Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT, is the health and well-being director for Proactive Partners, a division of TCA Holdings LLC. Proactive Partners is a company that provides health and wellness programs with focus on fitness and exercise, stress management and fitness center management. Jafferali is responsible for developing and implementing their corporate wellness and health coaching programs. She has worked at a Fortune 100 corporate wellness facility and a high-end commercial health club setting creating wellness-based programs. She also developed and is the program coordinator for the Women’s Exercise Training and Wellness online certificate program for Education Fitness Solutions Inc. and is a master trainer with Healthy Moms Fitness. She can be reached at jasminejafferali@hotmail.com.

When it comes to marketing your nutrition services, women are often your best target. Women are the decision-makers when it comes to their families’ needs and overall health. In fact, they make 83 percent of consumer decisions.

The particular age group that is most marketable is women under 40, who are considered the most ethnically, culturally and economically diverse demographic. When compared to women of prior generations, this demographic consists mostly of working mothers. They do most of the cooking, make the majority of food selections, make most of the health care decisions and do most of the grocery shopping. They want quick, 30-minute meals that are healthy, environmentally conscious and sustainable. These women are loyal to brand products, are more consumer savvy and are becoming smarter when purchasing more nutritious foods. It is not about pretty labeling. They want to know what they are eating and what they are feeding their families.

Many companies are focusing their marketing campaigns on this population, and you should, too.

The women in this demographic who seek nutritional counseling do not want time-consuming nutrition appointments. Remember, they are seeking 30-minute meals. Women want to learn how to shop smarter, understand how to read labels and purchase products that are truly designed with health in mind. Nutrition is a key component of food choices for women.

Here are some tips to increase marketing and improve your nutritional services to women:

  1. Go the extra mile. While this may sound cliché, it is necessary to extend yourself and your business to thoroughly meet your clients’ needs. This means stepping up customer service and communicating regularly with clients through newsletters, e-mails, mailings and social media networks. Stick closely to how your services are beneficial and cost effective. Be careful about product promotions. Remember: women are loyal to their brands but are usually willing to change if the product is healthier than what they currently use.
  1. Find solutions to problems in your community. You can market your business successfully and show your concern for others by volunteering in community activities, especially where budgets have been cut. For example, offer a seminar in food label reading at the local school during a PTA meeting. Or go to the local high school and offer a sports nutrition seminar to the high school athletes and coaches. Be sure to include the parents, especially the moms, who do the majority of the grocery shopping. Create a shopping list of foods that improve athletic performance and foods that hinder performance. Then offer a discount to come into your facility to seek further services.
  1. Provide them with attractive offerings, both in appearance and in value. Women like to feel good about their purchases, especially during a sluggish economy. Be creative to meet their needs. Making clients smile and relieving stress is a great way to get them in the door. A marketing campaign that uplifts your prospective clients can distinguish itself from services that are otherwise identical. Perhaps partner with a local salon and offer a discounted manicure to go along with your nutritional service. This can be a win-win for both businesses.
  1. Don’t use long, overdrawn marketing techniques. Every word must count. Women are busy multitasking. However, you do need to market from all angles, not just e-mail or social media. Newsletters and direct mail are still effective and are, in fact, coming back. Working mothers are bombarded with e-mails, and they need a break from looking at the computer all day. They want to disconnect from the technological world. They may enjoy reading your newsletter after the kids are in bed. Using keywords such as family, home, budget-friendly will grab their attention fast. If you don’t use short, key phrases, they’ll lose interest.
  1. Women trust other women. If you have a trainer or manager that is a mother, your female member is more likely to stop and listen to her than a young, fresh-out-of-college student. Moms need to feel connected to other moms. They want to seek counsel from an experienced nutrition professional who also is a mother.
  1. Focus on what may be most important in women’s lives. It is often their family. Market your service on how it is going to improve their family’s health, time management and budget. They are motivated to improve their lives and the lives they care for daily. Make sure you address this in your marketing techniques.

The positive side to our sluggish economy is that people are dining out less and spending less on high-end products and services. They are putting more time and money into their overall health and well-being. Nutritional services are now being looked upon as a necessity instead of a luxury.