Nov 16, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
Body & Sol Tanning Studio, located at 103 W. Seneca St. in the village Manlius, is at the forefront a Community Partnership Program that brings business together with a common goal — persevering through tough economic times. The program gives a select group of neighboring businesses the opportunity to advertise to each other’s customers through Body & Sol’s Facebook page and shared coupons.
Kay Marini, owner of Body & Sol, devised the program with help from her husband, John, and a family friend, Mark Fogerty, last year when her company was in need of a boost.
“It’s a vanity based business, and 80 percent of the people who come in here are women,” Marini said. “[Women] will typically not stop getting their hair done, so they’ll save their money to make sure they can still [have that done}. They will get their nails done, and they’ll save money [for that] — tanning kind of falls by the way side a little bit.”
The program connects 10 local businesses: Pavone’s Pizza, China Cafe and Hong Kong Cafe, Autumn’s Nails, Manlius Family Barbershop, Cardinal Cleaners, East Side Racquet Club, LaVallee’s USA Black Belt Champions, DeWitt Detail Center and Car Wash, Kelly’s Massage and Holist Health Spa, and The UPS Store.
Marini said the CPP seeks to help local businesses through partnership, “because everybody’s in need. They’re all struggling; they’re all small businesses.”
Coupons are given out at the local establishments to encourage patronage at all participating businesses. Customers are asked to first like the Body & Sol Facebook page, which is integrated with the participating CPP businesses’ Facebook pages.
“If someone says, ‘I got this [coupon] from Pavone’s [Pizza] but I don’t really want to tan,’ … it’s fine,” Marini said. “They can still use coupons at any of the other cooperating businesses.”
“They don’t have to tan, they just have to ‘like’ the page to get the coupons,” Fogerty added.
Before moving to Manlius in 2003, Fogerty was a marketing consultant for fitness companies in California. He said he became interested in how businesses could benefit from using Facebook as a marketing tool. He saw Fortune 500 businesses gaining from the social networking power of Facebook, and saw an opportunity for local businesses to have similar success
Web designer Anatoly Bondarchuk, who runs bondartech.com out of Whitesboro, is helping the CPP become more integrated with Facebook.
He just designed a website, cppmobile.com, that will let customers access the coupons from their smartphone. It’s a website rather than a conventional app one would buy from the Apple Store. Bondarchuk explained that apps are not cheap to create, especially ones that work on all three smartphone platforms of iPhone, Blackberry and Droid.
“For a small business to create apps, we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars to have apps created for all three platforms,” Bondarchuk said.
With the website, customers can access the coupons from any phone, tablet or computer that has Internet access. Customers who like Body & Sol on Facebook will be directed to the website as a means to access coupons on the go. Bondarchuk noted that one problem with coupons is the inconvenience of clipping them out; the CPP’s Facebook and website integration avoids this inconvenience.
For its efforts toward community partnership, Body & Sol tanning will be featured in “Smart Tan Magazine,” the largest international tanning magazine, in an upcoming month.
“It’s an excellent way for these companies to get their name out there as well as for customers to enjoy in these great savings,” Bondarchuk said.
To learn more about the Community Partnership Program, go to bodyandsoltanningstudio.com, search “Body and Sol Tanning” on Facebook, or visit any of the program’s participating businesses. Inquiries can be directed to Kay Marini by calling 682-1114 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.