Budget Marketing for the Fitness Centre

The logic of building and verifying the Marketing Budget of a fitness and wellness centre goes hand in hand or should go hand in hand with those that lead to the determination of the overall budget, including primary and secondary revenues: in fact, marketing activities are allocated as a cost with a percentage value on a turnover target.
For this reason, the marketing strategy can be determined at two different times depending on the type of organisation:

  1. 1. First hypothesis - definition in July/August in the case of a budget that is created on the logic of the sports year.
  2. 2. Second hypothesis - definition in November/December in the case of a budget that is created on the logic of the calendar year.
In this logic, the guidelines and actions for the generation of opportunities and marketing levers in support of the commercial sector are necessarily subject to constant revisions: it is a question of attributing a VARIABLE value on the basis of a goal to be achieved, which is by its nature variable.

Calculating the marketing budget as a percentage of production revenues is the method most used by micro and small companies because it is easy to compute.

Simple and quick to calculate, this method hypothetically does not require any historical information of the company;
Lacks accuracy because it is not linked to objectives to be achieved or the values which have been assigned; it does not take into account margins; it is only worth using for companies with a minimum turnover and requires several attempts before reaching the perfect percentage.
It is, however, a specific logic and rooted in the fitness and wellness centres sector, which is certainly questionable for those who deal with marketing and communication in other sectors. However, it is also necessary to guarantee a control between costs and benefits in small and medium sized realities that still see advertising, promotion and web an unexpressed potential that is difficult to measure in terms of results.

So let's try to give an identity to these activities, transforming them into numbers and values of value.

Marketing expenses/marketing costs attributable to the Centre's turnover budget are 2 - 3% in the case of ordinary management (a centre that has existed for years) and 4 - 6% in the case of start-ups or relaunched centres (business concepts, launches and inaugurations, business reviews).
The items to be included within this budget are also the subject of discussion and interpretation according to the definition of marketing adopted by the entrepreneur. It therefore happens to see the staff uniforms appear among the costs (an understandable concept because customization and logging can be part of a the logic of marketing and institutional communication) but also the printing of the paper contracts of the commercial department, the cost of management and the Internet line that supports the entire structure.

What is misunderstood in this way of conceiving marketing and its "voices" is often very simple

  1. 1. I consider MARKETING everything that involves representing the brand/logo of the company (divisions, contracts, management and headers)
  2. 2. I consider MARKETING everything that cannot be located easily and which contributes to provide a branded service of the centre.
The two logics add up and are complementary and do not realistically take into account the difference between Marketing&ampCommunication.
However, we do not want to introduce a purist approach to the subject matter: the contact person for the marketing choices of a fitness centre (which can exist as an autonomous figure but in most cases is the director supported by professionalism or dedicated subjects) should take into account the state of the art of the sector and fight to establish and block core activities, attribute them with a value and then accept the nuances of interpretation that characterise the organisational culture of the centre.

Web or online activities and off-line activities

Surely an evolution is in progress and is increasingly marked: as often happens, external trends and phenomena have facilitated it, despite the resistance of the sector. So today we are able to establish macro-categories of costs and investments to be included in the marketing budget.

Web or online activities from off-line activities

Web or online activities all this through the network promotes knowledge of the centre, its geographical location, its services and value or promotion offerings. Note that it does not necessarily coincide with web-marketing alone but also includes direct marketing, mobile marketing with landing page, social contests and social reward activities. In web activities we then identify:
  • Website & investments in seo/sem
  • Newsletter service
  • Fan page management & Facebook ads
  • Cost for other social partners
  • Sms marketing & landing page
  • Creativity (web graphics)

Off-line activities

Off-line activities all this promotes the knowledge of the centre without passing through the network. It exploits more traditional dynamics or mechanisms that are more promotional and localised over time. This category therefore includes an itinerary of promotional activities, paper prints, internal arrangements for events, gadgets, uniforms and everything that is tangible refers to marketing actions.
  • Paper prints (in support of marketing activities but also commercial)
  • Posters and other non-web local media (radio/print)
  • Gadgets/ uniforms
  • Spaces and permits for fairs, indoor and outdoor promotions
  • POP equipment
  • Cost of human resources for promotion activities
  • Advertising material for local conventions and partnerships
  • Creativity
  • Miscellaneous
The traditional distinction between above the line and below the line activities is not typical of the sector, with the first being the activities with a high image impact and investment supported by the most local and integrative activities (below): this is because, in a logic of utility and reading of the real marketing practices adopted by the centres, the concept of mass media and core investment is changing to the advantage of a centrality of localised web strategies.
To date, paradoxically and at the end of the year, there has still been a percentage imbalance towards OFF-LINE activities (70 - 75% of the total), but we are ready to bet that this relationship will change radically in the coming years. Surely, the way to determine how to spend resources optimally on marketing activities still follows today a logic of urgency and necessity: maximising the result, measuring the investment.
The truth is that in the sector it is difficult to do so with the right concentration and dedication because it is often slow to reach the primary result: revenues, without sometimes allowing what is within the sphere of marketing activities to create a critical mass of attention and the virality and word-of-mouth that transforms the same into results.

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