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Debbie pearce & Nicola Griffiths Debbie pearce & Nicola Griffiths

Cyclical Marketing Seasons

Planning your marketing

If you’ve ever been involved with any form of regular publication, be it online or print, you’ll be aware that whilst you are living in the here and now, your work life is several weeks, or even months ahead.  The publication has to be planned well in advance, articles commissioned, regular features chased up, seasonal photographs sourced.

With this in mind, it’s as well to plan your marketing material well in advance, especially if you are planning to submit it to local publications.  This is the complete opposite, of course, to social media which is much more immediate and you can respond to topical events within hours of some relevant news breaking.

Forward Planning

The two types of marketing need not be mutually exclusive.  You can plan your seasonal marketing and develop your corresponding social media posts alongside, ready to issue at the appropriate time.  In this way you can develop a coherent campaign where each element boosts the impact of the others.

So what’s coming up?

Well, the long school holidays are right around corner.  So how can you tap into this annual event?

If you practise hypnotherapy you could build campaigns to help people overcome their fear of flying, or help them maintain a calm mind set during the long summer break when the children need to be entertained.  If you offer massage therapy or other body therapies you could suggest that clients plan some ‘me time’ during the sometimes demanding school holidays.

There are opportunities towards the end of the holidays too – you could build a campaign around the anxieties some people feel when their children are about to leave home for school or University for the first time.

And later in the year you can reach out to clients who may suffer with SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, usually during Autumn and Winter.

The months ahead

 Here are some ideas for each of the months ahead for opportunities for seasonal marketing:

 ·         15 August – Cycle to Work Day

·         10-16 September, Know Your Numbers! – blood pressure awareness week

·         8-12 October, BackCare Awareness Week

·         7 November, National Stress Awareness Day (NSAD)

·         25 December – ummm….

Part of the challenge – and the fun – is in tailoring the message to your particular therapy and client base.

Good luck with your seasonal marketing!

Nic & Debs

How far would you go to get clients?

A lesson learned from Fisherman’s Friends

It’s amazing what catches your attention whilst flicking TV channels.  Debs’ interest was grabbed by an inspiring tale on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys.

He was visiting Fleetwood in Lancashire, the home of the Fisherman’s Friend throat lozenge.  Michael recounted a fab story of James Lofthouse, a Victorian pharmacist, who:

·         met a need within his sea-faring community by developing a product to help the fishermen with a remedy against coughs and colds, and general chest problems

·         adapted his product for the convenience of his customers, by producing easy to use lozenges rather than a liquid remedy, which was difficult to administer whilst fishing in the North Sea

·         expanded his market organically by producing a top quality product that sold itself through word of mouth

It seems that the families of the fishermen began to use the lozenges when they had respiratory problems, word spread and so demand grew within the community.

When holiday makers visited the area, they too found the remedy highly effective. Things ticked along nicely and business was steady.

Light-bulb Moment

The part of the tale that most impressed our Debs was how, in the 1960s, Doreen Lofthouse (the wife of the company owner) was instrumental in sending the manufacturer’s fortunes sky-rocketing.

Many of the holiday makers who enjoyed Fishermen’s Friends whilst in Lancashire were disappointed that they could not get the lozenges once they returned home.  They wrote to the company and Doreen collated their letters into geographic areas. 

Then, in a truly inspired move, probably involving Yellow Pages and several maps rather than Google and a SatNav, she visited the holiday makers’ home towns and approached shops and chemists in the area.  She asked them if they would stock their product and in return she would write to all of the holiday makers that had enquired to tell them where they could purchase Fishermen’s Friends locally.

As a direct result of Doreen’s entrepreneurial spirit, the company expanded rapidly and is now an award-winning  global brand.

Lessons Learned

So, what can we learn from this inspiring success story?

·         Well, first you need a great product that meets a need within your client base.  The therapy you provide to your clients no doubt fulfils this basic criterion.

·         Secondly you need to adapt your product to the needs of your local community.  That might mean providing evening and weekend appointments, or a mobile service, or something as simple as finding a therapy room on the ground floor for infirm clients.

·         Thirdly you need to build word of mouth referrals by doing a great job – not just when you are providing the therapy, but from taking the first enquiry, through to booking appointments, to providing a friendly, welcoming environment. 

But most of all, you need to think laterally. How can you reach a wider market?  What sectors of your local community would benefit from your therapy?  Where do most of your former and current clients live? What steps can you take to make yourself better known in those areas?

Take action to emulate the innovative Doreen Lofthouse.  Sometimes we need to do something a bit differently to everyone else, that is indeed what she did.  Over to you then!

Nic and Debs

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