Dispelling the Myth of Marketing to Men

In the spa business we now have access to an entire new market segment that is virtually untapped. One of the fastest growing trends in the spa industry is men's spa services and products created specifically for men.  According to ISPA 2005 men now make up over 30% of spa clientele in the United States and that number is expected to increase substantially over the next few years. As the stresses of our world continue to build, men now realize that they need to do everything they can to reduce their stress, stay healthy and live longer, not to mention the fact that men also want to retain their youthful vitality and look their very best just as women do. And as men become more educated and aware of the importance of keeping stress at bay, they'll be seeking out spas that offer these products and services.  Is your spa catering to this growing market segment? If not it's time to capitalize on an amazing opportunity and a trend that could dramatically increase your clientele and profit center.

Marketing to men is no mystery. The spa business is primarily a referral- based business.  The same tried- and- true marketing principals you used to build up your female clientele you can also use to capitalize on the emerging male market.  How do you bring men into your spa? Spread the word!  Start by creating a separate menu of men's spa services and products that are catering specifically to men. Then mail that menu with a coupon to every existing client in your data base: distribute the coupons and menus to every person that walks through your doors. Your entire client base more than likely has a man or several men in their lives. We know that women often buy products for men and encourage men to use and buy the products and services that they need. Men usually take a woman's advice when it comes to their health and improving their appearance: men realize that women are experts when it comes to self care.

Educate your staff in your next staff meeting on the possibilities that exist for them in marketing to men: this will increase their services and sales, and could result in a dramatic rise in their own income. Inform your staff in the next staff meeting that it is their responsibility  to inform your client's about the men's products and services offered by your spa.  Create a spiff for your employees for men's services booked and pay additional commission on men's products sold to keep your employees motivated.

Other successful ideas on this exciting expansion opportunity have worked wonders. Do advertise your men's products and services in local publications in the form of a paid advertisement.  Perform your own market research. Check out the ad's in various men's publications for ideas. Finally place an ad once a quarter in different publications with a new layout and promotion, and keep track which ad brings in the most business.
If your spa's advertising budget is maxed out offer to write an article on men's health and well being for publications in your community-- most publications welcome press releases and articles on interesting new topics and trends. This is a wonderful opportunity for free advertisement and exposure while at the same time building your credibility in the spa industry and within your community!  You may also want to do a presentation to a men's organizational meeting or club on services that your spa offers catering specifically to men.  Distribute your menu, product samples and a coupon offering a percentage off on a first time facial or massage.  Do a drawing at the end of your presentation and give away a men's half day spa package.

With the inclusion of men in your clientele, you can now package an excellent opportunity to invite couples to share quality time at your spa. Offer a couple's getaway in the form of  mini retreats, promotions for Valentine's Day, anniversaries, New Years, birthdays etc.-- this will encourage clients to bring in their partners as new clients, and will also engender their loyalty to your spa. This is an excellent opportunity for a couple to share quality time together.  A busy couple with careers and children don't often have time to get away for an entire weekend.  After a day in your spa complete with pampering, cherished quality time and blissful relaxation, many couples will keep coming back for more.

As a draw create an environment that is neutral so that your spa is inviting to both men and women.  Design attractive visual retail displays of your men's products-- delegate this responsibility to a staff member that has experience in visual and retail merchandising and enjoys using their creative talents (always have fresh, ample testers for clients to try!) Provide the men's products that you retail in the locker room with a display and sign informing them that the products are available at the front desk.  Finally, make sure your concierge staff are well trained about all your retail products and receive a generous commission for their retail sales.

By making a concentrated effort in marketing to men and offering the same quality products and services as you do to your women clientele you will soon be reaping the rewards of a virtually untapped market!

By Christine Brown
Director of Marketing
Issimo International
Pure Inventions