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Create Value as a Marketing Strategy

By: Sara Daly
Posted: January 30, 2013, from the February 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Wellness is a concept. It is not shipped in a box. It is not available with a point-of-purchase display. And there isn’t a magic formula that works for every client. Your mission is to connect your business’ abilities to each client’s individual wellness needs. Not an easy task.

What you do have is a passion for—and understanding of—the services you provide. Skin care facilities throughout the industry that are doing well financially are using marketing to show that their products and services have value. This trend is evident in other service-related professions, where consumers make choices based on the provider’s education, expertise, ability to solve an individual’s unique problems and referrals from friends. This puts the focus on the treatment, experience and results—instead of the price tag.

Discounting your services on a regular cycle decreases their value and encourages clients to come through your door only when you are offering a financial incentive. When you choose to discount, you are promoting that your service is less worthwhile.

So, how can you effectively and inexpensively add value to your business model?

1. Educate your clients. Use your website, social media, e-mail blasts and newspaper ads to teach the benefits of services. Educate your clients before they walk in your door. It’s common knowledge that a facial is relaxing, but what about reminding people that skin is their largest organ and requires attention? Seasonal changes affect the skin, and clients appreciate being reminded to change their skin care routine. Instead of offering a discount for hydrating facials in March, print an ad stating: “Skin feeling dry and tight? A Hydrating Facial soothes and rebalances your sensitive skin. Schedule your facial in March and receive information on proper skin-balancing for the spring.” This allows you to attract clients interested in your services and expertise in their area of need.

2. Offer classes. Offer free classes every other month or so to teach clients different wellness practices, and highlight your spa’s abilities and how they can be put to work for each individual. These offerings connect you to the public, give you a platform to market your expertise and create a local buzz. Class topics can range from anti-aging to de-stressing techniques. Make them fun and full of value for your target market.

3. Earn trust. The first time a client visits, your business and your team members are being evaluated to determine whether the experience has value. By the time your client has left your front door, she has already made a decision. Be sure to leave clients with specific information about their skin, samples that will work for their skin types, recommendations on nutrition, sunscreen use, how to work with mineral makeup, a suggestion on frequency of visits and classes that are coming up that they may find useful. Part of your marketing strategy can be to use a customized recommendation pad to list out retail products, review issues and then rebook the next treatment. You will earn the client’s trust that you are speaking out of her best interest.

4. Think exponentially. Each new client is important. Treating each individual exceptionally can have a compound effect through word-of-mouth referrals—which the best marketing money cannot buy. By ramping up the value of the experience, you have the ability not only to secure the new client, but also her family and friends. With referrals, you’ve already gained their trust, making your job easier.

Good wellness marketing is like a strong tree. You need a solid root structure of value before you can grow any larger. Create the value, and watch your tree flourish.

Sara Daly is founder and president of Waterfalls Day Spa in Middlebury, VT. Her wellness career began as a licensed clinical physical therapist, and she consults with spas and medical practices on wellness marketing. She can be reached at 802-349-8620.