Why massage therapists hate marketing

As we were preparing the program for the 2012 World Massage Conference we consciously chose to limit business presentations to about a tenth of our total programming time. My partners and I understand the vital importance of marketing skills, but yet we choose to largely dismiss these kinds of presentations from the conference.


Massage therapists aren’t really interested in marketing. It holds little appeal, so it doesn’t “sell”.

It’s sad to know that therapists are so anti-marketing because it’s the one thing that is going to allow them to touch the lives of more people. No matter how good your skills are, if people don’t know about them, they go to waste.

Why do therapists hate marketing so much?

I don’t think they really hate marketing. They hate BAD marketing and unfortunately that’s what you notice most.

  • Companies obviously want to put themselves in the best light. In doing so they sometimes overstep the boundaries of honesty. The reality of the product fails to match customer expectations. So marketing is seen as deceptive.
  • In a environment filled with distractions, advertisers are desperate to be seen and heard. So they employ tactics that make them look pushy or just plain annoying.
  • And because these advertisers are constantly trying to interrupt you and try to pull you away from what you’re doing ┬áto get you to pay attention, they are perceived as manipulative.

GOOD marketing on the other hand is seldom noticed. It’s invisible. That doesn’t mean it’s not effective, it’s just that it’s welcome. It’s a message that seems to appear at the right time and delivers helpful information that is going to benefit you. It seems so unobtrusive (unlike bad marketing) that we don’t really know it’s happening.

So if you are one of those therapists that have a mild or even strong distaste for marketing it’s time to make a little mental shift.

Instead of using the word “marketing” and all the awful things it brings up for you, call it “education”. Because that’s exactly what good marketing is.

Marketing is simply the systems used to educate people about the unique benefits you offer in a compelling way so that they make use of your services and obtain those benefits for themselves.

So help the public benefit from massage and all the wonderful benefits that it provides by changing your attitude. Make the mental shift and understand that…


I think that’s something that we can all live with. At BodyworkBiz my mission has always been to give you the tools you need to educate people about the benefits of massage and more specifically the benefits of seeing you for massage. Make sure you’re signed up for the Marketing Education Tips Newsletter where I share a whole lot of unique ideas to do just that.