Faced with our sector’s rapid pivot to online during 2020, our collective hand forced by lockdown, it’s easy to think of your fit-tech journey as a sprint.
My message is this, with apologies that it may seem a little contradictory.
- It isn’t a sprint
We are all – even the most digitally advanced among us – just at the beginning of our fit-tech journeys. Much has happened this year, and it feels like it’s all happening very fast. And yet as fast as change is happening, we need to realise that this is a marathon, not a sprint. In fact, let’s go one step further and recognise that it’s a journey with no defined end point. We simply have to set out in the right direction and keep taking the correct turns as new opportunities present themselves, whether that’s live streaming now or, in the future, syncing with smart fridges to offer personalised meal plans based on health-sensor chips embedded in our members’ bodies. In a nutshell, we need to take a long-term perspective.
- But you do have to move fast
That all sounds very futuristic, but change is coming fast and we have to respond fast. A marathon, yes, and some of these opportunities may be a way down the line, but that long-term perspective doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do now. At the very least, every fitness business should have passed the starting line of its own fit-tech marathon by now. If not, my simple advice is this: start now. Just start, then learn and adapt as you go. We are in unusual times where members appreciate whatever support and flexibility we can offer them in their unsettled lives. They are willing to forgive a few ‘well, that doesn’t work’ moments as we try things out, ask for their feedback, learn, evolve, establish what works best for them and for us. Data is obviously a game changer here.
Bringing together the above two points gives us a clear directive: start, but make sure you set out in the right direction.
That means putting a digital strategy in place. Important, here, is to remember that your digital offering will be your extension of your brand. If you have loyal members at your club, and you create an online offering that’s relevant to them, you don’t actually have to compare yourself to the big brands – the Apples and Pelotons of this world. What would a digital extension of your offering and your brand look like? Who are your members, your demographic, and what do they want? This isn’t about copying others. It’s about complementing your unique physical, in-club experience with a digital one that’s equally unique and relevant to your customers.
The other important decision you must make is your choice of digital partner. Key here is to choose an expert that has all the technology you need, but also the interests of your business at heart. Your brand should be front and centre. Your business model should inform the tech, not the other way round: you shouldn’t be confronted with limitations on your content, features, monetisation options and so on, simply because it doesn’t fit the commercial model of a vendor. Just keep in mind that everything comes with an investment so perhaps don’t load on all features you have ever seen at day 1.
Wexer is here to help with all of this, with an open platform, agnostic technology, extensive options to bespoke your digital experience, and the expertise to help you develop and refine your digital strategy before you go live and throughout your fit-tech journey.
We are here to help you start, and we are here to help you succeed.
To find out more, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org