Use Marketing to Serve Your Customers

Presented by Jacob Griscom | Published on: June 6, 2014

When you understand what emotionally drives people to practice yoga, you can cater your marketing and services to meet their needs. Jacob Griscom, president of Everyday Ayurveda, explained during his 2013 Business of Yoga Conference talk, "How to Use Marketing to Serve Your Customers," that understanding why someone practices yoga allows you to focus on what's motivating them to enter your studio.

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Learn About Your Clients

Many business owners segment their clients into three groups : promoters, passives and detractors:

  • The Promoters (Your fan base)
    Jacob mentioned those who promote your business are your "loyal enthusiasts" who buy your products and keep returning to your studio, often referring other people to you. "They're saying, 'You should come, too.' And therefore, they're responsible for the growth in your company," he said. Your goal is to recruit and maintain as many promoters as possible.

  • The Passives (Unenthusiastic Supporters)
    The passives are students who are satisfied but are "unenthusiastic" in that they're not loyal like the promoters, which are like your studio's fan base. "As soon as they see a better opportunity, they will move on," said Jacob. By figuring out how they think yoga will improve their lives and catering to them, you'll have a better chance at converting them to promoters.

  • The Detractors (Unhappy Damage)
    The detractors are your "unhappy damage" according to Jacob. They're the ones who negatively impact your business because they have some issues and they're passing on those problems to the community. Moving detractors to passive supporters or promoters may just be as simple as changing a minor flaw you don't know exists until you ask what bothers them.

Net Promoter Score

By taking your percentage of promoters and subtracting the percentage of detractors, you can figure out your Net Promoter Score. "So the higher you get on your Net Promoter Score, the (more) your business grows," said Jacob.

Find Out Your Students' Motives

If you haven't spent a lot of time getting to know your students, you can’t be sure what motivates them to practice yoga at your studio. Interview students directly, provide surveys for them to fill out and keep asking them questions. Follow up periodically because what motivates them one month might be different six months later and surveys are only a starting point.

Students will often say they want to increase flexibility but Jacob explained that knowing why someone wants to be more flexible adds value to the information about them. This can help you as a teacher or studio owner because you can then cater instructions toward your students’ individual concerns and lifestyles, even if you’re only changing how you talk about yoga instead of the practice itself. "The difference between 'I want flexibility' and 'I want to be able pick up my grand-kids' is how big? (It's a) giant chasm of human bigness and difference there," said Jacob.

Six Questions to Ask Your Students

Jacob recommended that you ask follow-up questions when you survey your students. Some information you may want to know about your students includes:

  • What are their biggest frustrations with their health, fitness, yoga practice or whatever they want to address?
  • What impact are those issues having on their lives?
  • What have they tried so far that has and has not worked?
  • What sort of results did they get when they tried those methods?
  • What are their biggest fears in the current state of their lives that yoga can help improve?
  • What are they afraid will happen if those issues aren't addressed?

"So, one of the big services that our marketing can provide our clients is like course correction in life," he added. "It can connect these dots in such a way that they can make shifts and priorities that can create a different future for them," both in the immediate future and long-term.

Encourage Students to Share With You

The deeper you dig into people’s motivations for practicing yoga, the more uncomfortable they may feel, especially if they feel like you're invading their privacy. One solution Jacob recommends is offering surveys that can be completed anonymously. Also, tell students that their answers can help you, others and themselves. As a thank you for their effort, offer participants something in return, whether it's a discounted or free class or a service.

About Jacob Griscom

Jacob Griscom has a background in sustainable business, Ayurveda, yoga, sales and marketing, and he serves as the president of Everyday Ayurveda, whose mission is to empower Ayurveda and yoga professionals to build successful and transformative businesses for themselves, their clients and their communities. Prior to starting Everyday Ayurveda, Jacob spent a lot of time understanding sustainability and social justice and became a leader in those fields through BetterWorld Telecom and the non-profit organization he co-founded, Sacramento Sustainability Forum.

Eligibility for Continuing Education

This workshop counts for one Continuing Education Non-Contact Hour or one RYS Curriculum Non-Contact Hour under the Teaching Methodology category.

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