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Right on the mark

How do you operate in a competitive market? Two startups share their customer-centered strategies.
By Dante Gagelonia |
<>That’s when Cayetano actively applied a basic but essential strategy for any business: talk to your customers. “We realized we still had around 200 people every day,” Cayetano says. “So we focused on them. We realized that we should use them as our marketers. They should be the ones to spread the word. So we surveyed those who eat here and those who come back. We asked them about the food, the prices. Some had suggestions, and we got good data from them.”


Because its marketing strength is essentially tied to its clientele, Taparazzi finds ways to encourage repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations. It has started giving out loyalty cards and gift certifi cates to customers and nearby companies. It’s also made use of the groupbuying site Ensogo for promotional offers, as well as social media to generate buzz.


Cayetano is enjoying his fi rst foray into the food business. “I find it exciting to come up with different kinds of ideas for promos. In marketing Taparazzi, our focus is always this: who are the people in this immediate area? How can we keep them happy? At the end of the day, though, it’s about the quality of the food, of course. That, and taking care of your customers. Those are the best ways to market a restaurant.”



Profit from pampering

The health and beauty industry has seen a signifi cant boom in recent years, thanks to medical and technological advances that have made aesthetic treatments more accessible and affordable. Gyms, spas, slimming salons and the like are more prevalent now than ever before, and it’s not easy to for a business in this fi eld to stand out. Skin House Beauty and Laser Clinic in


Quezon City has found a way to carve out a place for itself through a combination of good pricing, a broad range of services, and a commitment to quality.



Joanne Yu, 31, the marketing manager of Skin House, used to work for a beauty products company. With customers constantly asking her for beauty tips, she realized there was a huge market for aesthetic centers. And so she decided to set up her own. “Beautiful skin isn’t easy to achieve through beauty products alone,” Yu shares. “Skin treatments are available today, but at a huge cost. Some businesses also sacrifi ce quality to compete through pricing. That’s what gave me the idea to start Skin House, offering pain-free skin treatments using the latest technology available while providing excellent service at affordable prices.”



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