Your spa advertisement should act like an army of tiny salesmen. Think about it this way: if you play a radio ad that is heard by 50,000 people, that's 50,000 chances to give a sales presentation. It's not some big nebulous blob of people, its 50,000 separate individuals all hearing your ad in a "1 on 1" communication. Now think about this: if you had a chance to make a 60 second sales presentation 50,000 times to 50,000 individuals, what would you say to them during that one minute to give the most information, build the most confidence and the best case, and lower the risk of finding out more? What would you say? If you were there in person would you just say, "We exist...come buy from our day spa for no justifiable, rational reason"?
Most advertising you see is really pretty weak. Not one advertisement in a hundred presents any kind of a case for a product or service; instead, most ads mindlessly rattle off features and benefits that serve more to proclaim "WE EXIST!" than to give a justifiable, rational reason why someone would want to do business with that particular day spa. A good example of this sort of HERE-WE-ARE-SO-BUY-FROM-US advertising is the yellow pages. Here's a quick exercise for you...and pay particular attention if you're in the yellow pages. Flip the book open to any given classification. Take beauty salons or beauty consultants (spas) for instance. Here's what they all say in my book: "warm and relaxing, luxurious treatments, full line of spa services, gift certificates, spa packages." Every single ad says, plus or minus 10%, exactly -and I mean exactly -the same thing. It's impossible for a prospect to make an intelligent decision about who to call based on any criteria other than who's got the prettiest or biggest or most colourful ad. Take note and remember this very important definition... the confidence gap! The prospect doesn't have the ability to determine if any of the products or any of the services are any better or any worse -or any different - than any of the competitors.
This situation generally is true for any medium. But realize this presents a tremendous opportunity for you...that is, if you're the only one who knows how to exploit this opportunity. Advertising should be salesmanship multiplied. All that means is that your advertisements should make a case for your product or service just the same as a salesman would in a face-to-face selling situation. The only difference is that your ads can cover more territory...a lot more! Think of your advertisements as an army of tiny salesmen. You personally couldn't give a sales presentation to 50,000 individuals, but you can let your army of tiny salesmen - the advertisements - present the same compelling message that you would in person.
So here's the acid test: If you were talking live to a hot potential new spa guest, would you say the same thing your current advertisements say to convince him/her to buy from you? Or would you say something else instead? If you'd say something else, then you need to rethink your advertising strategy. Think about it. When somebody is considering buying something, the one thing they want is INFORMATION - useful, helpful, no-hype information. That's why people are so resistant to the sales process. They expect the salesman to say whatever it takes to get the sale. People are more hands-off now. They want to gather information themselves. The more information you can give them in your advertisements, the better your chance to generate action. Make your advertisements work on straight commission, just like you would a regular salesman. If the ads can't justify their own cost, then FIRE THEM!
John Uhrig, President & CEO of Monochrome Marketing Solutions, a Vancouver, BC-based marketing consulting firm. And is the editor of the Spa Marketing & Advertising Strategies E-Newsletter featuring day spa marketing best practices. 'The Spa Business Owner's Unfair Advantage.' www.spamarketing.ca [email protected]