Numbers don’t always add up. But when they do, they can point to solutions you may not have seen prior.
Through the use of club management software (CMS), your club can apply numbers and data to your everyday operations. For Charter Fitness, ABC Financial’s DataTrak has allowed the company to do just that. “There’s obviously a number of ways that the system can help improve business operations,” said Dan Collins, the chief operating officer of Charter Fitness. “It helped in a number of ways … We were able to provide our general managers and our regional sales people with accessible tools to see how their sales are doing on a daily basis, even on a minute-by-minute basis.”
Collins said with the software, Charter Fitness is able to analyze every little piece of data available. From being able to evaluate attrition levels and closing percentages to looking at club traffic on a day-to-day basis, the data allows Charter Fitness to make decisions in not just operations, but marketing as well.
“We were able to really plan out our marketing spread a whole lot longer in the future and really understand how much it’s going to cost to get a consumer, [and] we know what percentage of those consumers are going to close,” said Collins. “So, it’s really easy to drill down your marketing budget and diversify a little bit more and understand where everything is coming from. We went from basically only doing direct marketing, to being able to diversify in the things like target display ads.”
In fact, Collins said using the data in terms of marketing is one of the biggest benefits. “The marketing aspect has been huge,” he said. “Having the right data to know how to reach out to those people is by far one of the biggest benefits, and one of the most obvious.”
Using CMS to get hard data to benefit a club’s marketing seems to be a reoccurring theme. Anytime Fitness’ clubs use Club Hub, allowing owners the ability to not only keep up with their members, but also know how best to reach them. “This ensures that each lead or prospect is captured and tracked through what we hope is their membership life cycle,” explained Mark Edward Walker, the vice president of technology integration for Anytime Fitness. “The most impactful use of the customer relationship management data for members is in our marketing campaigns. By gathering and comparing statistics from our over 2,500 clubs, we can define and identify particular segments of our prospects and thereby tailor specific marketing messages that would interest them the most.”
For Walker, CMS has allowed Anytime Fitness to identify six core categories that best define the various population segments most apt to join the club. “In our most recent franchise wide, three-day sales promotion, we were able to target prospects that would most likely take advantage of a low-dollar joining offer tied with personal training and saw a one-day increase of almost 38,000 new members,” he said.
At World Gym Canada, it’s key to know who its market is. “By knowing the makeup of membership, to know who your members are and where they are coming from, it allows you to know who you are marketing to, which is probably the most important benefit of using the data produced through your CMS,” said Wes Hodgson, World Gym’s gateway partner for Canada. Using Twin Oaks, Hodgson said the CMS data allows for World Gym Canada to focus its marketing energy and make such efforts more efficient.
But the data CMS provides doesn’t stop at marketing in terms of being beneficial. “From my perspective being in operations, the only way to make solid decisions is by looking at all of the data you can possibly get your hands on and making sure that data is accurate,” said Collins. “So, for the health club industry, what we’ve seen is being able to analyze the top level data … [allows you] to really streamline every aspect of your business, from marketing, to the way that you sell, to what your backend business operations look like.
“So every piece of that data is important. The thing that’s great about the system that we use is just that you can get the data you’re looking for very easily and you can trust that it’s accurate so you can make those decisions.”
Hodgson pointed out that CMS keeps him in the loop by automatically generating daily reports and sending them to his e-mail. Therefore, when he starts his day at 6 a.m., he has the reports from yesterday at his fingertips. But what it really all comes down to for Hodgson is simply knowing what makes World Gym Canada tick. “A good CMS gives you real, hard data of what goes on in your club each day,” said Hodgson. “It’s about just knowing the heartbeat of your club.”
By Heather Hartmann