After decades of successful fitness club ownership, Pleasant Lewis was certain that fitness marketing and attracting new members was changing. Direct mail efforts at his gyms throughout Central Florida and Virginia (formerly Gold’s Gym, now Fitness CF) were quickly becoming less effective after decades of predictable results.
The area director for Fitness CF Gyms, Susan Adams, tells why they partnered with TAG Digital Marketing to implement cutting-edge digital marketing strategy and improve ROI.
CS: Why did you decide to partner with TAG?
SA: At the time, I was trying to handle our social media and websites, and I was completely overwhelmed. We were coming into a time with technology where we needed to be at the top of the page on Google as far as search engine optimization (SEO) goes. My team had no idea how to use the internet to bring new members.
Unfortunately, this is not a technology-minded industry. So, luckily, I work with owners who were willing to see that this was the way of the future. You either get on the train or you get run over by it — that’s just the reality of the situation. So, we partnered with TAG to shift our focus more toward the digital landscape.
CS: How has TAG helped you improve your digital marketing?
SA: Most importantly, membership sales are way up, while marketing costs are down by shifting ad budgets from traditional to digital sources like search engines. We now only use digital marketing for all new member sales. We were at a point where our direct mail wasn’t working as well anymore, so we had to find another way.
Our websites are better than they’ve ever been. Our social media presence is phenomenal. We have hundreds of new 5-star reviews on Google and Yelp. We use TAG for pay-for-click and Facebook advertising, which is a huge component in our marketing right now. SEO is one of the biggest things they’ve help us with. When members are looking to join a club, they use mobile search like Google to research and choose. TAG even took us through the entire process of rebranding our clubs from a national franchise.
CS: How would you describe their customer service?
SA: Impeccable. There isn’t a time that I can’t call or email and get an immediate response. They also take an educational approach and actively listen. We have been with them now several years and they are always on top of this new marketing landscape.
CS: What can you tell other club operators about the importance of digital marketing?
SA: Today, if you haven’t already started a complete digital marketing strategy that includes all channels, you’re behind the eight ball. Everything is technology based and prospects have simply stopped responding to direct mail, print, TV and radio (we have used them all). Everybody picks up their phone, they want an immediate answer, immediate response and immediate gratification. And it applies to all aspects of our lives, so why wouldn’t it apply to our favorite health club? The internet is a complex web of hundreds of entry points where prospects might be searching, and to compete you need to have top exposure across all of them.
For more information on TAG Digital Marketing, visit http://www.taggymmarketing.com/.