When gyms first became popular in the 1990s, it was a bespoke industry. Operators aimed to learn as much as they could about their members. They had regular conversations about who members were, what they wanted, and why they were there.
Fast forward a few decades, and the digital transformation changed that. Screens rule in this digital age, and the industry seems to be losing some of the personal touches that made gyms unique in the first place. Instead of asking members who they are and what they want, operators are using their websites and digital channels to focus on who they are and what their brands stand for.
Make no mistake, no one is dissing the dawn of the digital age — quite the opposite. The very thing that caused a fall in personal experiences at the gym is what can, and will, bring them back: technology.
Today, operators have the power to transform member experiences at the gym and make them more personal than ever. By asking members straightforward demographic questions during their online journeys, they can gather enough data to truly understand the people who are walking through their gym doors.
Then, through member apps and online services, operators can reach members in unprecedented ways with campaigns that are tailor-made for them, and rewards and services they value.
And through this technology, clubs can create more in-person interactions, too. Through staff apps, we can free up time spent behind a computer screen, giving trainers more time with members for the quality interactions that they crave.
Big data, wearables and artificial intelligence (AI) have ushered in a host of challenges and opportunities for all industries — and fitness is no exception. Technology is the most substantial opportunity for personalization we have. By harnessing the power of technology, we can provide memorable member journeys that are more personal than ever before.