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Blog 23: Health Club Marketing Research

First, you need to think of research in two ways:

1. MEMBER’S attitudes, i.e., emotions and feelings.

2. MEMBER’S behaviors, i.e., buying patterns and spending habits.

You start this research by listening to your health club members and stop listening to yourself. Suspend your ego temporarily and get the information you need from the source…your health club members. Your health club members are a wealth of information; they will tell you why they are happy, sad, disappointed, pleased, why they joined your health club, why they didn’t join your competitor, why they stay, or worse, why they are planning to leave.

MMC® interviewed thousands of deconditioned consumers and health and fitness conscience consumers alike. I wanted to know why certain people never joined a health club yet others loved being a member of their local health club. What were their fears, what forms of media caught their attention, what did they read or just toss, what did they watch or just flip the channel, what was their psychological triggers that made them not buy, and eventually what were the triggers that made them buy? A lot of health club marketers miss the boat because their focus is pigeonholed into preset criteria, e.g., income, age, etc. If someone has the right leverage he/she will find a way to buy the health club membership, health club product, or health club service no matter what the cost would be.

Ask your health club members and health club prospects questions like:

Are our membership rates fair for the product and service we provide?

Which is more important to you…better value or providing better pricing?

What can I do to gain your loyalty as a member?

What are we doing right?

What are we doing wrong?

Keep in mind when your health club members are asked questions about a product or service their knee jerk response is normally price-related. When digging a little deeper you’ll find that price isn’t always the real challenge. If you ask some simple questions you will uncover unmet needs, wants, wishes, desires and then you can design a way to meet them and take action. The realities of the marketplace can force you to rethink your priorities.

Market research has always been at the top of our list at MMC® (www.healthclubmarketingmmc.com). When I was building this company and even in its conception, my focus was/is on the health club member. Throughout my blogs you will hear me use the term “win-win”; this is the guiding principle of my life. I know if the member can feel like a winner by joining my health club as opposed to your competitor’s, he/she will develop a loyalty to you and you shall devote your loyalty in return.

Research is about asking health club members how they feel about your health club and its products and services but it’s also about reconciling their attitudes with how they behave. Uncovering important attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors are extremely important so that you may be more effective in locking-up relationships.

Conduct member research before you launch your health club marketing campaigns and you will grow your health club and your health and fitness career.

For more free tips on increasing your health club membership base through health club marketing, health club promotions, professional health club membership sales, and advancing your health and fitness career visit us today @ www.healthclubmarketingmmc.com or call 904-448-5727.