Say you’re a GM for a multi-site operator, a personal trainer who’s seen the value of digital during lockdown, or ANOther digital fitness enthusiast working within a gym operation where the senior management hasn’t yet bought in to the notion of a digital/hybrid future.
You know this model will be vital to the future success of the business – and with it, your job. How do you bring senior management around to your way of thinking? What indisputable points can you present, such that your thoughts move from being subjective in their eyes to being an objective truth they must consider?
Here are five key points we believe will help secure the buy-in of your senior management team.
#1 – Increase annual revenue per member
Whether via upsell – offering digital content as a premium add-on – or by even just slightly raising prices for membership tiers that include digital as standard, clubs have the potential to grow revenue per member.
They will also be offering members something they actively want – something they have become used to during lockdown. Digital should not be the hard sale it might once have been.
#2 – Create a digital-only membership
A hybrid model offers huge potential to grow your market; during lockdown, 40 per cent of all spend on live streamed and pre-recorded workouts went to businesses those individuals had never physically visited.
The instinct might be to immediately look at how, if a lot of members opt for a more digitally-skewed membership – one that commands a lower price tag – the sustainability of the physical offering might be affected. However, it’s important to recognise new opportunities: namely, that digital opens clubs up to a far bigger audience. One that isn’t limited by geographical proximity. There may be less revenue per head, but there are many more heads to go after.
Digital-only is, incidentally, also a great way to introduce new (local) prospects to your brand before they take the plunge and visit your club.
#3 – Monetize the database
Creating a digital offering allows you to get back in touch with those who made an enquiry, even did a club tour, but who never went on to join. Similarly, it gives you something to contact former members about, even if their reason for leaving was because they were moving out of the area.
It might just be the trigger needed to re-engage these individuals with your brand, and to extract revenue from sections of the club database that might otherwise lie dormant.
#4 – Join the ‘attention economy’
Gyms today are up against some serious competition when it comes to securing a share of people’s fitness spend. Meanwhile, we know that exercising 2+ times a week drives loyalty to the platform or brand facilitating it.
With all the changes in society right now – already happening before but hammered home by COVID – it’s less and less likely that all exercise will happen within the four walls of a health club. Add a digital facet to your club’s offering and you’ll boost the likelihood of members engaging with your brand 2.4 times a week – the magic number.
#5 – Stay relevant to your members
Building on point #4, it’s vitally important to the future survival of gyms that they stay relevant to their members. That gyms show they are there to support members in achieving their goals, even if that isn’t always in their facility. Be accessible, be flexible around the diverse ways in which people choose to exercise nowadays. Give people more options to engage with your brand, not an excuse to disengage from you altogether.
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