and quality which are both applicable to this
service. The hair salon already has a variety of services, but to mingle in the minds of
individuals, it should also have trained barbers, hair loss therapy, shower and locker
facilities, a separate section which is just for hair styling and a comfortable waiting room
in order to gain popularity. The following are the descriptions of how these strategies
could help the hair salon:

 Trained barbers: The employees should be trained properly by professional so that their work is perfect and appreciated by the customers. style their hair and go to any occasions.  Hair loss therapy: Hair loss is a problem that many individuals face and always try to find a solution for it. This will help them and they will recommend this service to their acquaintances. . coffee machine. a therapy can be developed which will attract many customers. and if the work done is good. Customers on a hurry can just come. If the customers are satisfied they will return again and recommend the service to their acquaintances. and after the shower they can wear them and leave. and magazines. This will help the customers pass their time if they have to wait and they will return if the experience is comfortable for them. from which they can select a style that suits them and the staff there would set their hair in that manner. Doing some research on the proper nutrition for hair and using some natural products used abroad by individuals to solve this problem. separate smoking room. where the customers can come and the staff responsible for that section would provide them with a catalogue. The clothes they wear during the haircut have hair all over it after the haircut. then the customers can take a shower and then go anywhere they want to. taking a bath is a necessity. This will earn some extra revenue for the shop.  Comfortable waiting room: The waiting room should be well decorated. They can even go to any occasions from the salon. If the salon provides a shower facility. The customers can keep fresh clothes inside the lockers which will be in a separate room. it will also help them gain popularity.  Separate styling section: The hair styling section will be a separate section. and the way back home is a hassle. with a television.  Shower and locker facilities: After a haircut. when someone has a tight schedule.

facial. hairstyling. Lower price is always an advertisement itself. However it is an effective tool to draw the attention of people. This will attract many customers who are idle during the weekends. This will attract the middle aged individuals. ‘Buddy’ discount is a discount provided when customers arrive with friends or colleagues. pedicure. this happens usually when their children are young and both get haircuts. manicure.  ‘Weekend’ Package: This is a package which will consist of a haircut. This package will be beneficial because nowadays this is a trend in this country. such as:  ‘Buddy’ Discount: Many people like to take their friends or colleagues to the salon. Many services could be combined together and offered at a lower price. and they both need a haircut or any other service.  ‘Family’ Discount: Sometimes fathers often accompany their sons for a haircut. which will help the hair salon. because the competitors will always try to give a lower price. pedicure and facial for a Bridegroom on all of the wedding rituals and for five of his acquaintances. full body massage and a coupon from a nearby restaurant. This will make the customers bring their friends or colleagues with them. It could be used in various ways.2) Price: The price in this business is a huge factor. so that they can gossip during the haircut. shave. ‘Family’ Discount is provided to families who come together to the hair salon and each use a service. If there are more people then there will be additional charges.  ‘Wedding’ Package: This will consist of haircut. shave. manicure. .

using:  Free haircut during the first week: The hair salon could provide free haircut for the first three days after its opening. package deals and discount should be published on newspapers and popular fashion magazines. mentioning about the initial free service have to be put up on most of the walls.  Posters: Poster. advertisements about the facilities. the people living nearby the location of the hair salon.  Banners: Banners should be put up near schools. about the services of the hair salon to the residents of the area where the hair salon is situated.  Leaflets: Leaflets and brochures should be sent inside the popular newspapers to the people living in the area where the hair salon is located at.3) Promotion: This is focused on the methods used to make the people aware and interested about the services provided by the hair salon. and the customers would provide feedback about the service. . This could be done in various ways. in the area surrounding the location of the hair salon. colleges and universities in the area surrounding the location of the hair salon. This will help them gain publicity and also help them realize their shortcomings. The objective of the promotion in the initial stage would be to educate the people.  Newspaper and Magazines: After one week of the inauguration. The customers coming to a hair salon are usually. one week before the inauguration.

they should be changed after every month and the hair salon must be kept clean all the time. . offices nearby. then customers will wait if they have to. The processes could include many aspects. The residential area would always be a best option because most people get a haircut in the hair salons which are near to their house.407) describes processes as ‘the efficiency of the process in the delivery of the service. the need of the customer should be analyzed by the employee and the work should be done perfectly. p. because they are uncomfortable with the scraps of hair flying around in the haircutting section. with a few schools. colleges. People are often irritated when they have to wait.4) Place: The location should be given the highest priority when marketing a hair salon. People are often reluctant to style their hair in the same section where they had finished getting the haircut. if the customer receives a satisfactory haircut he will recommend the hair salon to his acquaintances. because it helps to decide the market targets and the price. to get that service. such as:  Hygiene and safety: The equipments used for the service should be sterilized before use. Dhanmondi would be the best option because it fits all the criteria’s. If the work is good.’ The customer satisfaction is determined by the processes of the service and this can be a vital issue. the separate styling section is missing in most of the hair salons in Dhanmondi and that gives ‘The Cut Above’ a competitive edge. but since the focus is more on customer satisfaction. so that the customer is satisfied with the haircut. The location would be best if it is a residential area. for publicity. Though it has many hair salons. 5) Processes: Lancester and Reynolds (2004.  Quality of the Haircut: Haircutting and shave should always take time.

They should also have the ability to make suggestions to the customers. . like discounts. for the customers to notice and the name of the staff should also be written on the uniform. so that parts of the service stay in the sub conscious mind of the customer .’ This can include the interior and exterior decoration. They should also be very friendly and talk to the customer and try to become close to them. and hence they need to be updated everyday about new hairstyles. the uniform of the staff.6) People: Service is a two way process. the receipt they receive after the payment and the brand name for the hair salon.  Membership cards: They can also provide customers. They should also analyze the mood of the customer and not make too many suggestions and ask for feedback after cutting one area. the output also depends on the cooperation of the customer. 407) describes physical evidence as ‘the service firms attempt to give some form of tangibility. p. The employees should be well trained and experienced to identify the needs of the customer. Light colours should be used for the exterior decoration and the interior decoration should create a homely atmosphere and hair salon should be spacious. or gifts on certain occasions after a raffle draw. with membership cards which will give them some extra privileges. but at the same time also concentrate on their work and the mood of the customer because some customers prefer a quiet environment. 7) Physical Evidence: Lancester and Reynolds ( 2004. They could concentrate on the following aspects:  Interior and exterior decoration: A flashy and colourful exterior decoration will make the people think that the hair salon is expensive and hence there will be a loss of many customers.  The uniform of the staff: The uniform of the staff also be light coloured and the name of the hair salon should be written in black colour on the uniform.

psychographic and behavioral factors. If the sections are created according to service for e.g.  Service: A hair salon provides many services and often it gets too crowded when all the services are provided in one section. This will also help them to identify the segments with more demand and focus on the shortcomings of the others.47) ‘Consumers can be divided and served in various ways based on geographic. There should be a very good music system which would play the latest rock singles by the popular bands. The section for the middle aged should be calm and be . The section for the teenagers would be decorated with posters of football players.  Age: The services could be divided into three different sections.  Income: The hair salon can have two separate sections. because the customers can choose the segments according to their needs and hence the span of customers would increase. the customers would know where to go and wouldn’t have to wait in the same section overcrowding the place. shaving and facial in a different section. income and age. haircutting in a different section and so on. actors and musicians. This process of dividing the market into different groups of buyers with different needs. This will help the customers to socialize during a haircut. this would attract customers who prefer a low price haircut. The ways in which this could be done are described below. characteristics. which would help the business to operate more efficiently. demographic. one for teenagers and one for middle age and above customers. The Kids section could be decorated pictures of cartoon characters and a television could be placed in that section which would only show cartoons and the seating could be in the shape of a horse or an elephant.’ The customers of the hair salon can be segmented according to service. or behavior who might require the same products or services is called market segmentation. p. Market segmentation: Kotler and Armstrong (2006. a spacious one with air conditioners and experienced barbers for customers who prefer luxury with higher price and the other one without air conditioners and which occupies less space and where comfort isn’t given that much of a priority. one for children below the age of twelve.

marketing communications tools are especially important because they help create powerful images and a sense of credibility. are essential to a company’s success. In a service setting. confidence. the channels through which a service is delivered and when and where it is available. Some individuals believe that expensive services make a statement that they believe in quality and have the ability to pay for it. what it has to offer them. price and other costs. marketers inform existing or prospective customers about the service features and benefits.’ In order to maintain the existing customers and attract more. Without effective communications.124. in one form or another. They could also get into deals with fashion commercial producers and ask them to broadcast their hair salon on television and they would sponsor that episode.decorated with light colours. This will give this hair salon a brand image as well.  Style Celebrities: They can style celebrities in commercials and fashion show and have their name on the credits after the show is over. pp. and reassurance.  Sponsor fashion shows: They can also sponsor fashion commercials and shows and have their name on posters. Marketing communications. and the slow music from the 60’s and 70’s should be played in that section. 125) ‘through communication. . the marketing communications have to increase for future developments of the hair salon. they are:  Price Increase: Most people relate price to the quality of service they utilize. prospects may never learn of a service firm’s existence.  Marketing communication: According to Lovelock and Wirtz (2004. This will help the hair salon to gain more publicity. or how to use its products to best advantage. There are plenty of ways to this can be done.

If future encounters prove to be good experiences. With . they will tend to come again and recommend the same to their acquaintances. and positive word-of-mouth communications. On an average. Service firms must endeavor to meet the expectations of every customer. It is estimated that an unhappy customer will tell 10 and 11 other people about their bad experience.’ The hair salon should always have a friendly environment and the customers should have an extremely transparent relationship with the management so that. their complaints are given the highest priority and taken as feedback. repeat purchases. and the issues and solutions mentioned above will give this hair salon a competitive edge. With proper marketing programmes a business will flourish. word-of-mouth communication is important to the firms. Conclusion: The success of a business always depends on the way their product or service is marketed as it is the most crucial stage of a business. firm loyalty.47) ‘Research has shown that only 1 out of every 25 dissatisfied customers complain to the firm and the rest either switch to other brands or spreak negatively about it to others. Satisfied customers often return to the same service vendor. The testimonials of the satisfied customers are the best advertising a firm can get. a satisfied customer will tell three others of their experience. three future behaviors are observed. which is the only way that one individual will recommend this service to another. Since word-of-mouth communication is the most influential source of information used by consumers during the pre-purchase phase. Customer service: According to Clow and Kurtz ( 2003. p. People tend to rely on the information they get from their friends and family members and hence the main force to keep this business running is excellent customer service. If the customers are satisfied with the services they get. firm loyalty usually develops. If the customer is satisfied.

Pearson Education. .effective implementation of the solutions mentioned above this hair salon will be one of the best hair salons of Bangladesh. Prentice Hall. Palgrave Macmillan.(2004) Service Marketing: People.P.C. ( 2003) Service Marketing: Operation.G.L. Pearson Education.J. Eleventh Edition. Eleventh Edition. Strategy. Bibliography:  Lovelock.(2004) Marketing. ( 2003)Marketing Management.G. and Reynolds. Fifth Edition. and Wirtz. Second Edition. Management and Strategy .K. (2006) Principles of Marketing.D.  Kotler.  Kotler.  Clow. Biztantra. and Kurtz. Technology. and Armstrong.P.P.E.  Lancester.