Marketing can make or break your business. With this in mind, following are 15 secrets to profitable fitness business marketing.
1. Build the right culture: John McCarthy of IHRSA stated, “Clubs without a strong ‘retail sales’ culture cannot and will not succeed in this business.”
2. Think strategic marketing: What market segments will you target? How will you target them? And how do you want to ‘position’ your club?
3. Build a great product. Peter Drucker said, “True marketing does not start with ‘what do we want to sell?’ It asks ‘what does the customer want to buy?’”
4. Use a professional sales system: Do not underestimate the power of a professional sales system to turn leads into members.
5. Provide sales training: According to McCarthy, “It is incumbent upon all clubs to continually invest in improving the skills of their sales personnel.”
6. Implement strong sales management: Sales manager or not, the sales function still needs to be managed for maximum success.
7. Sales team: Use professional sales staff, or provide fitness staff with the skills they need to succeed.
8. Direct marketing: Use direct mail, email or SMS marketing to build membership.
9. Build profitable databases: The goal of all fitness businesses should be to own and dominate their market. Do this by building your own sales database.
10. Lead generation: Use proven lead generation tools to fill your database with people you can help.
11. Digital marketing: Successful digital marketing strategies can provide more sales leads than you can handle. But ensure your digital marketing fits in with your business goals.
12. Social media: Be sure to use Facebook’s advertising targeting capabilities.
13. Marketing technology: Use CRM systems, web intelligence and marketing automation software to automate sales and marketing.
14. Build your brand: The creation and development of fitness brands represent a powerful source of sustainable competitive advantage.
15. Retention: Use retention marketing tools to increase the lifetime value of a member. At our clubs, if we extend the average membership by 30 days, we get another $1.6 million per year.
Alan Leach is the group general manager and director of sales and marketing at West Wood Clubs.