resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
August, 2002, Vol. 02, Issue 08
Step Eight: Initial Marketing
By John Fanuzzi
As your staff trains and prepares for your spa opening (to be discussed next month), a parallel process must take place: the initial marketing that announces the event, clears the way for the opening, and builds a foundation for future promotions.When I think of marketing, I think of what it takes to make the phone ring to book an appointment or make a sale. Although sales and marketing go hand in hand and are often misunderstood, there is still a distinct difference.
When considering marketing, think of eight "P" words -- Prospecting; Positioning; Packaging; Presentation; Pricing; Promotion; Public Relations; and Profitability. Assuming we have a marketing budget for initial startup and the first year, let's get started and look at these "P" words.
Prospecting: When I hear the word prospecting, I think of looking for the gold. In terms of your spa, the search is no different. Gold is what we need to find. We need to find out who our potential customers are. It is a searching and seeking process. It is a time to be a detective and figure out how to get the best return on the time and money you've invested. Times have recently changed, and I think the best buy for your money is using e-mail in your local area to announce your opening and your services. It is probably more important today to get an e-mail address than a phone number. By using e-mail and building that list, you can send out current information about pricing, specials, new services, new employees, and last-minute openings. You should always include a link to your website in the e-mail. Learn from the beginning how to capitalize on this most effective marketing tool. Of course, there is also good old word of mouth and advertising, which certainly have their place and should be used.
Positioning: This is how you place your services in comparison with the competition. How are you going to win customers? Unique services, better prices, an immaculate atmosphere, the best customer service, a free food and juice bar, limousine service, valet parking, or the most caring employees?
Packaging: Everything in retailing depends on it. The beautiful label can often sell a lousy product. The same applies to the services you sell - the written description that makes the customer want to have the experience, the photographs of the treatment that enhance the description, and the beautiful presentation of the products on the shelf.
Presentation: Think of the first impression you get when you meet someone who's well-dressed, visit a beautifully landscaped home, or dine at a restaurant where the meal looks like a piece of artwork. Your spa should make that same impression every time, with every customer. The way you welcome each customer and lead him/her to each station, the cleanliness of the juice bar, the neatness of the front desk, the graphics of the spa menus, and the logos on the employee's shirts - it all makes a difference. Be creative, but keep in mind which details will bring each customers back with all their friends.
Pricing: I like fair pricing. Check out your local competition to make sure you are in the range of your local economy. Your published prices should not be too high, because you could price yourself out of the market, especially in the beginning. They should not be too low, because you could give the impression that it is an inferior service. You also could be working for minimal margins and could create price wars with the competition, in which case everyone loses. You can have specials, but don't devalue your services. If you list a higher price with the right packaging, you have added perceived value, and if it is performed elegantly you will easily get your price and have repeat business.
Promotion: In the initial marketing stage, and until you have full capacity, you will need to offer specials of all sorts. I would start by having an invitation with a RSVP to all of the businesses and influential people you know. Host a "spa party" at which you could offer a free chair massage, for example. Maybe you could sponsor a fundraiser for some community cause, with half of your sales going to a charity. You could develop an incentive program, such that, for each new treatment a customer tries, a friend receives a free treatment . You could cross-promote with other businesses, especially wedding, restaurant and hospitality. You could offer a free service after three referrals. Be creative.
Public Relations: Send press releases to all the local media for everything you do, and invite the press in for complimentary treatments. If you can afford it, hire a PR person. Write articles or a column for the local newspaper - make yourself an authority for your profession. Attend local chamber of commerce meetings and network with everyone, so you keep a hand on the pulse of the community. It's all about public image. What do your customers really think about you and your spa, and what are their perceptions? Long-term business success boils down to building and nurturing relationships.
Profitability: Don't be discouraged if you are not profitable the first year or two. You are in business to make a profit. It is important to squeeze every bit out of your marketing effort. Take advantage of free publicity. If you do advertise, make sure you get some articles written about your business. Ideally, you want happy customers to do the promotion for you. Successful spas do not need to advertise. When this happens, you can take that marketing money you don't have to spend and turn it into pure profit.
Until next time, keep an eye out for the most giving and loving employees -- next month, we'll discuss initial training.
Click here for previous articles by John Fanuzzi.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.