Retail Management for Spas | Chapter 8 | Marketing

At the Urban Spa …

Reuben put down the trade magazine he’d been reading. The article mentioned that more and more men were beginning to frequent day spas—but the Urban Spa certainly wasn’t seeing much evidence of that, even though it had both services and products geared toward male customers.

“What we need,” he said to himself, “is a marketing campaign to bring more men into the spa.” Unfortunately, the spa’s marketing budget had been set at the beginning of the year, and a campaign to bring in new male customers hadn’t been on his radar when he budgeted for November. “Still,” he thought, “we ought to be able to generate some kind of interest, even if we don’t have a lot of money to do it with.”

Reuben called a staff meeting to brainstorm ideas for the new marketing campaign. Monte, Colby, Patty, and Bree were eager to share their thoughts. Reuben explained the general concept. “I’m thinking about a ‘Guy’s Day Out,’ maybe the day after Thanksgiving, when all the women are out Christmas shopping. Or maybe we should make the theme, ‘Shave and a Haircut—True Bliss.’ After all, a professional hot-lather shave is about the closest thing to heaven a guy can experience, right?”

Colby chuckled. “So you say, every time you have one. But if a man’s never experienced that, how is he going to know how terrific it is and be motivated to come in? And we’d need something they could take away, too—like a free travel grooming kit or 20 percent off any men’s skin care product.”

“You know what would be really terrific?” mused Patty. “If you could get that morning-show DJ to talk about our spa on the radio. Everybody listens to him. Man, if you could get him in here for a hot shave and a terrific haircut, and he talked about it—we’d get tons of new customers, I bet.”

“We could do a full-page, color ad in the Metropolitan Male magazine,” suggested Colby. “That would certain hit our target audience.”

“It’s also very expensive, and we don’t have a lot in the ad budget right now,” said Reuben.

“Okay, so how about a quarter-page ad in the Sunday sports section of the newspaper?” Colby replied. Reuben grinned. Now that he could afford.

He jotted down that idea. He had barely finished writing when Monte jumped into the conversation. “And what about all those men who buy gift certificates for their wives and girlfriends? Don’t we have their names in a database somewhere, to remind them when the next big holiday is coming up? We could use that same list to invite them to do something for themselves for a change!”

Bree bounced in her chair. “Let’s do a special e-newsletter to our database about the promotion,” she said. “We can follow up with an e-mail blast a couple of weeks later to reinforce the message.”

Reuben frowned. “But aren’t most of the customers on that list women?”

“Yes,” said Bree. “Women who have husbands and boyfriends and brothers and sons … maybe we can offer the women an incentive for bringing a guy into the spa during our promotion. Maybe gift card for

$20 off their next service or retail purchase when they bring in the man in their life.”

Reuben continued writing as fast as he could. “I guess I’d better place an order for more men’s products,” he said. “It looks like we have a campaign to deliver!”

Having a beautiful, well-stocked, smoothly-functioning spa retail space takes an investment of blood, sweat, tears, and dollars. But what good is having all of this merchandise if no one knows about it? The next step is to make those bottles and jars fly off the shelf and go home with spa guests and other customers. But how do spa professionals get the word out about what to buy, when to buy, or what’s featured at the spa?

A focused and concentrated marketing and promotion plan makes the difference between retail inventory collecting dust on the shelf and having happy, energetic spa guests extending their spa experience at home.

Through a variety of marketing techniques, spa professionals direct and focus customers’ attention on the services and retail opportunities that are available within the spa establishment. Because services and retail are so closely linked, this chapter shows spa professionals how to create sales excitement within the spa for both services and retail products. The ultimate goal, of course, is to increase the spa’s revenue, but along the way, marketing also strengthens customer relationships and increases public awareness of the spa and its philosophy.

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