Robert Louw, the chief growth officer for Wexer, shares tips on how to offer a successful hybrid program.
Let’s start by addressing a common misconception. A hybrid fitness model doesn’t mean in-club over here, digital over there. Fitness consumers aren’t choosing either/or. They’re doing both, almost interchangeably, depending on their needs and schedules each day.
So, what hybrid actually means is embracing digital and in-person equally, creating a broad series of touchpoints that allow every single customer to consume your product in the way that best suits them on any given day.
Key to that is ensuring you deliver the same user experience whatever the access point. It has to be utterly consistent — a seamless ecosystem in which each customer will use multiple touchpoints and expects the same quality each time.
Indeed, the key to success moving forward will be viewing everything you do as one big customer-centric experience. This includes in-person workouts, livestreamed or on-demand sessions with your in-house stars, and on-demand content from global experts to ensure strength in depth. Other than the in-person experience — which will never be replaced — everything should be available in-club, in-app, online, on a TV, etc.
And we’re talking the same, exact experience. This includes the same on-demand workouts with your home-grown superstars offered through your club’s app as well as on the big screen in your group exercise studio, for example. It also includes one, consistent — and consistently great — experience to build familiarity, drive brand loyalty and ensure member satisfaction across every touchpoint.
Once you accept that, our next fact becomes less daunting.
Research shows to maximize your digital impact, you need to be creating your own content starring your in-house superstars. So far, so good. You’ve probably been doing it already. However, we’ve also found the tipping point is at least eight new pieces of content a day.
It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? But now consider what we’ve just told you. Everything is one big experience.
That means every piece of content can go into the same pot. Start by looking at your live timetable. Where are your superstars? Which are your waitlisted classes? Because here’s where hybrid comes into its own. You can maximize reach and ROI by filming these classes. Install a simple camera set-up in-studio and you’ll quickly hit the eight pieces of content you need each day.
It’s part of what we’re calling the “flywheel” — a virtuous circle whereby clubs create their own digital content, make it available in-club and on mobile, drive higher engagement among marketing teams and members alike thanks to local faces on-screen, and grow their star instructors — including paying them more; their contribution must be rewarded. Usage and revenue rises, meaning more to invest in content, meaning superstars continue to grow.
The secret is to fully commit. A hybrid program isn’t just a project. It’s a new model in which digital is a key business division — one that must be resourced and prioritized.