The brief

NHBF photoThe National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) is the UK’s largest trade association for hairdressing, barbering and beauty salon owners. They have over 75 years of experience helping their Members build successful, profitable and sustainable businesses.

The NHBF saw significant growth across their membership, social media and website engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic as professionals looked for urgent information and support to help sustain their businesses. But, as restrictions on hair and beauty professionals eased, engagement began to drop-off.

The Federation wanted to capitalise on the engagement they had built and develop a new content strategy that would help them to engage and support their very diverse audience over the long-term.

What we did

Essential to building an engagement strategy is understanding the needs and motivations of the audience. This was particularly true for the NHBF, whose members are business owners with very high demands on their time. To unlock how best to support them we needed to understand the challenges they faced, what was important to them and how they wanted to consume information.

We bought together a bank of insight – analytics, content performance, social listening and more – and fused that with qualitative user research to provide a depth of understanding about NHBF’s different audience groups.

We coupled this with developing clarity over the organisation’s goals, resources, technologies and challenges through working with internal stakeholders.

The results

Our findings indicated clear differences in usage patterns and needs between owners of different types of business. This allowed us to develop an ambitious content strategy and roadmap focused on delivering against user need that was also grounded in the technical and resource constraints that the NHBF operates within.

This new approach will enable the organisation to tailor content on relevant formats, build their network of experts who can contribute content that meets identified needs and tailor their acquisition and retention plans by segment.

Client’s view

“This process was an eye opener for the team here at the NHBF, it’s funny how you get into such a rut with content and the channels that you use each day. By taking this step back and working with the team at We Are MC2 to identify our audiences, and what each of their individual needs are, made us really aware of what we needed to change and build a content strategy that works!

“The blanket approach that we were using wasn’t hitting the mark and at a time when recruitment of new members was pivotal to our goals we were keen to get started. Our experience working with Liz and Ali was a really enjoyable one – not only did they both challenge us to think outside of the box they were also patient and supportive, giving us honest, invaluable advice.”

Samantha Meyern, Digital Marketing Director

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What our clients say

  • We Are MC2 helped us understand not only who our key audiences were, but what they wanted from us. Working with the whole MC2 team is a joy. They are professional, understood what we were trying to achieve immediately and worked collaboratively with us to achieve our desired outcome. I hope to work with them again very soon.

    Amy McCullough, Digital Lead, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

  • As usual We Are MC2 ran the workshops really effectively and we got excellent participant engagement and feedback. Perhaps more importantly they have helped us build a methodology which we can now use to tackle future challenges that would benefit from innovative use of technology.

    Said Dajani, Head of Digital, Diabetes UK

  • The team at MC2 have provided exceptional input into our digital transformation journey. They’ve challenged us, encouraged us to really stretch our thinking but also provided common sense and practical solutions. We are delighted to have them as true strategic partners.

    Paul Amadi, Executive Director of Fundraising & Engagement, MS Society

  • I wanted to work collaboratively with a strategist who has the right mix of experience, who has the ability to apply creative thinking to complex challenges and the know how to drive this thinking through to action. My experience of working with Alison and We Are MC2 is that they tick all these boxes and then some.

    Ben Butler, Head of Digital, Drinkaware

  • Not only were they a dream to work with they also produced a truly excellent piece of research which delivered everything we needed to plan ahead with confidence. And the research they produced lives on; we return to it time and time again as our knowledge of the virtual assistant and our users grows and develops.”

    Karina Brisby, Head of Digital, Versus Arthritis