Gen Z — those born between 1997 to 2012 — make up 20.67% of the U.S. population. That’s 68.6 million Americans, meaning it’s a huge group to capitalize on as more and more make their way into the fitness industry.
As the most diverse and technology-driven generation, Gen Zers bring a new dynamic perspective to the industry. On the latest installment of the Club Solutions Thought Leaders panel, three experts, sat down to discuss how the industry can best serve this generation moving forward. They include:
- Billy Grenham, the chief marketing officer of CycleBar
- Matt Wright, a partner and the General Manager of The Fort Athletic Club
- Ann Marie Barbour, the director of programming and operations at The Mine
One thing all of the panelist agreed on is the best way to market to this generation is through social media — specifically on Instagram and TikTok. However, Wright noted it’s important to have members of Gen Z as the ones running the marketing to ensure it is authentic and successful.
“We spend nearly all our marketing budget around social media ad spend,” said Wright. “We have an outside marketing agency that leads our entire team. They come in and film twice a month and the best part is they are Gen Zers. They know all the trending things. As a 38-year-old, I’m not going to know what’s happening on TikTok or some of these other places. As much as I like to research it, it’s just not my platform.”
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to marketing is the message you’re sending. More and more members of the Gen Z population are working out as a form of self care or to improve their mental health, not to lose weight or look a certain way.
“There is a lot of pressure on Gen Z — social epidemics, pressure from parents, pressure from work, etc.,” said Barbour. “Way more than we had when I was young. We never talk about weight and beauty; we talk about strength and happiness. We focus on the holistic approach, and they appreciate that.”
Grenham added it’s important to leverage Gen Z’s presence on social media and give them something to post about.
“We want the experience to be over the top,” said Grenham. “We know our audiences — specifically Gen Z — are craving community. They are such social beings, digital natives and have never grown up without a supercomputer in their hands. I want to give them something to talk about, so our programming is really doubling down on different pillars of cultures. This gives them not only a reason to come but to bring their friends and families.”
Here are more takeaways from the discussion on how to best serve Gen Z:
- In your marketing, use quick clips that capture their attention. Put CTAs in the video.
- Host events that cater to certain age groups at your facility.
- Cause-related marketing and events are a hit with this group.
- This generation is gravitating toward strength and full-body workouts.
- This group really cares about mental health. Consider trying marketing messages that target working out to lower stress instead of lowering the scale.
- This is the most diverse generation out there.
- Ask your Gen Z members their wants and needs. Do what’s best for your facility and population.
- Be accepting of everyone who comes into your facility.
- Consider creating spaces in your facility where they can record themselves working out.
- Let loose and try new things with this generation.
With more than 40% of Gen Z visiting gyms at least once a month — according to research from Les Mills — knowing what is important to this generation and how to serve them can be key for your facility’s success in the future.
Watch the full discussion below.
Leave a Reply