A Spa's Best Marketing Tool: Satisfied Guests who Rave, Repeat, and Refer

Consistently satisfying the needs and desires of spa guests results in loyalty and valuable word-of-mouth advertising

By Linda Bankoski Co-Owner & Managing Director, SpaQuality LLC | May 08, 2011

Co-authored by Julie Register, Co-owner & Managing Director, SpaQuality LLC

Marketing in General

A common definition of marketing is the process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the activities of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, pricing, delivery, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement. Marketing necessarily looks at business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. According to Theodore C. Levitt, Emeritus Professor of Marketing at Harvard Business School, "marketing differs from selling because selling concerns itself with the tricks and techniques of getting people to exchange their cash for your product. It is not concerned with the values that the exchange is all about. And it does not, as marketing invariably does, view the entire business process as consisting of a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse, and satisfy customer needs."

Marketing in Spas

For spas, the "tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse, and satisfy customer needs" takes the form of a spa quality management system that is designed to:

  1. Know what the spa's guests want (for spas in hotels, that includes hotel guests and local clientele whose desires and needs might be different),
  2. Deliver what the spa's guests want consistently and expertly and
  3. Know whether or not what the experience the spa delivered met the guests' needs.

The Voice of the Guest

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.