New Year’s Nose Dive
Noticed a major drop off in clientele this month? According to new data from Marchex, an advertising analytics company, so will many other club operators around the country.
“Every year around this time we hear the same story of the new year’s ‘resolutionists’ flocking to the gyms in the pursuit to get fit,” said Mike Fast, the analyst who lead the study.
Fast used the term “resolutionists” repeatedly to describe individuals who make commitments to clubs early in the new year, only to fall off shortly after.
According to a press release, analysts from the Marchex Institute examined anonymous data from more than 800,000 phone calls placed to 500 U.S. gym and fitness centers between January 2016 to January 2017. “This data quantifies the very thing we hear about every January – that America’s fitness resolutions are, at best, fleeting,” said Fast. “We wanted to see if we saw similar patterns in our call data, and we did find similar patterns.”
The data found that in 2016, fitness centers saw a 28 percent drop between January and February, the most dramatic month-to-month difference.
Fast said club operators can take this data about resolutionists and apply it to their business models by ramping up marketing and retention efforts in February.
In addition, Fast added the goal is to help health clubs find intel or insight into where their campaigns are working the best. “We know resolutionists have been shopping for their gyms by making phone calls — they want to learn the prices and they want to figure out the facilities that they offer,” he said.
Fast believes the health clubs that are able to communicate effectively over the phone during this period are most likely to win a customer’s business. “We have a lot of clients in the fitness industry who use our technology,” he said. “They have found that phone calls are a strategic way for them to generate new business so we have anonymous data on phone calls to gyms all across the country and technology can break down calls to bring insights to the business.”
Fast said for the resolutionists that have already signed up, more marketing during this time will also reinforce that promise that they’ve made to themselves.
“Motivating the reluctant exercisers in February with incentives to keep working out could grow customer loyalty in measurable ways,” Fast said in a press release. “If businesses can help customers stay fit and make a profit, that’s a win for everyone.”