Internal Marketing: The Neglected Element

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
Internal Marketing is more than just posters; it serves a critical role in the forward movement of your business. It should be a key aspect incorporated into your overall marketing strategy. If you believe that relying primarily on monthly dues revenue to sustain your operation limits your growth potential, then embrace the practice of continually selling to your members. Unfortunately it’s one of the more neglected elements of health club marketing plans and it may just be that some of you haven’t connected the dots to see the big picture. So let’s break it down into Why to internally market, What the basis for the promotions and campaigns are and How to effectively do so. Why There are several goals for internal marketing, but they’re based on two fundamental aspects of the practice. The first is Retention. We know a connected member is one who remains your member for longer. Because it’s more cost-effective for you to service existing members

Branding: Who are you?

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
“Your brand is possibly your most important attribute. It defines who you are, your values, your desires, your goals and your beliefs. It is the character of your company, from the inside out and how it is perceived from the outside looking in. It must work to develop credibility and foster trust in your business.” This is taken directly from SKB’s website, it’s our philosophy on what a brand is and it is from this place that we work to develop a visual identity to uphold the brand and execute a strategy to reinforce and nurture it. What is your brand? It’s certainly more than your logo. Your brand is the personality of your business. From your core beliefs spring your unique business practices, which communicate and reinforce the visual identity of your brand. The creative designs and messaging are therefore integral pieces of the whole, which is your brand. They reflect your beliefs, they are your image and they

Sure-fire Marketing for Spring

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
Planting the Seeds For Better Marketing Spring! Has it snuck up on you? The arrival of spring is a welcome change for many of us, whether it is simply better weather or the promise of fresh starts, new growth and opportunity. For many, spring cannot arrive too soon. Unless you don’t have a marketing plan! The ‘New Year’s Resolution’ season is over for another year and hopefully your club business was able to take advantage of a tidal wave of prospects that evolved into a wealth of new members who are now actively working out in the club. Even if this is the case, now is not the time to sit back and admire the fruits of your first quarter marketing labors. It is time to dig deep and cultivate the next crop of new members. Spring Clean Your Marketing Plan Just because spring is coming and you feel like a change, before you abandon your entire marketing plan and

Launch A Summer Referral Promotion Now!

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
Create some buzz in your club this summer! The summer tends to be a little slower for many clubs, but it doesn’t have to be. It is a great opportunity to combine a couple months of your marketing budget, have some fun and get a ton of fresh leads and new members. Referral promotions are nothing new to our industry, but unfortunately, too many clubs don’t put enough time and effort into getting the message out to members and creating some excitement about their promotion. A bike hanging from the ceiling or a grill against the wall surrounded by a few posters just isn’t going to cut it any more. You need to market your promotion and get your members talking and wanting to be apart of it. First of all, there is a prevailing mentality amongst many members that “I never win anything so I’m not going to bother.” Here are a few ways to introduce a multi-pronged approach

Ready. Aim. Fire. Fire. Fire!

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
During the turn of the century, a junior U.S. Navy Officer gave his superiors an idea of constantly firing upon targets using a method of continuous-aim firing. It never occurred to the leaders of the ship to overcompensate for the perpetual motion of the ocean, so the results because of his suggestion were incredible. There are many similarities between a navy vessel in the water and a fledging company on the vast ocean of advertising. Both are fighting for advancement, both are in constant motion, and both are trying to hit the fast-moving targets. How did the Navy win? By using the continuous-aim firing strategy. They found their target and kept firing until they saw results, and then, they still kept firing.  READY. AIM. FIRE. FIRE. FIRE! This is what successful businesses do. “Direct mail doesn’t work.” You’ve likely said it, or at least thought it, and I’ve heard it thousands of times over the years. For the most part,

Welcome to the Hilton …we have beds!

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
One of the hardest things to do in marketing is connect emotionally to your prospect. Telling them how much stuff you have in your club just doesn’t do it, which makes me wonder why so many clubs continue to make that their message. One of my favorite quotes from Thomas Plummer is, “Welcome to the Hilton… We have beds!” It’s a painfully obvious, albeit funny, statement, but this is a fundamental problem with many of the advertisements you see for our industry; they are features-driven. More weights, better treadmills, bigger lockers, etc. Yes, you have the stuff and paid a lot of money for it. Who else cares? Not Jane and Joe Prospect. If they are like the majority of prospects, then they have never been members of a club, and all that ‘stuff’ intimidates them. Worse still, they may feel that they are not yet fit enough to join your club! When it comes to prospects, the small percent

How Direct Mail Can Boost Your Networking Efforts

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
10 Tips to Help You Get the Results You Want A clear, bold headline. A graphic that supports the message. The graphic should be easy to understand and add to the message the headline is trying to convey. Color that pops. Make the headline and other text stand out by using a color that stands out from the background color. Subheads that lead into text. If you have a couple of paragraphs of text with no lead in, there’s nothing to entice people to actually read the copy. A subhead will give people a place to start reading. Benefits, benefits, benefits. One of the biggest errors people make in advertising is stating features, rather than benefits. The offer. An offer is always a good idea and should represent a specific reason to call now, such as “Limited supply”. Your company name and logo. Although this needs to be on the mailer, it shouldn’t overshadow the offer. Customers care most about

Our Surefire Marketing Solution for Your Club

Posted on October 18, 2017
Category: Blog
In the fitness club industry, 40% of our clients leave each year. We must replace them and find even more in order to remain profitable. Prospects are the lifeblood of the industry, and we require hundreds of them every month. Where do we find them? IHRSA studies indicate that 90% of people most likely to join your club either live or work within a 15- to 30-minute drive of your facility. Advertising directly to this audience concentrates marketing efforts on the people that count, and dollars are not wasted outside your market area. The most effective way to reach these prospects is with marketing that gets directly into their hands. “Direct mail: My first love and secret weapon.” – David Ogilvy, Ogilvy & Mather. The BIG advantages: Audience selectivity: We will identify the audience most likely to join your club and market directly to them. Exclusivity: Your direct mail travels by itself and stands alone so your message does not

Stay Ahead of Your Competition

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
Every club owner faces the same question: How do I increase revenues and stay ahead of my competition with a sluggish economy and rising costs? The solution: you have to market to stay ahead. It’s a proven fact, you have to continually market your club to ensure prospects know you exist: Studies have shown, companies that maintained or boosted their marketing budget during the 1974 recession enjoyed 132% growth by 1978, compared to 79% for those that cut advertising. The same is true for the 1981 downturn. Marketers who got more aggressive with their marketing were rewarded with 275% sales growth by 1985, while growth for companies that decreased spending averaged just 19%.* Right! So, how do you as club owners execute this solution and make sure you get the best possible results? At Susan K. Bailey Advertising, our entire objective is to create effective club marketing that gets noticed, makes your brand memorable, speaks your message loud and clear

The Beginners Guide to Facebook

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
A quick and easy guide to everything you need to start a page for your business, from how-to post, upload photos, videos and much more... Download Now!

How Long is a Piece of String?

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
It’s a seemingly irrelevant question isn’t it! Although, does it make any less sense than questions such as: How do I get fit? Or, how do I market my business? There is always more than one right answer, but the one thing they do have in common is the need for more information in order to answer correctly. If you ask the right question you will usually get the right answer. Summer is here and many of us, especially those of us in the north, are happy to get out and enjoy a few libations on the patio, a great cookout with friends and family or pretty much anything we can enjoy that doesn’t involve work, for the next couple of months. Once the school bell rings again we’ll jump back in where we left off! Well, I suppose you can, and let’s hope that’s exactly what your competition is doing. Good operators, on the other hand, are looking at

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
Member Retention In Your Club by Tracey Bourdon Head Marketing Coach at Susan K. Bailey Marketing At times it seems that for any club, even their best members can start to lose their motivation. They visit the club less and less frequently, and horror, they may even cancel their membership. What has happened to them? Perhaps if we can begin to understand this gradual decline in their participation, we will be able to prevent it from happening. There are reasons why the member joined in the first place and just as many reasons they choose to leave. In most situations, if you have a strong member retention program in play, they can be encouraged to stay. Why do members join fitness clubs? Members more frequently give the following two reasons for joining a health club: To stay healthy and stay in shape. Approximately half (49%) join to lose weight. (Source: IHRSA Trend Report). The first questions you should ask are:

Summer – A Perfect Time for Your Marketing Checklist!

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
Welcome to summer! Unless you are on the west coast of the country where it is summer twelve months of the year, most health clubs will slow down until the little kiddies get ready to return to school in the fall. Families and friends will take their major vacation at this time of year, attend cookouts and other social gatherings and move to the outdoors to get much of their physical activity. By this time you will have already created your plan for the summer, to maximize all the relevant opportunities (outdoor group fitness classes, member parties, community involvement, etc.) so it is time to get on the ball and plan for the rest of the year. Take a deep breath, pause and reflect on what just happened and what lies ahead. Plan, Execute, Track, Rinse and Repeat Okay so I added in the part about rinsing, but you get the idea. The summer is an ideal time to review

Make a Marketing Resolution

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
It’s a new year and as tradition dictates, it’s time to make a resolution to get better at something this year. I say, let’s make a marketing resolution! Why not? Let’s all agree to work from a marketing plan this year. Growing a successful business requires continuous marketing and continuous marketing can only be successful when there is a plan in place that dictates the what, when and how of it all. And equally as important, a plan helps you track and analyze the results of your efforts to create a road map for the future. A great place to start is to do some digging and determine where you need to increase your revenue. For instance, how healthy is your dues line? Do you have 30% of your members participating in Personal Training? Are your profit centers performing at full potential? Assign growth goals to these areas and develop a marketing plan to meet and even exceed your goals.

Q1: The Referral Campaign

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
Happy New Year! A new year has just begun and as is every New Year, it is a gift full of promise and growth yet to be realized. Now is the time to roll up your sleeves and turn to page one of your Marketing Plan! January has energy unlike any other month in the fitness industry. Consider this statistic, “More than 12 percent of gym members join in January, compared to an average of 8.3 percent per month for the full year.” according to the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) 1. Clearly, New Year’s resolutions are a powerful motivator and by their very nature force people out of their comfort zones and into your clubs. Make the most of this uptick in new member sales by implementing timely, creative and exciting internal and external marketing campaigns to generate leads and empower your brand. (Hint: They should jump off the pages of your marketing plan!) Time your marketing

What has Your Website Done for You Lately?

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
Websites are high-functioning, integrated marketing tools that should be working for you 24/7. I believe all the marketing you do for your club or studio, whether in print or digital, should begin and end with your website. The main objectives of your site are to capture prospect contact information and drive traffic to your physical location. Achieving maximum lead generation requires that specific elements be in place to inform, inspire, capture contact data and compel prospects to want know more. What has your site done for your business lately? Have you captured information from your visitors? Are your blogs, schedules and videos being shared on social media? Is your site easily viewed on mobile devices? Can you readily and easily make content changes to keep your site fresh and current? Is your hosting service reliable? I met with our web design team to get useful answers to these vital questions. Lori Vilneff, Lead Web Designer and Tracey Bourdon, Marketing Manager

How to Run a Fitness Study

Posted on October 17, 2017
Category: Blog
The 21-day Fitness Study: Don’t be Afraid! Once upon a time I ran a multi-purpose health club that was afraid of the 21-day Fitness Study. “How do we do this?” “Do we have enough staff?” “Can we afford it?” Those are just a few of the objections I overcame.  Honestly, we couldn’t afford NOT to run a prospecting campaign of this type. It truly is one of the best ways to reach the de-conditioned population in your market that aren’t walking into your studios now. Whether you’re an independent trainer working with clients in their homes, are operating a small studio, or you’re large enough to have a staff, this program can be done and done well! Before I go further, I’d like to make a distinction between the words campaign and program. They’re featured throughout this article, however; they are not being used interchangeably. Campaign refers to the marketing piece of the study and program refers to the structure
You need a marketing plan. Without one, you are like a person in a dark room trying to find something. Eventually you may stumble across it, but how much time did you waste in the process? If you had turned on the lights, the odds are that you would have found it a lot faster. Let?s see if we can turn on a light or two. A good marketing plan helps you define goals and develop activities to achieve those goals. Keep it simple when you start, but return often to revise and update it. Here are the basic elements to get you started:     Describe your Unique Selling Proposition     Define your Target Market     Clarify the Benefits of your Club     Position your Club     Create your Marketing Communications Plan     Define your Budget and Resources     Revisit and Refine your Marketing Plan How do you tell the world about you? We refer to this as a marketing

Take Advantage of Summer

Posted on October 16, 2017
Category: Blog
Leverage Q3 for a Strong Q4 Quarter 3 can be, when used wisely, a powerful set-up for quarter 4 successes. Take advantage of the summer season and its unique set of characteristics, such as low and/or inconsistent member usage, to leverage your brand to achieve Top of Mind status with prospects. It’s a matter of using this time to increase brand awareness that generate leads in the fall. Additional aspects of your business to address are planning, testing and strategizing. Brand Awareness Brand Awareness is achieved by blanketing your market with your brand in as many marketing vehicles as you can afford to execute. Budget friendly suggestions are: Guerrilla Marketing – the act of deploying somewhat non-traditional marketing tactics such as flyer distribution, face to face meetings with local businesses and community event participation are extremely useful at this time of year. They tend to be lower cost to execute and in exchange, require more effort on your part. Guerrilla