Recap: Paradigm Shift — Marketing Well-Being Versus Fitness
On June 23, Club Solutions Magazine presented the sixth installment of a monthly virtual roundtable series on thought leadership, surrounding the paradigm shift of marketing well-being rather than just fitness.
Panelists included Kris Mulkey, the CMO of In-Shape Health Clubs; JoAnna Masloski, the COO of Wellbridge; Eddie Davila, the owner of Urban Fitness; Edward Keith Navan, the co-founder and CSO of REGYMEN Fitness and The Covery; and Mary Edwards, the fitness director and a professional fitness trainer at Cooper Fitness Center. The discussion was led and moderated by Rachel Zabonick-Chonko, the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. Sponsored by Club OS.
The following is a summary of top takeaways from the discussion, centered on member re-engagement and retention.
What is well-being?
• Variety of aspects besides just fitness and nutrition.
• Stress, financials, mental health, etc.
• Quality of life.
• Unique to each individual.
• Movement is medicine.
• Rest is vital.
• Attacking the stress in front of you right now.
• Building community to help members with mental health.
• Make sure your government and community know the importance of physical fitness and its impact on mental health.
What is driving this shift?
• This shift was not caused, but rather forced.
• Recognize there’s more than just movement.
• Clubs are having an impact on our members’ physical and mental health.
• You can get lost in statistics if not careful.
• Wellness is more important now than ever.
• Mental health market has surpassed the spa market in last year.
• 55% of Americans say they feel stressed every day.
• 25% of essential works have been diagnosed with mental health issues coming out of the pandemic.
• Are we marketing vanity or are we marketing vitality?
• It’s not about how members look, but rather how they function.
• Don’t shame people for trying to look better, but teach them the full benefits.
• Offer a place where people can always make progress and feel accomplishment.
- Change your marketing to embrace everyone.
- There is a fine line between encouraging and intimidating. Only use pictures of your actual members.
- Emphasize community.
- Become a resource for members to lean on. Share on social media statistics and information.
- Create events to get members of all ages moving.
- Consider new buzz words. Examples: movement, play, positivity and community.
- Add more storytelling in your marketing.
- We tell people what we do, rather than what we can do for them.
- Member’s stories are more relatable and attractive.
- We can’t educate anyone until they are bought in to what we do.
- Change your wording.
- Tell your members to be a kid on the fitness floor.
- “Take care of yourself, it’s OK.”
- If you feel better, you’re going to be more productive.
- It’s okay for self-care. Fitness isn’t a luxury, but a need.
- Offer the buddy system to lower the barrier.
- Give your members empowerment.
- Reduce the intimidation of coming inside the gym and to being active outside of the gym.
- How can you support members being active outside of the club?
- Market in your local parks.
- Partner with local businesses.
- Use a technology platform to get this message out: Three Sages Wellness.
- Cardiovascular programs.
- Immunity programs – helping people maximize conditioning post-COVID.
- Outdoor yoga.
- Members are great at burning calories, but not coming down after workouts. Encourage recovery.
- Track your member’s movement, body composition, well-being, cardio health and blood work.
- People started moving during the pandemic, but didn’t make a lot of progression. Create programs to help them get to the next level.
- Build member’s confidence. 30-minute workouts. Help members better understand the importance of functional movement. Members go at their own pace.
Reaching the 80%
- Intimidation is a major fear keeping potential members away.
- Give them a different reason to come in besides just working out.
- Preach the benefits of exercise can have on mental health.
- Get them involved in a group.
- Create a program that is a set time. Example: 6-week program. More likely to join when there is an end in sight, but will likely stay long after.
- Make sure you are properly portraying your gym and pushing well-being.
- Look objectively at how you are telling your story.
- Be OK with having a little bit of fun.
- Don’t take yourself so seriously as a gym. Humor gets people through the door.
- Everyone knows Planet Fitness’ “No Judgement Zone” slogan.
- Use gym stereotypes to your advantage by having fun with them.
- Portray fun and community in your marketing.
- Don’t be afraid to be authentic. Gym owners are human too. You have similar struggles as your members.
- Listen to your members and staff.
- You learn so much by just being in the club.
- Spread the word in your community.
- Consider new hires that can focus solely on well-being.
- Don’t forget to check-in with your members and staff.
- Don’t lose sight of human interaction.
- Do not stay in your lane.
- If you’re going to go into something, don’t dip your toe into it. Research it. If you can’t go 100% in partner with someone who can deliver it for you.
Love learning new insights from other owners and operators in this format? If so, consider joining a Club Solutions Mastermind Group. We offer four different types of peer-to-peer groups for every level of health club management. Email Bob Surface at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional details while spots last.
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