Month: July, 2015

Smart Marketing for Your Fitness Business

Digital, digital, digital. If you’re wearing an exercise tracker, welcome to the new world. I am curious how many FitBit users input additional data and manage it. For fitness owners and leaders who are also technology geeks, this is second nature. But for most exercisers or those just starting to exercise, digital tools may not be that useful to reach actual goals.

Digital marketing is a different story for business owners. Everyone is using digital marketing. (Hello, website.) What I often see is that many businesses don’t use digital tools to collect valuable information from customers at enrollment or during the prospect phase. Here are four essentials for successful marketing, digital or traditional:

  1. List inventory. How many lists do you have? It doesn’t matter if data is in an excel file, a club management system or Mail Chimp. But it does matter if the data is old, inaccurate or not segmented.
  2. Segment your lists. Why do we segment? One simple reason is to better understand customer types and target information by age, household types, interests or purchases. Is your current system capable of producing a mailing list (or email list) for customers who have bought massage or personal training? Be sure to set key categories within any system and audit data periodically.
  3. Identify number of visits per user periodically. Exercise frequency or visits is a basic benchmark. Many corporate wellness contracts require verification of visits per month to approve reimbursement. This data also may be used to establish member rewards programs.
  4. Health improvement. We’re in the business of improving people’s health. Can we show that? Actual biometrics may be managed through software such as TriFit, often only used by personal trainers. One way membership/sales can assist is by asking members to rank their health (from excellent to poor). After six months, re-ask this question and note if there’s been an improvement and congratulate the member! If not, time to check in on their exercise goals and program.

Beware the one-size-fits all software program: it often cannot segment AND include contract information for database marketing. If you have had success, please email me, and I’ll write a case study in a future column. There is a downside to using multiple programs as data is often duplicated or incorrect. This makes it even more important to manage lists and mailings (email and physical) through a yearly promotional plan.

It may seem easy to start digital marketing projects, but it’s difficult to retain quality and professionalism unless you dedicate personnel to manage the data and have a communications plan in place. One way to make content more meaningful is to personalize with photos or video of members (or team members) and their success stories. Make that a part of everyone’s job description, otherwise you’ll never have enough content.

Digital marketing is here to stay and grow. So take the time now to make sure team members understand the communications process for inputting and managing data and collecting great stories.