Ten Things We Should Be Doing in 2021
The events of 2020 have changed our industry and forced us to reflect, review and change how we operate.
It has also changed the way people view health, wellbeing, and exercise so we shouldn’t consider this a temporary change but an opportunity to do things differently.
The best way to summarise the key shift is that our customers need us to meet them where they are. This obviously refers to expanding our offering beyond our facilities but more than that, we need to meet them where they are in their exercise journey.
So, what are the top 10 things we need to be doing in 2021 and beyond?
Build campaigns for re-opening that centre the message around health and wellness.
The desire to exercise and stay healthy has never been stronger, this creates a great opportunity to bring new people to our facilities when we can re-open, but people have had to find their own way to exercise by themselves. Our sales campaigns need to reach beyond the “new year, new you” messages of the past and showcase how we can offer the support they need and more options than they can find themselves.
Promote positive messages celebrating how exercise builds confidence, community, energy, and mental and physical wellbeing.
Our industry has always tended to focus on physical changes such as weight loss or having a beach body, etc. While measurable results are important, 2020 highlighted the need for powerful positivity, and exercise is a strong platform for this. Consider messages encouraging body positivity, challenging to see what you are capable of and the impact of the exercise community on mental and physical health.
Create an onboarding process that support the level of confidence and experience.
It is important to have a clear onboarding process for new members, but their needs will be vastly different depending on whether they are a confident and experienced exerciser or someone at the start of their journey. We should support them accordingly and tailor their first few weeks to feel relevant rather than a forced process.
Provide support based on the level of motivation and emotional readiness.
Wherever they are on the confidence and experience scale, motivation, and readiness to commit to a routine can change, especially given the events of the last year. Equip your team to understand and support this.
Think beyond just gym programming.
Our facilities offer so much variety and now, more than ever, some people may not be ready or able to commit to attending multiple times per week. Create weekly plans based on where, when, and how they want to be active.
Use your social platforms to build engagement.
We often use our social networks purely as an information platform. The true value is in creating engagement and interaction, run campaigns that encourage people to comment, share and get involved to create an online community.
Ensure your processes, systems, and team product knowledge are aligned.
As we develop our product and offering, we often add new systems, processes, and technologies that aren’t clearly aligned or embedded into the customer journey. This has the potential to cause confusion and lack of cohesion for customers and our team, meaning the new investments are never maximised.
Create targeted communication based on personas.
Even if we have identified a specific target audience for our offering, their preferences, point in their exercise journey, and motivations may be different. Consider creating personas for members and communicate based on commonalities. At the very least this could be age, gender, or stage in their membership.
Provide team training and support to deliver quality online content.
Even our rock star instructors will find that performing to camera is very different to delivering in a live class environment. Our trainers can provide tutorials and tips online, but they need the confidence and knowledge to deliver this in the best way to showcase your brand.
Use the appropriate digital platforms for your end goal.
Many operators turned to online products during 2020, but there is a huge variety on the platforms used. So, which is best?
This depends on your end objective. For example, closed groups and zoom sessions are great for supporting engaged members and creating a community, but can be intimidating for those new to exercise or new to your facility, so may not be effective if your goal is to draw new people to your services. Consider your end goal and which platform supports this best – you may find multiple platforms are needed.