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Launch, land and avoid rust: How to make a success of digital


As Managing Director of UK-based sport and exercise charity Active Nation, Stuart Martin has long been a proponent of the value of all forms of physical activity, not just the activity that happens in a gym environment. Indeed, Active Nation’s mission is simply to persuade the nation to be active – “and I don’t mind how people do that,” he explains.

Active Nation’s early adoption of the Wexer Web Player is very much in line with this thinking. By creating Active Nation On Demand, it not only allows its supporters – the charity’s preferred term for its members – to be active under expert guidance wherever and whenever they choose, but also provides a pathway into activity for those who don’t engage with its physical venues.

All of which makes Stu the perfect candidate to chat to us on The Wexer Podcast. You can hear the full podcast here – but here’s a little taster of what he had to say…

  • Even pre-COVID, Active Nation believed it could exist without venues. A digital proposition that would take it where the other 80 per cent were was key to that vision.
  • When it comes to digital, you have to start with the end in mind. Be clear on your desired outcomes, keep it simple, and align digital with your core proposition. Do not treat it as a bolt-on.
  • To secure team buy-in, be clear that digital isn’t there to replace them, walk the walk yourself, and make them raving fans. Active Nation gives its whole team 30 minutes a day to be active, and ensuring everyone hits 5 x 30 minutes is a KPI for the business.
  • ‘Launch, land and avoid rust’: Getting digital up and running is as hard as launching a start-up. It won’t happen overnight, so be patient and keep plugging away. Then continually work to keep it alive and fresh, including channelling a steady stream of new content from your own instructors.
  • Keep it real and keep it inclusive. If you use influencers, make sure they’re real people with lifestyle challenges your customers will identify with.
  • Simplify, simplify and then simplify again to remove all the barriers and friction points.
  • And finally, for Active Nation, measurement isn’t just about the numbers – who uses its digital platform and how often – but about how happy and healthy it makes them feel. It uses NPS to ask people if they feel like it’s making a difference.


The Wexer Podcast sees Wexer CEO Paul Bowman speak to digital pioneers and experts from around the world, offering listeners insights and advice to support their own digital journeys. Follow the podcast, browse all episodes and listen right here. For more information on any of the topics covered contact us at info@wexer.com.





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