Why Most Spa Websites are Losing Money and Damaging the Brand
Digital technology is increasingly disrupting industries outside of the tech world.
Part of the reason why is that there has been a fundamental change in how people communicate. Attention spans are shorter. Mobile devices are abundant. And yet people still want the personal touch. They will reward brands and companies that make them feel special.
There is a great opportunity to merge technology and personalization and create loyal customers.
Any marketing director will tell you that repeat customers are far more cheaper to acquire than finding new customers. And in terms of getting personal, no industry does it better than global spa and hospitality. From arrival to departure it's all about the client. Music, visual, auditory -- it's the ultimate in "touchy feely" environments.
I'm now in Bangkok, Thailand, arguably the worlds top destination for spa and wellness. I decided to examine these brands in terms of their online presence to get a clue about their digital marketing strategies.
What I've learned is that for many of these day spas, destination spas and resort-hotel spas their digital presence is damaging their brand and causing them to lose money.
In fact if your site is like 90% of the hundreds I've looked at so far in this industry, then it lacks relevance. They have great "curb appeal" but lack effectiveness in the key areas of content, social and mobile.
The accelerating pace of change has serious implications for spa and hospitality companies. And while I'm focusing on the global spa industry in this case study, there are lessons here for other business to consumer and B2B industries as well.
Below I want to share a few examples of my findings and I'll even drop some tips for improvement. Apply them today and you can get the target off your back. If you need more instruction be sure to contact me for specifics.
"Understanding disruptive technologies and effectively managing digital initiatives are vital leadership skills that are critical to a company’s success."
– Peter Bell, Faculty Director, Columbia Business School
The money is in the list.
You've probably heard that before. Spas and product manufacturers have tremendous opportunity to provide valuable content to their audience and build a valuable list. How many visitors will subscribe with this single opt-in form located at the bottom of the home page? That is, if they even see it down there.
Word-of-mouth (WOM) has gone digital in the form of social media.
People want to know what their family, friends and peers have to say about your product or service. And if you're on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter be ready to respond. According to Search Engine Watch, 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response within an hour.
Preferred communication device has moved from desktop to tablet to mobile phone.
The majority of the spa web sites I looked at were not "mobile friendly". The increased usage of mobile devices by consumers i.e. the growth of smartphones, tablets and wearable tech is driving search, new business and e-commerce. Google Maps is the single most important differentiator between businesses who succeed or fail in gaining new customers via local and mobile search.
As people increasingly search on their mobile devices, we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.” - Google
Increasingly the target consumer for spa services is connected to a mobile device. Today this consumer has more control than ever and can influence sales, reputation and profitability. Is your content optimized for mobile devices?
In a service driven, highly-connected and competitive global marketplace if you're ignoring strategic digital marketing then you're heading down the wrong path. The best solution? Stop what you're doing.
Get a roadmap that can move you to where you want to go. And start developing a process to fully engage holistically with your target audience.
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