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SUMITS HOT YOGA Communications Plan


CONTENTS 2-3 4 5 6 7-8 9-12 13 14-15 16 17 18 19 20 21-22 23-24 25 26 27 28 29-30

Summary Situation Analysis SWOT Market Summary Secondary Research Primary Research Objective & Strategy Creative Brief Tactics Social Media Calendar In-House Postcard Facebook Ads In-House Poster Budget Calendar Evaluation Recommendation Appendix Research Sources Survey Questions


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Purpose Sumits Hot Yoga is a premier yoga facility in Columbia, Missouri. It opened its doors in October 2012. As a new yoga practice studio dedicated to hot yoga in Columbia, many do not know the great benefits it provides. This integrated marketing communications plan strives to increase brand awareness of Sumits Hot Yoga and overcome many individuals’ perceived definitions of hot yoga.

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Research Primary research shows most people do not understand what hot yoga is. They also do not know the many benefits hot yoga has to offer and believe they must be fit to practice hot yoga. Secondary research reveals the current fitness trend for 2013 is body-weight exercise. This is where people use their own body weight as a form of resistance; this is exactly what hot yoga entails. Also, forms of yoga that combine traditional yoga with core strengthening and muscle building are on the rise as popular fitness trends. Recommendations Recommendations include providing informational classes to people who are new at hot yoga. This will help them feel comfortable before attending a large hot yoga class and educate them on all the great benefits one can gain by practicing hot yoga. Budget As Sumits Hot Yoga is a new establishment in Columbia, they are constricted by a limited marketing budget. Many tactics will be free or minimal cost solutions such as website communications. This plan will work with a proposed budget of $500 per year should they decide to move forward with the recommended tactics.

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SITUATION ANALYSIS Company Background Sumits Hot Yoga was created by Sumit Banerjee based on his years of experience practicing and teaching various yoga styles’ including Bikram and Vinyasa. There are multiple studios in at least seven states, and there is a high demand to open more. Mission “Sumits’ sequence and style of teaching reinforces his primary objectives as a teacher: helping others to realize the powerful wellness benefits of yoga including a stronger, toned and more flexible body and an improved state of mind encouraging relaxation, self-acceptance and awareness.” (Sumits Hot Yoga) Problem Statement Sumits Hot Yoga opened its Columbia location in October 2012. Being located in a college town has significantly helped grow business. As Sumits is a new practice to Columbia, people do not yet understand the benefits of hot yoga. Thus, the objective is to increase brand awareness among women ages 16-45 in central Missouri by May 1, 2014.

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SWOT Strengths Sumits Hot Yoga is located in Columbia, Missouri, which happens to be the location of three college campuses. It is also on the south side of town in close relationship to college students as well as the older demographic of women in the target market. This is a new product in Columbia with a lot of buzz. It is the only studio that focuses purely on hot yoga. Weaknesses The price of classes can be intimidating to most, especially college students. There is a lack of awareness about the company and what hot yoga is about. Sumits Hot Yoga has a low budget for advertisement per year. Opportunities Hot yoga is a thriving new trend throughout the United States. Sumits Hot Yoga can create partnerships with local corporations throughout Columbia to provide membership discounts. Threats Wilson’s Total Fitness offers a hot yoga class twice per week. Current University of Missouri students already have access and pay through tuition membership to a state-of-the-art workout center, the MizzouRec.

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Market Summary Target Market: Sumits Hot Yoga target market includes women ages 16-45 in central Missouri, making them in the millennium generation and generation X. For this marketing plan, I have broken this market into two sections. The first section includes women ages 16-25. This group focuses more on hot yoga as an athletic interest and fitness routine. The second section includes women ages 26-45 who focus on hot yoga as a health benefit and are fitness-conscious.

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SECONDARY RESEARCH Secondary research focused on Internet research of current fitness trends, a comparison of the Columbia census to fitness facilities in Columbia and Sumits Hot Yoga competitors. Current fitness trends for 2013 state there is a main theme of body-weight exercises. Researchers say people have been using their own body weight for centuries as a form of resistance training. But this is the first time it has made it into the trend survey, due to gyms making it a part of their exercise programs. (Warner) Experts state people want to go back to the basics. According to Phil Black, a former Navy Seal instructor who is now a personal trainer and San Diego fitness entrepreneur, another emerging trend is functional fitness programs that help us move through daily life with greater ease. One of the most popular fitness trends is mind-body movements plus aerobics. YogaFit workouts merge traditional yoga with a variety of other activities including strength training, core muscle building and butt firming. “Whether it’s blasting your abs into shape or helping you heal a back injury, these new combined yoga workouts will give you the versatility to do both,� says Beth Shaw, a certified yoga instructor who is president of YogaFit. (Bouchez)

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Columbia Census The next area of secondary research is focused on the Columbia census involving the target market and industry facilities. Boone County’s population has a median age of 29.6. This age is exactly in the target market for Sumit Hot Yoga customers. (United States Census Bureau) Please see Appendix A. According to 2010 business patterns in the zip code of 65203, there are 23 establishments in the category of arts, entertainment and recreation. Fourteen of those establishments have one to four employees, and two of those establishments have five to nine employees. This information allows us to compare competitors and size of the companies within the surrounding area of Sumits Hot Yoga. (United States Census Bureau) Please see Appendix B. Competitor Analysis A competitor analysis was the last focus of secondary research. There is not another hot yoga studio located in Columbia, Missouri, however there is a local gym that provides hot yoga classes. This direct competitor is Wilson’s Fitness Center in the District. This is a premier, fitness facility with a primary focus on gym equipment and personal training. Hot yoga classes are offered two times a week for members only. There is also an extra $5.00 fee per class in addition to membership fees to attend classes (Wilson’s). An indirect competitor includes at-home yoga videos. These videos allow people to practice yoga in the privacy of their homes and at their convenience. There is also a low-cost involvement compared to membership at Sumits Hot Yoga. However, it is unlikely an individual practicing hot yoga at home will have the temperature at a high enough degree to consider the practice to be hot yoga.

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PRIMARY RESEARCH My primary research consisted of a ten-question survey sent through social media to friends and family. This allowed for wide demographics to complete the survey, which resulted in good feedback. My survey results are as follows:

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Top four things people did not know about hot yoga: It increases cell turnover for a radiant complexion. Ages 16 + can participate. It is low impact and moves with your body’s natural range of motion. You will loose body fat and increase your metabolism. Top three reasons people do not attend Sumits Hot Yoga: It is too expensive. There is not enough time to practice hot yoga. There is not a facility near their location.

Survey responses on why one does not attend Sumits Hot Yoga: “Fear of being the only unfit person in a room of very fit persons” “Can’t afford, college student” “Need a silver senior class that is not so long and hot” “Not flexible to start with”

Top three best forms of communication to reach the respondents, in order: 1. Social Media 2. Email 3. Television

Misconceptions of what respondents think hot yoga is: Strenuous yoga Yoga in a steam room Fast-paced yoga

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What is your age? 18-24 25-34 34-44 45-55 44-64

3%

2%

77%

6% 11%

What is your gender?

68%

Female Male

%

32

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Have you heard of Sumits Hot Yoga? Yes No

%

42

58

%

Do you currently attend classes at Sumits Hot Yoga? No Yes

%

10%

90

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OBJECTIVE Increase brand awareness among women ages 16-45 in central Missouri by May 1, 2014.

STRATEGY Create personal and direct communication to the targeted audience. Create communication that directly addresses potential misunderstandings of what hot yoga is.

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CREATIVE BRIEF Target Audience Sumits Hot Yoga’s target market includes women age 16-45 in central Missouri. Basic issue the advertisement is addressing: The basic problem the advertisement should address is the promotion of hot yoga as a form of exercise and dissemination of correct information about hot yoga. Objective of the advertisement: The purpose of the ads are to create brand awareness about the health benefits hot yoga provides. The ads should inform customers about Sumits Hot Yoga’s services and products.

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Key benefits to communicate: Sumits Hot Yoga provides a new client special, student and work discounts, and many great health benefits. This includes an increase in metabolism, includes low impact exercise and helps prevent injuries. All hot yoga classes are structured for both beginner and experienced yogis. The audience should believe: Sumits Hot Yoga has benefits that will help positively change their way of life with an increase in health and fitness. Required Information Sumits Hot Yoga logo Key Messages New client special, $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes. Sumits Hot Yoga offers a 20% discount on membership packages for students. Hot yoga is low impact, helps you loose body fat and increases your metabolism. All hot yoga classes are structured for both beginner and experienced yogis.

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TACTICS Web Communications Facebook page promotion Content pushed daily (see social media calendar) Twitter promotion Content pushed daily (see social media calendar) Foursquare promotion Content pushed four months out of the year. (see main calendar) Email communication (monthly newsletter) Website promotions Search Engine Optimization (organic) Interpersonal Sumits Hot Yoga “Meet and Greet” Postcards at studio, also pushed on social media and website platforms. Create relationships with large corporations throughout town. Speaking at businesses about the benefits of hot yoga and providing discounted memberships for employees. Public Relations Discount promotion Refer a friend and receive a discount off one month’s membership. Advertisement Facebook advertisement Pay-per-click (allotted $300 budget per year) Targeted: Women, ages 16-45, single and married, Columbia, MO, Interests: physical activity, yoga, health, fitness Ads pushed three months out of the year (see main calendar)

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Social Media Calendar This calendar describes what types of posts would be pushed on Facebook and Twitter daily. They inform followers about Sumits Hot Yoga information along with current yoga trends. By pushing content daily, this allows the follower to connect and interact with the company. This calender would be repeated throughout the entire year. Monday Post a photo involving yoga along with a question. Ex. “What brings you to your mat?”, “What’s your favorite time to attend hot yoga?” Tuesday Post an informational article about yoga. Wednesday Post a photo of a featured product at Sumits Hot Yoga. Thursday Post a hot yoga benefit. Ex. Hot yoga is low impact, helps you loose body fat and increases your metabolism. Friday Post a photo of a featured yogi at Sumits Hot Yoga. Saturday Post information on a promotion at Sumits Hot Yoga. Ex. Refer a Friend, Meet and Greet event Sunday Post a yoga quote with photo. *Some posts may need to be altered for Twitter using 140 characters or less.

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In-House Postcard

Meet Greet &

Friday, August 23 5-7 p.m. Come meet the instructors, learn about hot yoga, tour the studio and have your questions answered.

Refreshments provided!

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Facebook Ads Sumits Hot Yoga www.sumitscolumbia.com Hot yoga is low impact, helps you loose body fat and increases your metabolism.

Sumits Hot Yoga www.sumitscolumbia.com New client special, $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes.

Sumits Hot Yoga www.sumitscolumbia.com 20% discount on membership packages for students.

Sumits Hot Yoga www.sumitscolumbia.com All hot yoga classes are structured for both beginners and experienced yogis.

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In-House Poster

15% DISCOUNT off one month’s membership when you refer a friend.

ask an employee for further detials.

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BUDGET Sumits Hot Yoga has a budget of $500 per year to spend on marketing efforts. With a smaller budget, the focus is primarily on free or low-budget techniques. Seventy percent of the budget is for advertising on Facebook. Twenty percent of the budget is for public relations, focusing mainly on printing costs; this is for the “Meet and Greet” postcards and the “Refer a Friend” poster. Ten percent of the budget is for interpersonal uses, funding the Meet and Greet event. There is no money allotted for media relations due to the fact Sumits Hot Yoga is no longer newsworthy. Sumits Hot Yoga has been in Columbia for over six months now and is an established business. The purpose of this plan is to increase the existing brand awareness.

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Advertising Public Relations Interpersonal

70%

10%

20

%

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CALENDAR JANUARY

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook Adv.

FEBRUARY

Facebook & Twitter

Foursquare Promotion Foursquare Promotion Foursquare Promotion Foursquare Promotion Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

MARCH

Refer a Friend

APRIL

Meet and Greet

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

MAY

Corporate Sponsorship

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Four Square Promotion Four Square Promotion Four Square Promotion

Four Square Promotion Refer a Friend Refer a Friend

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Facebook & Twitter Refer a Friend

Facebook & Twitter Refer a Friend


JUNE

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

JULY

Refer a Friend

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

Corporate Sponsorship

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Four Square Promotion Four Square Promotion Four Square Promotion

Four Square Promotion Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Meet and Greet

Facebook & Twitter Refer a Friend

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

Facebook Adv.

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Facebook Adv.

OCTOBER

Refer a Friend

NOVEMBER

Corporate Sponsorship

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Four Square Promotion Four Square Promotion Four Square Promotion

Four Square Promotion Refer a Friend

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

DECEMBER

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Facebook & Twitter

Email Communication

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

Refer a Friend

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EVALUATION To begin the evaluation process, I will take a total count of Facebook followers and current memberships at Sumits Hot Yoga. I will also evaluate audience engagement and interaction with posts. Recording what type of posts they are, what time of day it is posted and what days of the week get the most interaction. Each month I will track these numbers. At the end, I will have a total count and compare the increases per month relating the numbers to each tactic used. Techniques used to measure the objective are as follows: To measure the “Refer a Friend” program, Sumits Hot Yoga will record the number of individuals who sign up. To measure the “Meet and Greet” event, Sumits Hot Yoga will record the number of individuals who attended. To measure social media efforts, Sumits Hot Yoga will record the number of social media likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter and number of individuals checked in on Foursquare. To measure Facebook advertising, Sumits Hot Yoga will track how many clicks per ad occur during the promotional period. To measure website traffic and email marketing efforts, Sumits Hot Yoga will use Google Analytics to track traffic through the website and click throughs on emails.

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RECOMMENDATIONS The following are my additional recommendations: Consider hiring more teachers to increase the number of classes available. More specifically, increase the number of classes held during the weekdays. Survey results showed most people set aside Monday through Friday for exercising compared to the weekend. Consider holding more alignment clinics so students are more comfortable knowing what they are doing during classes. Consider targeting an older target market. Yoga is very beneficial for older individuals with health issues. Holding a specific class for their needs and abilities could be profitable. Consider lowering the prices for membership. Survey results showed 79% of individuals would buy a membership is the price was less than $50. Seventeen percent would purchase a membership if the price was between $50-$75. Only two percent would buy a membership if the price was between $75-$100. One percent would purchase if membership is above $100.

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APPENDIX Image A

Image B

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RESEARCH SOURCES Bouchez, C. (n.d.). Up-and-coming exercise trends. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=59844

Sumits Hot Yoga. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.sumitscolumbia.com

United States Census Bureau. (n.d.). Census data mapper. Retrieved from http://tigerweb.geo.census.gov/datamapper/map.html

United States Census Bureau. (n.d.). 2010 zip code business patterns. Retrieved from http://censtats.census.gov/cgi-bin/zbpnaic/zbpsect.pl

Warner, J. (n.d.). Top 10 fitness trends picked for 2013. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20121029/top-10-fit ness-trends-2013

Wilson’s. (n.d.). Retrieved from www.wilsonsfitness.com

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SURVEY QUESTIONS 1. What is your age? 14 to 17 18 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 54 55 to 64 65 to 74 75 or older 2. What is your gender? Female Male 3. Have you heard of Sumits Hot Yoga? Yes No 4. Do you currently attend classes at Sumits Hot Yoga? Yes No

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5. If no, then why? I have never heard of Sumits Hot Yoga Fear of not knowing yoga moves Fear of clean environment Fear of not being able to sustain an 80 minute yoga class Other (please specify) 6. If you do not attend Sumits Hot Yoga, what do you think hot yoga is? 7. Through which form(s) of media do you like to receive information. Rank each category from 1 - 5 with number 1 being your favorite and number 5 being your least favorite. Social Media Television Emails Mail Other 8. Did you know the following about hot yoga? Check all that apply. It is a full body workout Ages 16 + can participate It is for both men and women It improves your balance and posture You will loose body fat and increase your metabolism It increases your cell turnover for a radiant complexion It is low impact and moves with your body’s natural range of motion It creates better flexibility and makes everyday activities more enjoyable 9. How much would you be willing to spend monthly for a membership? Less than $50.00 $50.00-$75.00 $75.00-$100.00 $100.00 + 10. Which day(s) do you set aside for exercise? Check all that apply. Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Never

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Sumits Hot Yoga Communications Plan