Fitness businesses have been addicted to social media marketing and online advertising. It’s time to get over that addiction and deliver a more focussed and better customer experience in gyms.

There is an infinite number of options available to someone who wants to get a good workout in. It now depends upon what they want to optimize for and what experience they enjoy. For example, if the user wants to optimize for convenience – They could invest in a Peloton or set-up a small home gym. To optimize for time, the user could use any of numerous fitness apps available, such as 7-minute workout.

In short, your fitness business/gym is not only up against other competing gyms and fitness centers, it is also up against technology that is more convenient To compete against this, it is also becoming important to focus on designing a powerful customer experience for the members of your gym.

Seth Godin recently wrote in a fantastic blog post about brands and brand design:

“Design is the new marketing. It is the product itself, not the ads or the slogan. Design is the supply chain of Patagonia, the ethics of Purple Carrot and the customer service at Union Square Cafe. It’s design, not advertising, that turned Apple into the most valuable luxury brand (and the most valuable company) in the world.

But design requires a point of view. The confidence to make an assertion. And the skill to turn that assertion into something that resonates with the person you seek to serve.

It’s probably easier to create heavily adorned mash-up than it is to produce a Field Notes notebook. Stripping away the artifice doesn’t always leave something pure. It often creates banality, the simple commodity that’s easy to buy cheaper one click away.

The elegant nothing brands aren’t about nothing. Not all. They merely have a different, more difficult sort of artifice. The artifice of no artifice. The elegance of leading with utility as its own form of style.

And what is a brand? It’s not the logo, certainly. I have no idea what Everlane’s logo is. The brand is our shorthand for the feelings that an experience creates, the promises that a product or service brings with it.”

Understanding why your current users are fans of your business and focussing on those factors while stripping away everything else will be the key to improving your customer experience.

One oft-cited example of this is the consistency of the growth of Planet Fitness. By being hyper-focussed on their brand positioning as a “Gym for the rest of us”. They have been able to reduce costs and be pinpointed in their targeting.

Sometime back, it was enough for an offline business to just focus on the in-store experience, do some social media marketing and just let things be. This is no longer true when you’re competing against companies and technologies that are in the business of providing a better customer experience.

Your marketing and communication with your members should also reflect the commitment to better customer experience for your members. For this, it’s important to burst out of the social media bubble and expand your marketing toolkit

How to expand your marketing toolkit and make it personalized

Marketing automation has come a long way in the past couple of years. More than automation for automation’s sake, what marketing automation enables you to do is to :

  • Be ultra-specific in targeting – moving away from mass advertising to more personalized advertising
  • Measure ROI on every campaign that you run
  • Run multiple campaigns and tests for different segments of your members, at the same time
  • Use multiple software tools at the same time with integrations between them

These four things should be kept in mind when you decide on what software to use at your business.

Stepping away from mass online and offline advertising can seem intimidating. You can run marketing experiments in automated, personalized channels and make the decisions that suit the kind of the business that you are.

marketing automation
The marketing automation ecosystem is big and you need to select the tools that fit you

When you are looking for software tools to automate and personalize your marketing for your members, these are a few channels that you should look out for:

Text message marketing automation: Text message marketing is the bread and butter of making your marketing more personalized. Although texting your members using shortcodes have been well and alive since the beginning of SMS, it is only in the last couple of years that automation has caught on this channel. Now, you can segment your members depending upon what stage of the customer journey they are on and schedule automated messages for them. For example: If you want to offer a member who has completed two weeks, a free personal training session, you can use text message automation to sent him a message when that milestone is reached – just set it up for all members and forget it.

The major advantages of text message marketing are:

  • It is a channel that has a high Click Through Rate. 95% of text messages sent are opened
  • It gives you the opportunity to hyper-personalized in targeting

When choosing a tool to do text message marketing with, it is important to choose one that integrates with your POS and current systems. This will make, setting up automation much easier

  

Email marketing automation:

Email marketing is a channel in which marketing automation has been active and developing for the past 15 years or so. You could use any of the industry standard tools such as MailChimp, Klaviyo, Hatchback, etc to run your email campaigns, but to add more personalization and improve your customer experience – you need more than that. Just like in the case of text message marketing, to make complete hands-free automation possible, it is important to have good integrations with the tools that you currently use – especially your POS system.

MailChimp, Klaviyo, etc are software tools that have built deep expertise in running email campaigns and hence don’t have the depth in integrations to service a gym or fitness club.

This where Gleantap can help you. Gleantap is specifically built for fitness businesses and It integrates with your POS systems and other software with ease so that you can get started easily.

Measuring your ROI on automation

When choosing a marketing automation system. How do you measure your ROI on the investment? What metrics should you be looking at?

Have a good system to measure the returns on your investment in automation

A few metrics to keep an eye on when implementing a marketing automation system:

  1. The conversion rate of leads into customers (whatever leads and customers means to you)
  2. The amount of time saved with automation – How much time would it take for your marketing team to reach out to every member with targeted messaging depending on what part of the customer funnel that they are on?
  3. Percentage of new opportunities that you have been able to pursue – Once a marketing automation system has been implemented, are you able to run more campaigns than you previously could? Has it freed time to focus on other parts of the customer experience

It’s no secret that hyper-personalized content is the way ahead for better customer experience and for better ROI on your market. Where are you going to start automating?

If you are thinking about testing marketing automation at your fitness business, book a demo with us and we’ll take you through the options available to you.