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Marketing & Sales

Liven Up Your Fall Marketing


Donyel Cerceo, fall marketing expert. August is here and that means fall is right around the corner. As a result, you must decide: will you fall into the same stale marketing traps and get the same results, or will you freshen up the way you market to get better results?

These are some common fall marketing troupes: “Fall into fitness,” “Fall back in love with yourself” and “Your last excuse just went back to school.”

We’ve all heard them a thousand times, yet hundreds of clubs still use these themes for fall marketing. If you really want to use these, you need to focus on why your club should be chosen over any other. What’s different about your club that will help specific audiences with their health and fitness goals?

I say “specific” audience because some of these themes target a certain group. For example, “Your last excuse just went back to school” targets parents of school-age children. What do most parents need? More time. Many work full time, in addition to carting their kids around to school activities. So if you are speaking to this audience you must highlight how your club is going to squeeze health and fitness into their busy schedule.

For example, do you have a 30-minute program they can take advantage of while their children are at practice? Does your club have kids sports performance training so parents can workout while their children cultivate their athleticism? Bottom line: In your marketing, make sure you spell out why people should choose your club.

There are so many other markets you can also hit in the fall that many clubs do not. What about the people who do not have school-age children? Maybe it’s those people who went on vacation this summer and ate a little too much on that cruise. For the people that want to lose 10 to 15 pounds of extra vacation weight, market accelerated training programs that help produce fast results.

Think outside the box to avoid standard fall marketing themes that have been consistently overdone. If you live in an area where the temperature is always warm, what about tying in a reference to the flocks of birds that will soon be arriving in late October and November? For example, “Flocking is in season: will you find your way to the gym?”

The key to good fall marketing is to know your audience and speak specifically to them. A full-time copywriter can help substantially with this. They will help you craft the exact message you need to reach your intended audience, inspire them to take action and join your club.

Sometimes this is the hardest thing to do in marketing, yet many clubs continue to use the same messaging each season, year after year. Getting some fresh ideas from someone outside of your club, or even industry, never hurts.


Donyel Cerceo is director of marketing for Merritt Athletic Clubs.

Donyel Cerceo

Donyel Cerceo is the director of marketing for Merritt Athletic Clubs. She can be reached at dcerceo@merrittclubs.com.

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