- the type of reference persons, evaluated by crossing the common parameters that define the targets (gender, age, profession, interests) with those of seasonal fitness and the centre itself (members, former members, friends of members);
- the concrete and measurable objectives to be presented to the organization to measure redemption (number of requests, number of compilations, number of clicks) thanks to the communication plan, on the basis of historical data;
- the creativity that must allow the achievement of these objectives, in terms of style, images and text, identification of the message with the image of the center;
- the means of communication chosen for the various actions over time with a calendar of creation times, not just execution times;
- the budget available and how it will be distributed between the different instruments;
- the system for monitoring activities and reporting, not only with other people involved in marketing and communication but also with the organization's contacts operating in other sectors.
Mistakes not to be made
Communication strategy and marketing tasks
You don't need to communicate anymore, you just need to learn how to communicate WELL, how to make the message more professional, to filter it into social environments where the judgment and where the search for originality are amplified.
Short history of fitness club communication
1985 - 2000: the start of the season of a fitness centre could normally be communicated with a sign near the structure, an advertisement in the newspaper and leaflets in the city with the image of the room and the inscription "NEW GYM SEASON - INAUGURATION 1st of SEPTEMBER", with a choice of images that enhanced the aesthetic culture of the body;
2000 - 2004: in a context that is becoming competitive and more complex, in which the web is also a new opportunity for the sector, the launch of the activities must be supported by a more identifying poster and the first web windows, with a choice of images of men and women who train, with greater attention to the distribution of the message;
From 2005 to the present: in a panorama in which communication is made by seeking the collaboration of the user, the message must be differentiated according to the service map, takes into account the different targets, can even provide different visuals for different positions online and offline, often giving up the classic images of trained physicists and spaces and instead introducing emotional subjects or metaphorical images that speak to those who observe in an innovative way.
Communication passes through smartphones, the reinforcement of vertical visuals, social media, newsletters, information points in the city centre: to arrive at the result of approaching people and informing them about a change, a start to the season, a novelty, it is necessary to think that the number of leads to be involved must be obtained through multiple paths. This is certainly the revolution that affects those who organize the communication of a centre: it therefore means making the moment of planning a fundamental moment, not to give up the diversification and personalization of the message for lack of time in subsequent phases, risking falling into the temptation of the only traditional campaign.
Key factors for defining the strategy
2. The type of users who approach fitness today is potentially increased, more variable and more stimulated with specific campaigns. Today we talk about fitness to the very young who might otherwise spend too much time on the sofa, for the over-65s who are still called to be in the workforce or engaged in society with more proactive roles, for women and mothers educated in search of their own dimensions of well-being.
3. Targets need to be cautious because in fitness the new communication era is changing dramatically and some roads have yet to be sufficiently tested.
4. The means of communication used must be innovative but also traditional, respecting some users accustomed to certain practices.
5. The available budget has always been calculated in percentages on the turnover target and can now be further reduced in certain seasonal periods, taking advantage of web accessibility, releasing investment opportunities for specific events or moments.
6. The system of monitoring and coding results or failures, trends, indicators becomes even more important, because the achievement of a level of satisfaction is no longer measured only in terms of new acquisitions but also of improved renewal rates, positive word of mouth and the ability to track involvement of users.