WELCOME TO MMC®’S DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTH CLUB MARKETING AND PROFESSIONAL HEALTH CLUB MEMBERSHIP SALES SYSTEMS
These are campaign strategies and sales systems built on research and tested in the marketplace that has been proven to work.
Two things you must know before you even start to think about designing a marketing campaign…your product, and your target (prospect). Hopefully you already know your product like the back of your hand and you have done your research profiling your ideal target.
As far as deciding what vehicle is best fitted for delivering your message your budget and goals will determine that. We have provided another tab in this section; a study of the “pros” and “cons” of various mediums of media to help you on your quest.
This information however, is focused on getting your targets (prospects and guests) through the door and building relationships (loyalty) and getting them to commit to your health club.
Let’s start with marketing concepts and capturing your audience’s attention with your message.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”.
Circle of insanity:
• Have to change/too much pain
• Take action
• Pain reduces
• Lose your drive
• Stop taking action
• Back to where you started
• Worse than when you started
• Have to change/too much pain/start the cycle over
Most health clubs are just doing the same old e-mail blasts, newspaper ads, etc., that they have done for the past one, five and even ten years, or even worse, copying their competitors when they see something different. Doing the same old advertising and promotions year after year is “insane”.
People are motivated/moved by two driving forces…pain and pleasure. You must eliminate the painful emotions associated to your health and fitness products/services and replace them with pleasurable emotions/feelings to your health and fitness products/services. This can easily be accomplished with the appropriate delivery system of the desired message through a well thought out marketing/branding campaign designed and implemented by MMC®.
In today’s economic climate (or anytime for that matter) big investments scare people, and as you know, “being afraid” is a negative emotion. We can eliminate that negative feeling by re-packaging our offerings with a lower barrier to entry for our prospects to become members. This is not discounting; you are simply re-directing the revenue stream.
One technique employed by MMC® is to design health club memberships with a lower barrier to entry as a “hook” (the draw) for grabbing the attention of the masses. Health club memberships then can be upgraded during or after the point of sale e.g. the airline industry.
There are many hooks that can be used (other than a low point of entry), this is just “one” example. First set a goal, and then that desired outcome will determine the “hook” necessary to achieve the desired result.
Note: price can never be your only point of leverage, nor can it ever be presented as the superior part of your health and fitness products and health and fitness services. It can only be used as a “hook” to get the prospects through the door.
This is where most copycats usually sink the ship when trying to do this kind of promotion on their own. All they see is the tip of the iceberg that is visible above sea level (the hook) but fail to see the mammoth support structure beneath.
Even when this marketing “hook” is deployed there is no danger of engaging the undesirable consumer thanks to MMC®’s in-depth research on qualifying potential targets.
MMC® will guide you through this process, but in the end, you are still the boss and you have to approve the terms and conditions of the health club membership.
By listening to the feedback/pushback from other industry’s consumers e.g. the airline industry; we marketers are able to learn a lot from their successes and failures.
Using the airline scenario; customers that have flown for many years in the past absolutely hate the new airline à la carte system, feeling they are being nickel and dimed. Contrary to the new customers, new to flying, and not conditioned to the old system, love the à la carte system; perceiving it as only paying for what they use.
It is difficult to change the pre-conditioned buying habits of the existing customer, whereas, it is very easy (with the proper training) to condition the buying/spending patterns of the new customer.
MMC® starts conditioning new members’ spending habits before they enter your health club.
Unlike the airline industry, MMC® believes existing pre-conditioned members should be allowed to sustain their status quo; while bringing some of the new members in on a new “à la carte” health club membership with an option of upgrading to an all-inclusive “membership”.
MMC® customizes the health club memberships around your existing business model (it’s not discounting; it’s repackaging).
MMC®’s approach is to design three levels of health club membership. Starting with an entry level health club membership (limited days of use) with a low point of entry and all other services are à la carte. I reiterate, this system is not discounting; it is simply redirecting the revenue stream. You will collect less up front but you will receive more over the term of their health club membership.
Next, a mid level health club membership with no limitations to the days of use, they pay a higher health club membership entrance fee and also follow the à la carte system. In most cases, under this system, these health club members pay as much, or even more, than the health club is currently receiving from its existing health club members under its current dues structure.
The final health club membership is the full, all inclusive, health club membership you might currently have in place today. This is the health club membership level everyone will secretly aspire to. These are the health club members who workout 4 to 5 times a week, want to play tennis or racquetball during prime times and reserve the courts well in advance, want people to know their name when they get to the health club, they want to have their own lockers, they want to play in all the health club events whether its tournaments or leagues, they don’t want to be charged additional fees, they want to walk in the health club and get immediate attention and recognition, they want towel service, they want to attend the social functions etc. This quality of service and attention commands a premium health club membership fee.
The level of service from the “entry level” health club membership to a “platinum” health club membership is like trying to compare a few peanuts to big beautiful red delicious apples; there is no comparison.
With this approach to marketing MMC® converts fickle, price jumping members into committed loyal, free spending members of their new home…your health club. Once you have the member in a committed relationship it gives you the time to “sell” them on staying loyal.
These principles of marketing can be applied to targets from fitness centers to health clubs with a country club feel; just do your research and know your target market and adjust the health club membership dues accordingly.
Let’s move on to psychology as it relates to selling health club memberships, health and fitness products and health and fitness services.
Knowing the needs and wants of your audience and how your health and fitness product can satisfy those needs and wants is critical to your success.
You might train/workout because it makes you feel successful. Some train/workout because it allows them to connect with their friends, others train/workout to build new relationships or rekindle old relationships, some train/workout because it is challenging and they are excited to see the results in the mirror, and some because it makes them feel good.
You must know what emotional reason(s) the customer in front of you is chasing so you can let them experience that feeling right then and there so they will link extreme pleasure to your health club. The biggest mistake we can make is to think each potential member is at our door for the same reason or is interested in a health club membership for the same reasons that we are.
One of the biggest mistakes we learned as a kid growing up is the “golden rule”. Treat others the way “you” want to be treated. We need to treat others the way “they” want to be treated.
There are four basic personality types:
1. Director: straight to the point;
2. Relater: wants to know how everyone else feels;
3. Analytical: wants every detail;
4. Socialist: wants to socialize
If a director treats an analytic the same way he wants to be treated (get straight to the bottom line) is the analytic (wants every detail) going to want to do business with him? Of course not, at least not in the beginning.
All of us have a little of each personality in us. Sometimes we want to know how others feel about something, we just want to get to the point in some scenarios, we have the need to socialize on some level, and we all want to go through the details at one time or another in our life. But we all have a dominant personality type, and it is your job to figure out your guest’s.
After you figure out the personality type you are dealing with, next you must know the top two emotional needs that drive your guest. Everyone has the same six basic core needs. The difference is which two are at the top that drives us in our decisions. Your job is to find out which two are driving (motivating) your guest.
Example, if a person feels (or associates the feeling of) significance from having a well toned body; you will want to make sure he/she feels significant during the tour. This is an important emotion he/she is trying to attain and you want to make sure they feel it in your health club.
Consumers buy for emotional reasons and justify their purchases with logical reasons. Example, when you see a sports car commercial what is the first thing that catches your eye? Is it the shiny red sports car, or the hot model? The hot girl of course! Professional marketers know people buy for emotional reasons and justify their decisions with logical reasons. The guy links up in his mind that he will get a girl like that if he drives a car like that. After he purchases the car he tells everyone that he bought it for its dependability and great gas mileage.
Part of MMC®’s focus is on meeting the SIX core emotional needs of the consumer.
You must know your targeted market and design your advertisement to trigger their core emotional needs.
The feeling associated with the word “member” corresponds with the feelings of belonging, significance, connection, growth, certainty, contribution, etc.
The key to health club membership sales is to find the win-win combination of giving the member enough value to get them in the door, without giving them too much value relative to their investment. But how much is enough and not too much? MMC® will guide you through this process from our years of experience and research.
Consumers also associate certain feelings to everything in life including health and fitness products and health and fitness services. If you are going to be successful in the health club industry you must learn the negative and positive emotions/feelings that your prospects associate to your health and fitness product and health and fitness services. Then you must come up with a way to replace the negative with positive.
E.g. Change to:
This can be done with the proper ad copy and design. Your goal is to get the prospect to link positive emotions to your product no matter what your history in the market has been, good or bad. You always hear the word “branding”; this is the elementary steps of building a brand.
We hope you have found this information to be of great value. Please take time to view the entire site for additional free tips on growing your health club and your health and fitness career. Watch the videos (please be patient while they load and buffer), read the text and pick and choose what is valuable to you and fits your current and future business model.
Thank you for partnering with MMC® today in growing your health club and your health and fitness career.