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Plan Your Touches

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One of the biggest problems in health clubs, and in most small businesses for that matter, is the lack of consistency in marketing.  Many health clubs will ramp up their marketing efforts during a back to school drive and at the beginning of the New Year… and that is the extent of their marketing.

Let’s assume you take a more aggressive approach to marketing and you implement one marketing strategy every single month.  While this is obviously better than only marketing twice a year, you’re still missing out on the true power of marketing.

In order to make your marketing work for you, and consistently drive traffic to your club month after month, you must do two things:

  1. Plan Your Marketing
  2. Use a Multi-Touch Approach

First of all, it goes without saying that you need a detailed marketing plan for your club, laid out month by month.  Even if you only have tentative marketing strategies planned for each month, you can fill in the details and identify your exact plan as a particular month approaches. 

A simple way to get this process started is to get a Calendar to put on your wall or you can take 12 note cards, one for each month, and put them on the wall.  On each card write down three marketing strategies you plan to do during that month.  Don’t over think; just write down three things that you feel would work during that month.  For example:

December

1.  Give Holiday Gift Cards to all of your members for them to give as gifts to their friends and family.

2.  Send a Holiday Greeting Card to all of your expired members with a special holiday offer for them to rejoin.

3.  Buy several cases of water and tape a gift card to every one of them. Go around to local businesses around mid afternoon on a Monday to distribute.

January

1.  Send 10,000 direct mail pieces.

2.  Run a huge referral event through the month of January.

3. Call the owner of all the businesses where you dropped off the bottled water and offer a special membership to their employees.

See how easy it can be?  It took about three minutes to create a marketing plan for the next two months.  This doesn’t have to be perfect.  Just write down what you feel would be a good strategy for that month.  You can always tweak your plan as the month approaches.

As for touches, you absolutely must deliver your message multiple times to each person.  Did you know that in any given day you are exposed to over 3,000 marketing messages?  With all of the marketing “noise” out there, the only way to get noticed is to be consistent.

Your prospects may not pay attention to your club’s direct mail piece in January, but then they receive your club’s door hanger at their home, then they may receive that bottle of water and gift card at work, then they receive a special offer through their employer, then they see your club represented at a local health fair, then they see an article a member of your club wrote for the local paper, then they hear their friend talk about your club.  You get the picture.

This is how you become relevant in the mind of a prospect.  But consistency must be planned.  If you take a passive approach to marketing or you randomly try things on a whim, you will not be maximizing your results.  The more times you can touch a prospect with your message, the greater the likelihood of that prospect becoming a member.

So grab a pen and paper and take a few minutes to write out your tentative marketing plan for the next 12 months.  Then take a closer look at the next 3 months and identify the exact strategies you will use to drive prospects to your club during the ever important first quarter of 2010.  Plan your touches and you will find your marketing message is much better received, and the results of your marketing will be exponentially greater.

Curtis Mock is an author, speaker and consultant to health clubs worldwide. He is the Executive Director of GymSuccess.com.

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