Christina DeGuardi, the senior vice president of marketing at Crunch answers a few of our questions.
1. What was your first job in the health and fitness industry?
Marketing director at Crunch — prior to that my career was at several ad agencies working on a variety of clients (Volvo, Burger King, Hasbro).
2. What’s the favorite part of your job?
Being a part of an organization that is dedicated to positively impacting people’s lives and enabling them to have fun while they do it, is really important to me.
3. What have the highlights and challenges been during your time at Crunch?
Over time the business has definitely evolved, and with that there have been challenges in adapting to those changes. We have had periods of rapid growth, especially with the launch of Crunch Franchise, which certainly led to challenges in adapting to those business needs. But at the same time that is a highlight, because it is an exciting opportunity for the brand.
4. How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Crunch?
Having worked at ad agencies, my job was related to client service and strategy, such as helping the clients figure out what they needed to communicate and the best way to do it. I took that approach with me to Crunch, as the marketing team functions as the client service and strategic partner to the gyms, meaning that we treat the sales, ops, personal training and group fitness teams as our clients. We provide them with guidance and support with regard to communication and ensure they have what they need, when they need it.
5. How do you stay on top of marketing trends?
I have quite a few talented friends and former colleagues that I stay in touch with or stay connected with on social media. I keep an eye on their latest work and enjoy hearing about new and exciting projects they are working on.
6. Why is Crunch a brand others should look up to?
I think we have stayed remarkably consistent and true to who we are as a brand, while continuing to evolve how we express that over time. I think that has made people feel that we are authentic and relevant, which I believe strongly contributes to the personal connection we have made with consumers over the years.
7. If you had to pick just one medium to market with (print, web, social media, TV), which would you pick and why?
That’s a really difficult question, but if you insist, I would have to say web, which I am assuming includes all digital media — so that would at least allow me to diversify the message and connect with prospective members via search, display, sponsored posts, re-targeting, review, social sites, etc.
8. What is one of your favorite books, and why?
I would have to say that my two favorite books are “A Separate Peace” and “The Great Gatsby.” Thematically, both deal with a protagonist that is looking for acceptance in an environment that they are not necessarily comfortable with, and they both feature a dynamic and magnetic person that naturally draws people in.
9. Who do you look up to?
I look up to my parents. They are both unfathomably good people and live an utterly unselfish life. My father is a very talented artist and my mother is incredibly analytical and organized. I like to think I got some of those traits from each of them.
10. What’s one piece of advice you can give to other marketers?
I would advise other marketers to stay connected. Stay connected to what colleagues and competitors are doing. Stay connected to what’s happening in technology, social media, pop culture and politics. Stay connected to your team. And lastly, stay connected to other industries, as I think there are opportunities for inspiration above and beyond just the health and fitness industry.