Spas Are Multi-Sensorial, Market Them That Way
By Mercedita Roxas-Murray EVP Strategy/Brand Planning & Operations, RedPeg Marketing | May 22, 2011
With day spas and spa salons on every other street corner and in many strip centers, your hotel's spa competition isn't hard to find. While the opposition may be easy to spot, the sight of clients flocking through your doors may not be as obvious. There are many possible reasons why including day spas' services being priced lower. Another reason is non-guests traditionally have a more difficult time visiting spas inside a property. When you couple all of that with the added dilemma of so many hotels now offering quality spa services, the quest to differentiate your operation and build your business is daunting.
To be different, you must market your spa differently. Notice, I didn't say offer different services. Why? Because so many services and packages are similar in scope, and sound the same. They all offer flowery hyperbole and imagery. That means you must market your spa unlike the rest. Too often, hotel spas tell potential customers about what they think sets them apart: hot stone massage, vitamin facial, sea salt scrub, or chocolate soak. That's not enough, you need to show them, and the way to do that is through experiential marketing.
What is Experiential?
Simply put, experiential marketing creates a stimulus for the consumer to learn about a brand (in this case a hotel spa), try a sample, purchase, and ultimately build brand loyalty. Like no other marketing strategy, experiential marketing allows potential clients to see, feel, hear, touch - totally experience - your spa. And, when you think about it, isn't a spa the perfect business to incorporate a marketing strategy based on total experience? Take note to how many spas use the word "experience" in their promotional materials: 'experience total relaxation', 'experience our new aromatherapy' and 'experience a whole new you'.
A Mother's Day direct mail piece doesn't allow potential clients to experience your spa. E-blasts or social media posts don't. Hotel keys with your spa's logo don't, nor do spa photos at the hotel's front desk, a well placed Valentine's Day article in a lifestyle magazine or a spa brochure in a hotel room's amenity line.
Don't get me wrong,the above marketing strategies are important, and should be used, but in order to differentiate your hotel spa from your competition, you need to incorporate experiential marketing into the mix. To learn how, let's first take a closer look at what exactly experiential is: