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How To Use Data To Build Loyal Member Relationships

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Health clubs understand that it costs more to acquire new members than it does to keep their existing ones happy. That’s why building loyalty is the top priority for many clubs today.

Much like in your personal life, it takes more than a handful of interactions to build strong relationships. It requires lots of information, a little patience and just the right touch to generate a holistic, 360-degree view of your best members. When you understand your members well enough to speak to them in a way they relate to, a loyal relationship can blossom. Potential members want to do business with you if they can relate to you and trust you, and they want you to align with their health and fitness goals, personal interests and values. Creating this type of relationship requires responsive and relevant communications — all developed with the right data. By pulling in data from a variety of different sources, you have the power to create the foundation for true brand loyalty for your members.

Forming lasting relationships with members requires developing a complete picture of them.  Anytime you decide to connect with another person, you start to collect third-party data. You talk to people who know the individual to get a better idea of their background, personality and interests. If you decide that person is someone you want to meet, you accumulate even more data to get a bigger picture. Think of that as the “big data”— data collected from a number of sources that tells you specifics, such as where the person grew up, where he or she went to school, and his or her favorite weekend activities.

As you get to know that person better, you find out more “small data” directly from the source by personal interactions and other observations. Everything you discover becomes another data point that helps you understand that person more, and with each additional piece of information comes the opportunity to build a stronger bond.

Data is important, but not all data is created equally. You have to determine which data is most meaningful and then figure out how to create value with that information to then take action. With such insight, you can engage potential members in the right marketing channel, with the right message, and at the right time, to achieve relevance.

When you form a 360-degree profile of your ideal member, you can then use that to attract look-a-like members. Here’s how to get there: 

  1. Identify your best members.  It’s easier and less expensive to keep good customers happy.
  2. Use third-party data to develop a deeper understanding of your customers. Identify the gaps that exist in your customer data.
  3. Use small data to deliver more relevant communications. Make your communications personal and speak to members’ needs. Everyone wants to feel like they are being heard and appreciated.

Vanessa Hobson is the marketing director at Epsilon. For more information email vhobson@epsilon.com or call 838.900.3655.

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