Fitness enthusiasts in markets across the country have a choice between signing up at a locally-owned gym or purchasing a membership with a chain. Of course, many communities offer other alternatives, through town rec centers, as well. But in the private sector, local gyms have the advantage of knowing and managing their customer base personally, while larger chains have big marketing budgets to grow their brand and drive sales.
Chains and local gyms also benefit from a superior digital strategy and customer experience. Business management software platform Glofox offers solutions at both local and enterprise scale, focusing on the essentials that get a gym up and running.
I spoke recently with Glofox, as well as one of their clients, to see what digital solutions a locally-owned gym can use to deliver a first-rate CX. But these strategies have implications at the enterprise level, and Glofox should know.
Kevin Mannion, Glofox’s VP of marketing, told me: “The rise in popularity of the single-location boutique fitness studio has raised consumer’s expectations for enterprises. The big-box gym chains are repositioning their offerings to engage members more and drive more attendance and loyalty, rather than following the traditional gym business model of selling an annual membership and forgetting about the member.”
According to Mannion, individual locations within a chain can benefit and learn from the success of others in the network. The result is a “personalized member experience” and also “easier user experience for the staff.” Since Glofox specializes in the fitness industry, their platform has the advantage over legacy enterprise software.
At the local level, marketers can see what strategies bring success and are possible to scale.
In the case of Ambition Fitness, a boutique gym in Louisville, Kentucky, a CX solution helps deliver on a concept that other fitness centers were missing. Owner Katie Daniel launched her gym with a specific audience in mind – women who wanted to work out with weights.
With a background in medical sales, Daniel drew on her own experience as a woman who wanted to lift weights in privacy with other females.
“As a woman, weights are the only thing that gave me control of my physique and got me off the rollercoaster of weight loss, weight gain, and under eating,” Daniel told me. “And while I felt okay in the weight section, it’s not female friendly. It’s usually ugly, male dominated, and inevitably there’s always that one guy who makes us feel uncomfortable.”
According to Daniel, her main demographic is women 24 to 35. For advertising, she’s heavy on digital video. Once she connects with a customer on social media, she can manage the communication in presales with the Glofox platform.
“Social is a little more effective for us,” Daniel said. “Once we’ve connected with customers on social and gotten them to follow us, then we have their attention.”
Consistency in the Ambition Fitness message is pulled together by a confident attitude in videos and at the gym.
“We’re cocky not only from a business standpoint, but also when we have classes going,” she stated. “The music is blasting, and we want women to feel that from the second they see our ad. Yeah, we’re the ‘small guy,’ but very confident that we’re not perceived that way, and it’s very intentional.”
Since Glofox is integrated into social media platforms, studios are getting most of their leads “at a very high level” that way.
“They’re doing a lot of paid social media,” Mannion said. “The goal of Glofox is to lead customers straight in from a Facebook post [and have them] booked into a class as part of one interaction. Most of the time, customers are not just being captured but booked into their first class.”
He added that tracking interactions with customers in the experience allows gyms to segment their leads and be disciplined about the sales process.
For Daniel and her employees, the Glofox platform allows visibility into memberships and revenue reports, while also allowing them to communicate effectively and pivot messaging based on customer behavior.
“Thankfully we have a proven track record now of what’s worked and what hasn’t,” Daniel explained. “Our consumers are well aware of how saturated the fitness industry is, so keeping people present and participating in your studio is absolutely crucial. It also provides us a quick process of elimination of where to focus our efforts. If they’re not interested in trying classes for two more weeks, I can promise you they don’t want to sign up for a membership.”
Fitness Ambition launched for New Years in 2019.
“Last year we were focused on just getting women to realize who we were and try a class,” Daniel said. “This year, our main focus is creating exceptional visual content for our social media advertising to get more women into the studio, while also keeping our current audience engaged and hungry for more. We know exactly how to sell our services and studio now – it’s just making sure we do it well and to a wider audience.”