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In Print The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line: 10 Questions with Chad C. Waetzig

Chad C. Waetzig

Every month, Club Solutions sits down with an industry expert to share in their wealth of knowledge. In the July issue, the conversation features Chad C. Waetzig, the executive vice president of marketing and branding for Crunch.

1. Growing up, did you always know you’d end up in marketing?

No, far from it. As a kid, I always wanted to be an architect. I wanted to design skyscrapers and baseball stadiums.

2. What drew you to Crunch?

First and foremost, the team — I was just so impressed with the culture, the teamwork, and their embodiment of Crunch’s “No Judgments” philosophy. Second, the power of the Crunch brand was very compelling and the opportunity to help steward its powerful equity in the marketplace was exciting. Lastly, I was intrigued by the challenge to help transform a marketing discipline that had been supporting less than 200 clubs, but needed to evolve to help drive growth across over 700-plus locations globally in just a few short years from now.

3. What is the favorite aspect of your job?

The diversity of the work we get to do in marketing — no day is really like another. With a rapidly growing brand, two consumer formats, a strong group of franchise partners and the constantly changing landscape of marketing, the work is dynamic and fast-paced.

4. What do you wish health clubs knew about marketing?

That marketing is an investment in growth, not just an expense line on the P&L. Oftentimes those investments payoff with a steady, consistent approach to build awareness and consideration. Marketing today is more measurable than ever before thanks to digital marketing, but it isn’t the be-all, end-all. A sustained investment in an omni-channel approach, in my experience, typically gets the best results.

5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career?

I was on a team that was tasked with developing a promotional idea for a national campaign that would have significant national media support behind it. I was relatively new to the company at that point, and advocated a solution that, while pretty simple in concept, had never been done before — and many in the organization were worried about taking on too much risk to execute from someone without lots of experience.

6. How did you overcome that challenge?

Really through a combination of marketing and financial analysis and communication — meeting with key stakeholders one-on-one to advocate for the promotion campaign. And taking the time to build the business case and get the organization aligned before getting it proposed to the chairman.

7. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some really talented people work on my teams. I’ve learned so much from them and to see them grow and succeed in their careers is fantastic.

8. What are you working on at Crunch right now that you’re excited about?

We are working on a multi-phase initiative to refresh our brand experience. It’s all about delivering on our promise of making serious fitness fun — and doing it in a way that is true to our brand, but appealing and motivating for today’s fitness consumer. We call it Crunch 2.0 and it impacts everything — most importantly, our in-club member experience.

9. What marketing trends are you currently paying attention to?

The biggest trend I’m following right now is how the digital media landscape will change due to new data privacy laws and media company practices.

10. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Although my father didn’t coin the phrase, he once gave me this advice, “Better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”  I just think that is very wise. Listen to others, learn and have intellectual curiosity. Contribute when you can add value — and rely on others when you can’t.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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