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Plan to Succeed With Strategic Marketing

By: Wendy Lewis
Posted: August 1, 2011, from the August 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Strategic marketing is the road map by which long-term objectives can be attained, and the challenge is to manage the complexities and fluctuations of the market, as well as client expectations. By developing a bulletproof strategy, you can stay ahead of the curve and be ready to respond to changes in the marketplace in a proactive way.

Itemize your directives

An effective marketing campaign must have a positive impact in the marketplace; in terms of managing a spa, this means growing your client base, increasing repetitive treatments and improving your profit margin. Your marketing program should include strategies for pricing, distribution, promotion, advertising, media relations and market segmentation, and factors to take into consideration include demographic changes, emerging technology and cultural trends.

Also, it is well-known that some consumer segments simply do not generate profits, either because they are too demanding, impossible to satisfy or cannot afford your prices. Identify the biggest spenders in your spa and focus on marketing to this segment first. These are clients who are hopefully already happy with the services you are providing, and are in the best position to spread the word about you and your business.

Two major components to a successful marketing strategy include deciding how you will address the competitive marketplace, followed by the implementation and the support of your day-to-day operations. In the crowded marketplace, a strategy that results in a consistent approach to uniquely offer products and services to consumers to gain an advantage over your competitors—including other spas and mass retail outlets—is vital, and your marketing strategy must have well-delineated tactics to implement it. If you do not have the infrastructure in place to handle additional clients, your marketing strategy cannot be effective. You need the resources, expertise and personnel to implement each component of your marketing program seamlessly.

Start by identifying your main objectives. Is your goal to increase overall market share? Attract a new segment of consumers? Increase the uptake of one of your verticals, such as nonsurgical treatments or water treatments? All of the above may be what you have in mind. In that case, attempt to prioritize to something realistic and affordable in a time frame that is achievable.