Read the article @ http://www.diagonalreports.com/pdfs/spa10us_pr.html
Read the article @ http://www.diagonalreports.com/pdfs/spa10us_pr.html
Have you ever heard the saying, "You catch more bees with honey"?
Well there's more to it than just a catchy phrase.
Beside the fact that kindness is an endearing quality of a wizened soul, it is and has been an effective marketing strategy since time began.
We often think of kindness as an altruistic quality, and in business an invitation for disaster or a weakness, yet in a service industry such as massage, interpersonal skills become paramount. Personal service businesses survive on relationship skills, making kindness (not weakness) an essential and helpful marketing tool.
Personally I've always viewed kindness as a strength, and a way to say both wonderful and challenging things with sensitivity so that the message can be heard. As it turns out it is a part of my brand, but I never knew it until some feedback lead me to an article on trends.
It turns out that Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) have found the way to the marketplace via customer competencies, and a growing need for realness from 21st century consumers. Armed with technology consumers can research price, insta-print coupons, and generate the location of the best deal at warp speed. So the 10% off discount is no longer a call to glory, and businesses need a deeper arsenal of tools and skills to stand out in the crowd.
With curiosity as my guide, I looked into this in the form of trend watching and here's what I discovered.
Kindness, generosity and spontaneity are three of the top eleven trends for 2011! In addition, random acts of kindness is listed as the number one trend according to trendwatching.com.
Think about how a customer would feel if their next massage is spontaneously "On the House"! Or perhaps comes with a surprise gift of massage cream, a favorite CD, or a box of chocolates in a beautifully wrapped box with a card expressing gratitude for their business.
Lots of massage businesses already do this . . . and it's kind of like the chocolate on your pillow at a high end hotel. Yet adding a unique or special component that singles out the customer, creates a generosity of spirit, a spontaneous action "out of the blue" so to speak, leaves a lasting impression and when strategically placed, (at the end of a challenging day, during a divorce or end of a relationship, a wedding or birth), your business just may be remembered forever by an even more loyal, more satisfied customer.
Social networking is providing innumerable opportunities to tune into customers mood and lifestyle to facilitate this process. Suppose you read on a text, twitter or Facebook comment that one of your customers has just lost their job. How perceptive and memorable would it be to send off a quick card with a half-hour free stress reducing massage to help them through tough times.
Massage businesses that find ways to attend to and implement generous, spontaneous and random acts of kindness will win customer loyalty, create word of mouth buzz and magnetise the market, and also stand out amongst the crowd of competitors.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of low cost, high return, random acts of kindness is the way you'll feel when you realize what a difference you can make in the life of another. Just another way for your massage business to create value in a stressed out world.
Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world's leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.
Being innovative and a trend setter instead of a follower, is how leaders lead the market.
Today one such massage trend setter rises to the surface. Not only is this an interesting innovative lean, it's perhaps the beginning of mind expansion for massage marketers wondering how they can reach their market in a new and different way.
Granted this technology is (for the moment) only applicable to iPhones, it's still worth a gander to set your creative vibe in gear. Check out Clint Chandler's MyoFinder
The MyoFinder Quiz is a fun, challenging and interactive learning tool designed to enhance one’s ability to accurately identify 7 distinct anatomical regions and the location of 78 critical muscles.
Make your way through our advancing difficulty level system – Rookie, Novice, Master and Guru as you race against the clock and are tested on your ability to visually recognize the desired anatomical structure.
MyoQuiz let’s you review your musculoskeletal anatomy studies, and is available in both the Lite (free) and Full versions of the MyoFinder iPhone App.
MyoFinder is clearly geared toward you, the massage and bodywork professional, but what if you took this one step further, how about apps that stimulate, educate and activate your market? How about a game format that engages the user in fun and education at the same time?
Trends in innovation for the massage market are just beginning to catch the techno wave. What digital, video, or mobile ap product could educate your market, and establish you as a massage market leader?
Think about it!
(Note: I am not affiliatted with this product in any way)
A Blog reader comments:
I've been a massage therapist for 20 years and am 52. Need a fresh name for my business and now would be a great time as the move is to another town and it is a college town. Would you be willing to give me some potential ideas of what is trendy with the younger generation in this area?
A business name is like a key to a door, but before we go there, which door do you want to open?
A trendy name is probably less important than a name chosen to speak to your niche market.
Are college students your market? Or, is the college township your market?
Some things to consider . . .
At a glance there are several trends among college students that could create in-roads for massage practitioners.
From a health perspective, mental stress and exhaustion are two of the top four health complaints amongst college students nationwide. This certainly implies a need, the question is, is there a market for massage? We’ll discuss this more in a moment.
Another factor to consider is that college students today are more aware of health issues like obesity and transmittable disease so they tend to be more health conscious than previous generations.
When you consider technology, this age of student will have the highest level of tech savvy ever! Perhaps this reveals a clue to the most effective way to reach them as an audience, yet challenging one to connect in a way that translates to massage dollars.
Due to the accessibility of information through technology, these young adults are also more likely to make educated decisions through multiple resources at the speed of a text message or smart phone. So you’ll have to appeal to them with concrete information and believability.
That said, there’s much to consider. Is there a market?
Do you come at them from a youthful attitude and sell “chill” session that end with a cold organic drink? Or do you catch them at sports events with your massage chair in tow? Do you reach them with a brown bag lunch education, or work with the college entrance program to promote the health advantages of implementing a stress management plan?
The thing that is most likely to snag your efforts is that excess cash is not a common commodity with this age group so you may have to approach, educate and sell their parents emphasizing the health dangers of this age, and getting them on-board with strategies to bring their child through with well balanced life skills.
On the other hand, you may want to reach the service market around the college and simply offer a student discount to fill in your slow hours.
As far as business names go, it may be more effective to choose a name that ties into your web presence, domain name or search terms that trigger search engine spiders. It's actually less important what you call your business, than how you get your name in front of your market. On that note, know that getting customers to find you the first time is not as difficult as making it easy to find you the second, third and fourth times. (I have an upcoming article on domain names that might be worth reading so watch for it.)
This would have me researching what they read, where they hang out, where they shop, and even where they go online.
These are just a few ideas. I’d like to thank you for your comments and questions, and for the opportunity for a new look at the changing market of massage.
If you'd like to brainstorm further contact me at [email protected]
The American Massage Therapy Association released a portion of its 2010 massage therapy industry research this week.
Among the results:
Today's massage therapist is female (85 percent); in her late 40s, and most likely to enter the massage therapy profession as a second career. She is probably a sole practitioner, charges an average of $63 for one hour of massage, and earns an average wage of $45 per hour for massage-related work (include gratuities). She sees an average of 44 clients per month. Eighty-four percent of massage therapists provide Swedish massage, followed by 77 percent who provide deep- tissue massage, 49 percent trigger point, and 45 percent sports massage.
Also among the results:
• In 2009, the average annual income for a massage therapist (including gratuties) who provides approximately 16 hours of massage per week was $37,123, compared to incomes in 2006 of $28,170 for full-time health care support workers; $27,190 for full-time medical assistants and $23,290 for occupational therapist aides.
• While massage therapists work in a variety of work environments, sole practitioners or independent contractors account for the largest percentage of practicing therapists (96 percent). Thirty-eight percent work at least part of their time at a client’s home/business/corporate setting or their home, 25 percent in a health care setting, and 23 percent in a spa setting.
• Of those massage therapists who earn income working in another profession 26 percent practice other form of bodywork, while 22 percent work in health care and 21 percent work in education.
Later this month, the association will make available for purchase the full report based on its yearlong research. For more information, visit www.amtamassage.org.
Read Also: Massage Trend
"Of the $33.9 billion spent on CAM out-of-pocket, an estimated $22.0 billion was spent on self-care costs—CAM products, classes, and materials—with the majority going to the purchase of nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products ($14.8 billion) such as fish oil, glucosamine and Echinacea. U.S. adults also spent approximately $11.9 billion on an estimated 354.2 million visits to CAM practitioners such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists, etc.
To put these figures in context, the $14.8 billion spent on nonvitamin, nonmineral, natural products is equivalent to approximately one-third of total out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs, and the $11.9 billion spent on CAM practitioner visits is equivalent to approximately one-quarter of total out-of-pocket spending on physician visits."
Did you guess Physical Therapists (PT)? If you did you're right!
What does this mean to your massage practice? See the full article at my MassageTrend Blog
Back in March of 2007 I presented a list of possible directions one could take their massage business to add additional streams of income, or transition a career hampered by repetitive strain or other health issues and circumstance.
At the time I was just brainstorming for fun.
There were several ideas that didn't make that list, but I've wondered how long it might be before someone came up with them. I wondered too if the technological age might change the way massage is delivered, or if practitioners might follow the move toward micro-marketing.
Well, no need to wonder anymore, because now I've found evidence that new massage trends and practices have caught on.
Massage is growing as an industry, and massage entrepreneurs are finding new ways to reach their market. Follow both blogs and create new ideas to bring increased business to your massage business. You may just create the next new innovation.
Some of the ideas found here at MMR have already contributed to more support and market focus by blogs and industry leading media throughout the world.
Be a rebel and think outside the box!
Best of success to you.
~ B ~
Where once massage therapy focused on an independent practice, or clinical application, the neighborhood has grown, the market has shifted and massage practitioners ponder multiple streams of income to supplement future massage business growth.
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