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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.
page 4 of 5
It is essential to know your main competitors and understand their strengths and weaknesses, especially compared to your own. Each of your competitor’s experience, longevity, market position and reputation in the market should be evaluated, and an honest appraisal of the strengths of your own enterprise also is a critical factor in the development of your strategy. Your capability to sustain your position will be determined by the ability to maintain high prices and to remain profitable.
Other key factors to consider are the potential for competitive imitation, and the steep learning curve faced by a new competitor. The lower the barrier to enter into the market, the easier it is for a competitor to reproduce your business model. The complexity of introduction problems, such as adherence to industry standards, cost of capital equipment, limited labor pool and regulatory hurdles weigh heavily on new facilities. Therefore, the more advanced and unique services and amenities featured will make it tougher for competitors to capture your market share.
A review of the strength and viability of the core products and services offered will influence the direction of your strategy. Review your spa with respect to how cost-effectively high-quality products and services can be delivered. In addition to a payroll and commission structure and general overhead, your marketing budget should also be up for review. Limited capital or marketing expertise to explain the benefits of your services will significantly impact your bottom line. Marketing capabilities, including established media relationships, an advertising budget, the quality and quantity of your client database, the state of your website and search engine rankings, and how easily the offering can be promoted are vital details.
The strength of your customer service function also has a strong influence on market success. Identify one or more factors that cause your customer support to stand out as unique in the eyes of your clients, because building your brand’s reputation for delivering consistent customer service is an ideal way to differentiate what you have to offer.
Once you have defined your strategy, use the information you have gathered to determine whether this strategy will achieve your objectives, making your spa impervious to fluctuating competitive forces in the marketplace. To do this, you need to understand the factors that differentiate your spa from your competitors. Focus on developing your strengths and be prepared to capitalize on new opportunities as they arise.