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Key Features in a Marketing Partner


We’re all in unknown territory. No playbooks exist nor how-to guides to follow, and globally we’re working our way through this pandemic one hour at a time. Stay-at-home orders have temporarily shut down the world and all sectors of the economy are impacted. The fitness industry is particularly hard hit. 

In spite of everything, health club teams are leaning into the challenge by inspecting all aspects of their businesses. The “down time” is being used to improve facilities and uncover business practices in need of advancement. 

“There’s no time like the present” has never rung truer. When considering the opportunity before us, it is time to “clean house.” For those clubs reviewing their marketing efforts for gaps and considering what might be needed in the new world we’re about to enter, we’re sharing insights on key aspects of engaging a marketing partner.

Many health clubs don’t have in-house marketing teams, and for those that do, they often find these teams with significant responsibilities that rob them of dedicated time to focus on marketing. Additionally, consider that marketing has evolved into a highly complex set of ongoing tasks, making the benefits of engaging experienced marketing partners very real.

Working with marketing professionals, especially those with experience in fitness marketing, is akin to a member with fitness goals hiring a personal trainer. The member knows the outcome they want, and they know they don’t possess the skills to reach their goals alone. The considerable expertise of a personal trainer is worth the investment.

Marketing is a core and critical component of healthy, growing businesses and the group of folks tasked with managing this department must be invested in the club’s overall well-being. A commitment to maximizing ROI, reducing expenses and a promise to maintain brand standards is non-negotiable.

Is the potential marketing partner well-versed in a mix of channels or do they lean on “just” one or two? Are they adept at using data to define target audiences and provide conversion reporting that aligns with reality? Choose a marketing partner that is channel agnostic, and who understands how data guides targeting decisions, content and channel selection. 

What is the client experience like? Is there a practical and cultural fit between your business and theirs? Marketing is extremely time sensitive and knowing a partner will be there when needed, time and again is invaluable. Ask for references and learn about the proposed partner. Ask colleagues and peers in the industry what they like and don’t like about them to guide informed decisions.

Like most things “worth doing” in life, investment and effort is required, and finding the right marketing partner is no different. Spend time comparing and getting to know prospective partners to find the right fit. 

Deneen Laprade

Deneen Laprade is the vice president of business development with Instinctive Insights and can be reached at dlaprade@instinctiveinsights.com or visit instinctiveinsights.com.

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