Keeping a business on track without a marketing plan is equivalent to going out to sea without a navigating system—you may or may not arrive at your destination, and you’ve added tons of unnecessary stress to an otherwise enjoyable journey.
Define or redefine identity
A skin care professional or facility should have a developed, consistent story of who they are, and be sure that their clients know that story well. A mission statement and general system of defined beliefs and practices will help with this.
Create a unique selling proposition (USP) to present the business’ services as different and better than those of competitors.
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Take brand inventory. Has the mission, identity or creed changed? If something has stayed consistently the same throughout the years, chances are it’s deeply instilled in the brand’s identity for good.
What is SWOT analysis? SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective, and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who developed the strategy while conducting research on why many businesses were failing at corporate planning in the 1960s.
Set marketing direction and define goals
Marketing goals must fit into overall business goals. They should be quantifiable and should be achievable by implementing marketing strategies. Goals help measure whether strategies are working by determining if goals are being achieved.
Setting marketing goals. Ask yourself the following questions.
- Based on the marketing spend, what was the return on investment (ROI)?
- What worked and didn’t work with marketing last year?
- What marketing goals were achieved? Were they difficult?
Then, brainstorm aspects of marketing the business wants to improve upon. Create a chart that documents each specific goal, the strategy to achieve that goal, and how the goal will be measured.
While setting goals, practice SMART goal-setting, from www.abnormalmarketing.com.
- Specific—The goal needs to be as clear and detailed as possible.
- Measurable—A goal must be measurable to find out exactly when it has been achieved.
- Attainable—Goals need to be realistic for the team to achieve.
- Relevant—Goals should easily fall in line with the company mission statement and vision.
- Time-based—Goals must have a time by which they should be achieved.
Marketing strategy vs. marketing plan
A marketing strategy defines overall business goals, helping to judge the effectiveness of a marketing plan by including a definition of the business; a description of products or services; a profile of targeted clients; and a definition of the company’s role in relation to the competition.
A marketing plan is the practical application of a marketing strategy. It defines specific actions that will be implemented to achieve the goals of the marketing strategy, including details about the spa’s USP; pricing strategy; sales and distribution plan; and advertising and promotions.
Invest the time in implementing lessons learned here, and be pleasantly surprised to see the positive impact on business.
Editor’s note: Part II of this column will appear in the September 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine, and will discuss target marketing, measuring marketing goals, marketing for a profit, using internal marketing and low-cost marketing tactics.
Maritza Rodriguez has worked directly in the capacity of image and marketing consultancy with some of the most renowned professional skin care brands on the market. She is currently the global vice president of marketing & communications for Pevonia International and its related brands.