The short definition of marketing is the profitable getting and keeping of good customers. So let’s be frank with one another and not pull any punches—there are a lot of salons/day spas struggling to keep the doors open.

Why? There’s a ton of reasons—but cutting through it all the single overriding reason for this struggle is their customer count is anemic…and when that happens the entire business slows down.

Look, with today’s challenging economy your salon/day spa could be, if it isn’t already, losing customer count. But all is not lost—you can reverse the trend and fortify your business.

How do you do that? By adding some Special K® into your Marketing

Just ask any nutritional expert what is the most important meal of the day and they’re bound to tell you breakfast. Why breakfast? Because eating a good breakfast provides you with the energy you need to start the day off right.

That’s why the folks at Kellogg’s created the Special K® breakfast cereal. To help you get a healthy start to the day.

Well, what does a breakfast have to do with day spa marketing? Just as a good breakfast gets you going, a good marketing plan sets the stage for your business’ success. A good plan starts with whom you do business with, which is your target market.

Let’s make that word target extra special and add a “K” to her. Let’s call her your “TARKET” a name one of my marketing mentors, Red-Hot copywriter, Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero, coined. She combined the words “target” and “market” together and presto, out popped the new word—“TARKET.”

So why call a target a TARKET? Simply because by using this word TARKET you’ll think and talk about your target market differently than you would by just calling her your target.

How so? While both represent your ideal or core client, the one you want to fill your chairs/rooms with, and for whom you buy products and create new services, there’s a subtle but important difference.

What’s the difference? When salon/day spa owners/managers think and describe a target market, they usually use demographic terms—age range, sex, income, marital status, children, education, etc., or geographic terms—where the core client lives or works.

While it’s important to know the demographics and geographics, two essential ingredients for your core client, there’s still another ingredient without which your marketing is guaranteed to fall flat.

That ingredient is the soul of marketing. It’s the psychographic component. It’s what the core client thinks and feels. The psychographic component brings the core client to life so to speak.

Technically both target market and a TARKET combine the three aspects of the core client—demographic, geographic, and psychographic. But only the TARKET feels like a person, while the target seems inert.

Why would it matter if an owner refers to core clients as a targets or TARKETS? Simply put, it does matter because how we think and talk about a person shapes the actions we take toward that person.

How do you create a TARKET? You take the demographic and geographic profile and then create an imaginary friend, just as you may have done when you were a kid. Then write down your description of that imaginary friend, what she thinks about, how she responds to what you’re saying, doing, etc. That imaginary friend is your TARKET.

Key to all of this is remembering that people like to be treated as people, not as numbers. They like to be talked to as people, by people, not as some faceless number by some faceless corporation. While TARKETS are the personification of people, targets tend not to be.

By using the TARKET concept, you’ve given your marketing and marketing plan the necessary first ingredient, that Special K® that’ll bring in more clients to your day spa.