On My Mind - Impulsive Marketing
Impulsive: characterized by actions based on sudden desires, whims, or inclinations rather
than careful thought.
Marketing: the commercial processes involved in promoting, selling and distributing a
product or service.
Let's pretend for a moment that you have watched the construction of a new store near your home for the last six months. It's a store that you really like, and you are happy that one will be opening near you soon. A banner announcing the date of the grand opening has been draped on the side of the building for the last three months. The week before the opening date, you see an ad in the newspaper with dozens of grand opening specials. Excitement builds. The anticipated day finally comes, and you and hundreds of others eagerly arrive to check it out. You walk through the door and are greeted by smiling new employees. The decor is inviting. So far, so good. But as you walk into the store, you
notice rows and rows of empty shelves and racks. To make your trip worthwhile, you
try to find something you want to purchase, finally find it and wait for 45 minutes in the checkout line because the computer system isn't working and all transactions have to be done by hand. You walk away
and wonder why the store didn't wait until all the stock came in and the computer system was working. Why so much publicity before they were ready? They plummet from the high esteem in which you once held them.
That's not likely to happen, you may think. But I can tell you that it happens in the spa industry all the time. I've seen a spa's precious resources invested in marketing efforts too early many times.
I've been invited to a number of press trips within a month of a spa's opening. I understand the desire to get the word out, but they are almost never ready for prime time. The bugs haven't been worked out of their operating systems, and the experience is
At one spa, the sandals hadn't arrived, so they gave guests
pedicure slippers to wear with their robes. I applaud their resourcefulness, but it was a terrible idea. Those
pedi flipflops have no traction and were very slippery on the tiled floors of the wet areas where the whirlpool, steam room, sauna and showers were located. We all felt like we were on ice.
I participated in another press trip that had been arranged three months in advance of the property's opening. When I arrived, I was told the construction on the spa hadn't been completed. We were given a hard hat tour to watch them set tiles in the whirlpool and were given treatments in a guest room. While the treatment was fine, it was not what I came for. I wanted to experience the actual spa from check in to check out. The trip, for me at least, should have been postponed. I haven't been back since the spa opened.
I was invited to a resort where they had refurbished and remodeled the "entire" property. When I got there, I was told the spa wasn't included in the remodel - only the lobby and guest rooms. The spa was already 15 years old and was worn and dated. It would be 8 years until it was updated. It was very
On one press trip, the press was used as a focus group to see if a concept would work. We weren't told that until after we arrived. This was very risky. It could have gone very badly, and the result could have been immediate and wide coverage of the failure.
If I walk away from a press trip where the spa experience is underdeveloped, I am
and probably won't review it or return even if the potential is great. There are plenty of other writers who are happy to report on all of the shortcomings they experienced.
While most of these examples are of spas at resorts, the same danger exists for day spas. A grand opening at a local day spa that is held before the bugs have been worked out of the operating system is just as risky.
Why risky? Because of the old saying, "You only have one chance to make a first impression." It's true.
If the marketing efforts are impulsive or overly eager in an effort to get people (and income) in the door as fast as possible, that impression may not be what the spa wants people to walk away with.
There is an order in which things should be done in a business. Creating and executing a strategy, defining processes, hiring and training staff, perform the processes, getting feedback, making corrections, ensuring you deliver what you intend and, finally, market. In this order, guests will see the spa in its best light. If marketing is done impulsively or eagerly any time earlier, the spa risks their guests seeing and experiencing things it would rather not have them share with their 600 best friends on Facebook.
my thoughts about marketing too soon. I am interested in
your opinion. Share it with me at jar@DiscoverSpas.com.
On My Mind Articles
Lantana Spa at JW Marriott San Antonio
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