THE WAR against flabby fat and lethargy has seen an energetic boom in profits for the fitness industry worth billions to the economy in recent years.
Some $21.8 billion was clocked in total revenue for the keep-fit trade last year (2012), according to a report by the IHRSA. The same study recorded that 58.5 million Americans were signed up to fitness centers right across the USA as of January, 2013.
Mobile phone applications have become key power changers for driving the fitness trade. Everyone is using them – both gym fanatics and business owners. And the cultural landscape of the national health club community has changed as a result. Promoting fitness business apps sounds like part of a marketing strategy. But this is not a stand-alone perspective. Facts found via unbiased research prove that fitness clubs enjoy a surge in interest, when they link up to a mobile device application.
For example, AhHa! Insights discovered that 60 per cent of downloaded health apps are fitness-related from a study last year, 2012.The same study disclosed that 31 million apps downloaded were also fitness related, during the same time period. It shows there is a huge audience out there for all things fitness. An audience with money to spend on healthier lifestyles.
One case study has shown a remarkable uplift in revenue for a health club in North Carolina. Mobile Marketer magazine said the club wanted to increase gym members. A mobile marketing company helped them run a text-in ‘call to action’ linked to TV ads. It was specially targeted for local commuters who might want to join a fitness center or get personal training. There were several mobile marketing channels available such as mobile apps, mobile website and text messaging. This company focused on texts for its advertising strategy.
Free registration and a trial membership were offered. Afterwards the club’s owners were ‘thrilled’ at the response. They also disclosed that 44 percent of respondents also opted to receive ongoing mobile phone text messages from the company.
So the big question is: how can a mobile phone application benefit your own fitness business? It’s not just text messaging – there are lots of functions which can be built around your unique brand. Let clients track their fitness levels on an ongoing basis with regular feedback from a trainer via the app. Or think of the possibilities with training schedules, promoting specific equipment or classes at your gym.
What about a check-in function? It allows easy access to gym facilities for busy people. Users just present a mobile membership card for reception staff to scan and usher the customer through. Members can share their check-in to Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter accounts giving their location when they arrive at a club.
They also can use the app to send a two-week guest pass to a friend. Or post a referral as a link via Facebook to offer guest passes to all their friends.A ‘class finder’ can also be set up so members can be on time searching by class name, instructor, time or location.
There are lots of creative options with offers for both would-be members and current members.
But it’s not just the client who benefits from this interaction. You, as a business owner, no longer have to worry if your fitness club will survive or guess where your customers will come from. Setting up a specially designed app from I’m In Marketer would be a wonderful ongoing resource for your club’s community to interact with you, and each other. And that means profit.