Romancing Your Customer – – One “Personality” at a Time

LAURA CONNELLYDear Wellness Lifestyle Marketer,

 You may think you have me as your customer, but I just want to remind

you that I live in an option society and have a plethora of choices when seeking out

wellness spa services and experiences. While you run a perfectly nice establishment I prefer

not to have chatty Kathy at the desk probing me about my personal life. When I go for a massage

I am pretty much ready to check out of the world and disengage. I am seeking peace! Not new friendships!

 Truly,

Your “one and only customer”

P.S Make a note and don’t ever forget …it’s all about meeee!

 “Chatty Kathy” and Your One and Only Customer…

 Whew! What side of the bed did she wake up on?! You are thinking… here we are training our staff to be friendly and engaging and she complains about our hospitality! It is easy to dismiss these kinds of people and we do know that working with the “public” is one of the most challenging jobs one can have.

Why? Because all people are individuals and with that comes varied expectations and needs. It would be wonderful if we could market spa services and products to a simple demographic profile such as age, and income level but unfortunately these are only pieces of the client picture.

 If you have researched your target audience thoroughly and understand your demographics in terms of price positioning and market needs, you are off to a good start. But here is the breaking news…your biggest business challenge will be bringing your customer back and selling them up with additional products and services. You know only too well that it costs less to keep a current customer than it does to acquire a new one.  You want to say… “The heck with the grouchy customer, who needs her!”, but you can’t afford to do so and certainly can’t afford to ignore her feedback. In fact you are only too lucky to hear her feedback. It is exactly her “type” that may say nothing and just never return because chatty Kathy scared her away. Don’t fire Kathy just yet!

 Your staff may say “you can’t please them all” but you know better. You are learning that your business won’t survive in today’s experience economy without utilizing psychographics and making it your business to intimately know your customer and anticipate their needs.

 Wow, She’s Got Personality!

 Last week I left off with this powerful statement…

Capturing the hearts and minds of your “one and only customer” will become your main business objective and your distinct competitive advantage. Let’s explore what psychographics means to your business in this context and how you can be extremely successful by understanding the various personalities of your customers.

 Besides the pipe dream of having a highly skilled staff who are attuned to all kinds of customers and know exactly how to deal with each of them, you also need to use market research tools. One of the obvious tools to use is a Customer Survey. On-Line Customer Surveys are now effective modern tools to gather insight and direct feedback from your customers. We all have heard of social media and blogs, where visitors and customers can leave their very uncensored and opinionated comments! In the world of travel and leisure, Hotels are now subject to all kinds of reviews from not just travel editors but from the customers themselves. One bad experience with a bellman and a Hotel’s reputation for friendly staff and environment just went out the window until the next customer comes along and thinks the bellman’s off color jokes are hilarious!   Remember chatty Kathy because she is either a warm welcome or an intrusive nosy body to any one of your customers. After learning more about personality profiles you will discover that our grouchy customer who never came back because of chatty Kathy was just a “serious” type. She came for service and truly wanted peace and quiet. She is a no nonsense person who just wanted basic courtesy and privacy. Not necessarily a grouch but just another personality!

 Savvy Customer Surveys, Market Researchers and On-Line Tools

 The service industry is tough but you are now becoming smarter and savvier…

 A simple on-line survey is one way to begin. But it’s important to design one that effectively gathers information you can use to serve the individual. It is all about them and the more you learn what makes them tick, the better you will be able to serve them. KISS (KEEP IT SUPER SIMPLE! ) is a great way to think about customers surveys. The goal is to make them short, clear and easy to complete. There are so many approaches to constructing questionnaires and this is where things get sticky for most entrepreneurs. Gathering critical market knowledge about your customers is not easy.  Poorly written questions can be interpreted by a customer differently than intended which then produces misleading information. Once you gather the data, what do you do with it? How do you interpret and then apply what you have gleaned directly to the customer experience? Your answer may be …”that is what I have a Marketing Director for!” or more likely “I am the Marketing guru and I will figure it out!”. Fortunately technology has helped us progress in this area and there is a cornucopia of customer relationship management software programs out there to assist you.  

 If you have a decent budget you can hire a market research company that will help you write clear concise surveys and retrieve real useful market intelligence for your business. Larger companies like Claritas (a Nielson property) often have divisions dedicated to small businesses and may have special packages that will meet your needs. Sometimes the investment in an expert saves you lots of money in trial and errors and often they will get you on the smart track sooner than later…

What’s New and What’s Next in Psychographics?

You need CRM programs and you need trained professional staff. But neither may help you with knowing how a “serious” type needs to be treated! Just in case you missed it last week, psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. How can you really leverage psychographics so you do intimately know your customers? I recently discovered a new company called SOUL WORLDWIDE from Australia who has created a wonderful on-line psychographic marketing tool (not to be mistaken for CRM software) which will assess your customer’s personality style through a simple questionnaire. It is deceiving to say simple because actually it is really using science based research questions that create profiles as revealing as a Myers Briggs test often used by educational institutions and HR teams at major corporations.  SOUL is a clever acronym for four customer personality types (Serious, Outgoing, Uninformed and Loyal). Since I am not a representative for this company I will not go on in too much detail about the tool. I will rather direct you to their site and you can learn just how psychographics can improve your bottom line and give you that distinct competitive advantage we talked about. Visit www.soulworldwide.com for more details and take their sample on-line test to discover just how easy it can be to grow your business one personality at a time.

What is significant in our new Web 2.0 world is business owners can now benefit from on-line marketing solutions and psychographic tools cost-effectively. Through savvy questionnaires and on-line technology you can know your customers more intimately and serve their needs more personally. Romancing your customer just got easier and now each customer that walks through your door is a unique individual who just needs to be approached in their own special relating style. Even if she just wants to be left alone in peace and quiet you are on your way to a beautiful friendship…

Let’s talk next week about customizing marketing communications for your one and only customer!

Laura Connolly
Wellness Communications Specialist
Trendscapes Media
Serving Wellness Lifestyle & Culture
info@trendscapesmedia.com
609-613-4642

Marketing “Something More” in the Experience Economy

LAURA CONNELLYDear Wellness Lifestyle Marketer ,

Give me something more! Wow me! Enchant me! Entertain me! Impress me! Reassure me! Engage me! Thrill me! Restore me! Entice me! Fix me! Soothe me! And oh yeah…make sure you educate me too.

 Truly-
Your “one and only” customer
P.S-Just wanted to remind you it’s all about me!

____________________________________________________________

 How Do You Market “Something More”?

 

 “Give me something more” and “it’s all about me” is the mantra of today’s consumer. The ability to contextualize, synthesize and emotionalize has become increasingly important to marketing success for wellness purveyors. To meet the market demands of today’s experience economy, savvy wellness and spa purveyors need to understand consumer trends and how to serve the customer individually in a customized fashion.

 How do you market “something more”? How do you differentiate and distinguish your brand and business? How do you create customer centric dialogue? How do you create brand loyalty in an increasingly short fused and competitive marketplace? These are all genuine challenges for wellness purveyors. The most successful brands are those who have mastered the art of storytelling and create an on-going interactive conversation with their target customer.

 Romancing Your Customer…

Welcome to the Experience Economy!

Products fulfill needs but experiences fulfill desires. How do you develop your unique business story and create intimate and customized experiences for your customers? In a highly competitive marketplace you must engage authentically and develop personal narratives with your customers.  In a world where bio-individuality is becoming increasingly revered and no one size treatment fits all, it is difficult to assess what will be embraced by your customers individually. This is why paying attention to macro trends and social networks is important. Forecasting the next big wellness trend is a start but learning how your customers will embrace the trend is really the key to marketing new products and services uniquely to your core customer base. Know thy customer intimately is your key mantra in the experience economy. Synthesizing trends and understanding what it means to your customer is crucial to the growth and success of your business.

 Trendscapes…

What’s New and What’s Next?

 The macro trends of the consumer market are important to pay attention to when it comes to serving your customer and anticipating their needs.  Taking a long view of the culture and community you are serving while also developing a deeper understanding of market drivers affecting your customer is a smart approach to working with an experience economy that thrives on constant change and improvement. Four years ago I produced a business event called “Inside Beauty—Cultivating the Beauty Market from the inside…out. In efforts to introduce the traditional cosmetic and personal care markets to the changing mindset of consumers and the new emerging naturals market, I spelled out the trendscapes for them in promotional literature.  This information reflected changes already happening in 2005 and the future trends we could anticipate ahead.  Let’s look at the Trendscapes of 2005 and see how much has already transpired and continues to manifest today…

 Right now in 2005…

 Consumers demand healthy and natural products

  • Natural and organic trends change focus to “health and safety” in the cosmetics and personal care markets.
  • Convergence of beauty, health and wellness has begun
  • Natural Beauty products steadily creep into the mainstream markets
  • Mass manufacturers produce natural product lines promoting ingredients fused with nutraceuticals and botanicals
  • Anti-aging movement accelerates with core group of baby boomers turning fifty
  • Wellness trends gain momentum and specialty and high end spas respond to the call
  • Mass Market Retailers recognize hidden profit centers in supplements, personal care products and spa services

 What’s Ahead?

 Blending of health and beauty becomes main stream

  • The next big idea for beauty is all about health, wellness and longevity
  • Mass marketers and merchandiser jump into market aggressively
  • Natural grooming sections in mass stores are poised to spread
  • Specialty stores present food products containing natural ingredients along side of beauty Products
  • Traditional health & beauty aid stores and pharmacies go through transformation and create new models to meet new consumer demands
  • 21st Century health centers integrate the health, wellness and beauty concept into one stop stations
  • Day Spas and Wellness Centers will grow and proliferate as more consumers seek healthy lifestyle

 As we can see, most of the trends have played out and are still driving wellness culture today in 2009. Culture is a key word to embrace and understand. Wellness Culture is here to stay and will grow and respond to the changing needs of society as we learn more about wellness, longevity and prevention of disease.

 Market Drivers

Find a Need and Fill it!

 The key market drivers for spas and wellness centers are everlasting beauty, preventative health, wellness and longevity. These drivers put the focus on anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-obesity, anti-disease, vitality and energy management. With a health crisis in full swing in the U.S it is clear that “wellness” is the main objective for our society. Being pampered is a wonderful experience but living a healthy lifestyle and achieving longevity is the main focus for wellness consumers in 2009 and beyond.

 With a struggling economy and the biggest recession in history you can be sure that “stress management” will be a core need and appeal for most of your customers. What services do you provide that can address and fight the damaging effects of stress hormones and chemicals running wild in our bodies? If you can convey the value of unique treatments and how they can help manage stress while also teaching customers how they can function at optimum levels and possibly avoid cancer, they will have great motivation for bringing you business regularly. “What’s in it for me and what am I learning from you” is a consumer’s key call to action in the experience economy. Yet in recessionary times, you will also have to convey value. If you can convey the value (price points plus benefit) of service in a real authentic educational voice, you will have not only their trust but their repeated business.

 Food and Agriculture have taken center stage in the news as we learn more about where our food comes from and understand the organic movement more intimately. Attention to safety, diet, nutrition and energy management are all macro trends that tie into the organic and eco—green trends effecting the beauty, health and wellness industries. The products you sell and the ingredients they carry matter and this market driver presents a great opportunity for you to differentiate your retail line from your competitors. The more you can educate and be transparent in your business operations, the more likely you are to gain credibility with your customer base. Let your customer know what you are doing in terms of sustainability and protecting their interests when it comes to safety and ingredients. Romancing your customer is about showing interest for their concerns and their needs. Learning what is most important to them personally is your job!

 It’s all About Me!

Why Psychographic Research Matters to your Business…

 We are back to “how do you market something more” to each customer individually and keep their business? The simple answer is  knowing your customer’s needs intimately. Now is just about the time you throw your hands up in frustration and say…how do I do that? Plant a secret chip in their ear as I give a massage! We won’t be too long away from that, but for now using psychographics research is your best marketing tool and your secret arsenal to marketing personalized custom experiences. The simple definition of Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. When you develop and construct a person or group’s psychographic makeup this is called a psychographic profile. Psychographic research has been used for market segmentation for decades and relied upon heavily by the advertising world.  With technological advances our research tools have become more sophisticated and more accurate in capturing intimate information about your target customer. Check in next week as I explore how to utilize psychographic research and be your own market research specialist.

 Capturing the hearts and minds of your “one and only” customers will become your main business objective and your distinct competitive advantage…

Laura Connolly

Wellness Communications Specialist

Trendscapes Media

Serving Wellness Lifestyle & Culture

info@trendscapesmedia.com

Laura Connolly

609-613-4642

Rosacea and Perioral Dermatitis

Dr. SchleicherRosacea and Perioral Dermatitis

Rosacea and perioral dermatitis are two acne-related disorders that affect women in greater frequency than men. Both are striking causes of a red face.

 Rosacea 

           Rosacea begins very insidiously, often as a prominent, evanescent facial flush. The rosy condition may involve only the lower half of the nose or may spread to cover the “blush zone,” over the central face, forehead, and chin. The bouts of redness gradually become more frequent and intense, leading to persistent changes in skin color. The end result is permanent facial redness along with numerous enlarged blood vessels. Rosacea may be accompanied by crops of inflamed pus‑filled pimples.

          According to the National Rosacea Society, the condition affects over fourteen million Americans. Over 75 percent of patients responding to their annual survey admitted that rosacea lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem. Rosacea usually occurs in middle-aged women, those between ages thirty and fifty-five. The condition seems to affect people who, since childhood, have blushed easily, as well as those who develop intense redness following only brief sun exposure. The most severe form of rosacea most commonly affects men and afflicts the nose. Medically termed rhinophyma, the disorder is characterized by uneven, progressive nasal swelling (the “W. C. Fields nose”) and may cause significant cosmetic deformity.

          Rosacea may also affect the eyes (ocular rosacea). Individuals so afflicted may experience itching, stinging, dryness, foreign body sensation, and a watery, bloodshot appearance.

          The exact cause of rosacea is unknown and treatment often proves difficult. The condition is aggravated by the ingestion of hot beverages and alcohol, both of which dilate blood vessels and promote facial redness. Extremes in temperature, as well as excessive sunlight, should be avoided.

 

ROSACEA TRIGGER FACTORS

Sun exposure

Vigorous exercise

Stress

Wind

Alcohol

Hot baths

Caffeine

Cold weather

Spicy foods

Hot beverages

           Persons with rosacea should avoid harsh cleansers, toners, and astringents. The mainstay of the medical treatment for rosacea is the oral antibiotic tetracycline or its derivative, doxycycline, which often must be taken for years. Topical preparations containing the antibiotic metronidazole (Metrogel, Noritate) may prove useful in both the treatment of acute flares and long-term maintenance, as may sulfur-containing compounds (Avar, Klaron, Plexion, Rosanil, Rosula, Sulfacet-R), and medications containing azelaic acid (Azelex, Finacea).

          The best way to cover up the redness associated with rosacea is to apply a green tinted foundation or concealer. The dilated blood vessels characteristic of rosacea respond poorly to oral and topical therapies. The treatment of choice is either lasers or IPL (intense pulsed light). Both are simple office procedures with a primary risk of temporary bruising. Results are quite rewarding. Some patients remain clear following a single session whereas others require treatment two to three times per year. Insurance companies do not cover light therapies, as they are considered cosmetic in nature.

 Perioral Dermatitis

           Perioral dermatitis is a facial condition that primarily affects women in the twenty- to forty-year age group. Over the past decade, the problem has become increasingly more common.

          The development of tiny red pimples and pustules, as well as dryness and scaling around the mouth and on the chin, characterizes perioral dermatitis. Occasional burning or itching may be experienced.

          Perioral dermatitis may last from several weeks to many years. The condition waxes and wanes in intensity, and premenstrual worsening is common. The use of high-potency steroid creams will either cause or exacerbate this facial rash, and such use must be immediately discontinued. Medications containing sulfur (Avar, Klaron, Plexion, Rosanil, Rosula, and Sulfacet-R) often afford adequate control, although some cases may require oral antibiotic therapy.

DermDOX Centers for Dermatology
EM:  sschleicher@dermdox.org
PH:  570-459-0029
Website:  http://www.dermdox.org