Exercise is Medicine: Marketing Fitness to the Health Care Community
Less than 20 percent of hospitals are currently equipped to meet the new wellness and prevention mandates within Health Care Reform. This presents a new opportunity for fitness centers to open their doors to unlikely joiners and extend the continuum of care in partnership with your neighborhood hospital and medical offices. Here are a few tips for marketing your fitness center to the health care industry and its community.
Gain industry advocates.
Offer complimentary workouts to all health care professionals during a week-long open house, and invite employees of nearby hospitals, dental offices and physical therapy centers. Showcase your fitness and wellness services, highlighting the benefits of regular exercise. Consider a special corporate rate for individuals in the health care industry — as they start leading healthier lifestyles, they will encourage their patients to do the same.
Exercise is better than a pill.
It’s no secret that exercise fends off health risks, improves moods and builds a healthy mind, body and spirit — and the medical community is taking notice. Create prescriptions pads for doctors to prescribe fitness programming to their patients. Include your club’s contact details so the patient knows who to contact directly to help them get started on their doctor’s orders.
Perform wellness outreach.
Partner with your local hospital to offer free guest services to patients and their families on the hospital’s campus. Wellness classes like foam rolling, stress management, chair massage or even group exercise sessions, add to the brand value of the hospital and introduces your fitness center to potential members. Bring club collateral and encourage participants to drop their business card to enter to win a one-month membership.
Hospitals have patient newsletters, employee bulletins and common areas such as waiting rooms, break rooms, cafeterias and pharmacies. Ask about opportunities to display an exercise of the month poster in these areas or publish wellness tips in ongoing communications.
Partner with insurance groups.
Insurance groups are spending more and more money on unhealthy individuals. Partner with these groups to send their customers health and wellness resources and a special offer to join your fitness center.
By Elizabeth Studebaker, the senior marketing manager at Club One.