Marketing Economically

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Last week we talked about finances and how to take a look at the operational expenses that face every business.

Did you find ways to cut down on some of them, even those you thought you couldn’t? Do you need help with your cash flow – you might want to explore the services of two members of our organization:

Fast Merchant Advance

5595 Orange Drive – # 209, Davie, FL 33314 / ph: 1-866-582-4953

And,

Total Merchant Services

144 Henley Rd, Wynnewood, PA 19096 / ph: 1-877-456-8956

Two other members of the DSA who have a long time record of helping day spas meet their financial goals are:

Wellness Capital Management

16500 NE 28th Street, Bellevue, WA 98008 / ph: 1-888-727-5489

And,

Resource & Development

1515 East Tropicana Blvd., Executive Center – Suite 630, Las Vegas, NV 89119 / ph: 702-436-0371 fax: 775-993-6006

Take a crack at them – you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain by taking a close look at your expenditures.

Today I do want to talk however about not neglecting your marketing and PR activities – as a matter of fact, those are the components you need to be extra diligent about in these times. Don’t get caught up in the myth that when the economy slows down, marketing and PR efforts are not essential – on the contrary – NOW is the time to step them up! Here are a few suggestions which will cost you next to nothing, just a little creativity and time…

Increase Your Exposure

Advertising / PR

How much are you spending on advertising and what are you getting in return for your investment? How much PR and how many educational events?

Use this time to contact your local newspaper and send them press releases on how to help their readers relax in these stressful times. Put your best foot forward to let them know that visits to your day spa are something they cannot do without because it is their health – getting pampered is just the cream on the top!

Create a special “recession survival” package using a special brand of aromatherapy – let your imagination go! – This one was a good suggestion by one of our members out there! 🙂

Traditional Marketing

Distinguish Yourself

So much competition – how do you get around this? Your marketing message has to tell potential clients why you are different from your competition. Is it your experience, credentials, services, products, etc? Give them a reason to pick you out of the crowd. Consider DSA Accreditation!

Reward Loyal Clients

If you have not yet copied what airlines and hotels are doing – think again – they have studied consumer behavior for many decades… so do as they do: Consider creating incentives for your customers:

  • Offer your high-end frequent spa-goer clients incentives to recruit more clients
  • Create a “frequent flyer” reward system to keep them visiting on a regular basis

Be Creative With Your Menu

Have you studied the faces of your clients lately when they evaluate what they should choose from your menu of services? Simplify, simplify, simplify! Take a look at your menu from their perspective!

From your perspective – which services generate the most profit? Are you doing enough of them? Which generate the least profit? Are you doing too many of them? Are there some services you should drop?

  • Highlight basic, healthy and economical services instead of high cost pampering
  • Offer lower cost, shorter services as an alternative to higher cost, luxury services
  • Take the guilt out of spending on spa services
  • Emphasize stress relief, economy, effectiveness

I look forward to your feedback. Tell us about what you have been doing to increase your exposure, your awards, press articles, ads that worked (and those that didn’t) and what are you doing to reward your clients to come to you rather than go “next door” , “down the road”, or “around the corner”…you get the drift!

Hannelore.

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3 Responses

  1. Hi Hannelore:

    One of your suggestions, “Offer lower cost, shorter services as an alternative to higher cost, luxury services” made me think about something.

    I have a large meeting space in my spa where we do couples massages and staff meetings or any other kind of meeting. Has anyone tried to section off a treatment room with those “hospital type” curtains to make portable cubicles?

    I noticed at the larger shopping malls, there are massage places like this where you go in and get a clothed acupressure type massage at a discounted price and the disposables are paper roller sheets and face cover. No creams, lotions, oils, sheets, robes, etc . The overhead would be minimal and it m ay bring in a lot of aching bodies. It could be marketed as “Massage Express by the minute” or something like that.

    Has anyone thought about this in a ‘tough economy”?

  2. I think Bellanina makes an excellent point! The only drawback may be the level of privacy that people are accustomed to. But then again, we ARE talking about clothed massages…

  3. Thanks Nina for this suggestion … there are many people out there who do not like to be touched or are reluctant to take their cloth off … those are the clients that will use the mall services. I am not sure if day spas, who do have a certain elevation of service should go that route.
    I was not suggesting to cut on the quality of service but on the length of the service.
    We do have a member Aqua Massage International who have been with the DSA from the start (early 1990’s) and they offer a water massage capsule, that clients can control themselves – there not much labor cost involved in operating this massage capsulle – you can see them in malls and many people actually buy them for their homes. An investment in such an equipment may be worthwhile if you want to target people who want to come in just for a quick massage.
    Hannelore

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