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Digital: Be the Spark that Changes Perception


Ben Hackney-Williams, the head of content at Myzone, shares why you should offer communities more versatility to move through digital avenues.

It’s incredible that so many people are still debating the benefits of digital versus bricks and mortar like it’s a binary decision dictating the future of the fitness industry. Collaboration is critical to future success. This only comes by offering communities more versatility to move wherever they feel comfortable.

There are so many operators embracing every platform to add as much value to their expertise and facilities as possible. However, those who are solely backing the horse of how things used to be are likely to get left behind. Now is the time to make a difference, partnering with additional service industries and offering new opportunities to improve the lives in your community.

Imagine the benefits of evolving the physical activity sector to no longer take the traditional approach to fitness. To be taken more seriously in your community as a health and wellness provider in tandem with the health service is powerful. Giving people the option of where they want to work out and move will make more people au fait with the industry and get more people talking about fitness as something fun, instead of it being seen as a chore. That elusive majority of people who don’t exercise regularly is increasingly familiar with how beneficial it can be now more than ever. But this change won’t happen unless we adapt how we work.

That’s not all. Of course, with a new digital approach — in parallel with bricks and mortar — comes another level of data that will be key to your business success. Take the guesswork out of the numbers game with an integrated online community and you’ll see what your members like doing, where they like doing it, when they do it and who they talk to about it. If nothing else, this allows you to engage deeper with their lifestyle — not just gym time — and reach more people that wouldn’t have previously heard your expertise.

Have faith in your offering and core community to reach out to new partners, new industries and create new opportunities. Join up with other gyms for member challenges that encourage healthy competition. Create content that moves people in the gym and out. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by to change perception and be more than “just a gym” in the eyes of the majority.

Ben Hackney-Williams

Ben Hackney-Williams is head of content at Myzone. Follow him @_BenHW or email him at ben.hackney@myzone.org.

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