If you would like to explore how TA6 can support your business in any of the areas discussed above please get in touch.
TA6 welcomes Emma Kapur
The team at TA6 are delighted to welcome Emma Kapur as Marketing Account Manager.
For the last four years, Emma has been applying her multi-channel marketing skills to the promotion of products and services delivered by Achieve Lifestyle – a charitable leisure trust managing leisure and spa facilities in Egham and Addlestone, Surrey.
Emma says: “I am really looking forward to starting my exciting new role with the TA6 team. My Marketing Manager role at Achieve Lifestyle enabled me to plan and execute a range of marketing campaigns for lead generation and member retention, using both digital and offline channels. I can’t wait to share my knowledge of marketing and my experience within the leisure industry with a portfolio of TA6 clients so that, together, we can drive participation and engagement in physical activity across the nation.”
Emma will be responsible for the day-to-day planning, management and delivery for a number of TA6 clients, reporting directly to John Leaver, Head of Marketing.
Speaking of her appointment, John says: “Emma is a valuable addition to the growing TA6 team. As well as her marketing experience, Emma is also a qualified personal trainer, exercise to music instructor and Level 2 childrens’ fitness instructor. It’s fantastic to have somebody so obviously passionate about the sector joining our team. I’m really excited about what we can all achieve together over the coming months.”
Meet the rest of the TA6 team here.
Getting Women Back Into Physical Activity
According to the latest Active Lives Adult Survey by Sport England women saw more prolonged drops in activity levels and were slower to recover after lockdown then men.
As part of the TA6 philosophy of “meeting people where they are” this means we should understand the barriers and acknowledge where women are in their confidence and emotional readiness to start, or return to, exercise.
It is important to consider how we encourage women back into exercise and how we support them once they make the first step.
As part of the recognition of the importance of understanding the barriers to exercise for women and creating confidence and opportunities for them, This Girl Can and ukactive have joined forces to create a practical guide for operators. You can download this here.
Here are some recommendations from the team at TA6 for supporting women to increase activity:
Use targeted, content–led marketing focusing on real women and messages of confidence to exercise and benefits to positive mental and physical wellbeing
Consider linking into wider campaigns such as “This Girl Can” to speak directly to women in a way that feels inclusive
Promote how you can support them back into activity in a safe environment with home workouts, online advice and training programmes
Train your teams to understand the drivers and barriers to exercise and how best to support and offer solutions
Build in a focus on weekly activity plans, not just gym programmes, to meet women where they are and allow them to access exercise throughout the week in whatever format they are comfortable with
Once it is identified that someone might need to support to build confidence and exercise habits, create prompts for weekly touchpoints in the first few weeks. These could be a simple tracking diary or ideally utilising your digital systems to automatically flag a contact point as well as sending supportive content via apps, email and SMS
At TA6 we are passionate about supporting your success so for more advice and support in any of these areas, get in touch with the team.
The interview started with Woody being asked, what sales and marketing challenges did he see gym operators facing during the next 12-months as the UK recovers post-pandemic?
Changing, developing, growing and moving your sales and marketing on will be crucial; operators who just go back to their pre-Covid acquisition strategies are going to struggle and even fail.
The fitness sales marketplace has changed dramatically; consumers have had more than a year to reflect on where they direct their spend, if indeed they direct it our way at all.
For too long our sector has focused on short term, price-led promotions to drive interest. It’s time to step up and develop brand-led, inspiring campaigns that focus on why your facility is the right fit for the target market you’re trying to attract.
Think of your brand as a person, with a clear personality and passion. Your brand values are like that person’s DNA – the commitments they live by. Your brand vision is what drives and defines that passion; use this vision to create the energy and clarity your team need to deliver.
For operators who wish to revisit their brand, where should they begin?
When we build/develop brands we focus on vision, mission, goals, values, commitments and messages. We use these triggers:
1. The Why – what’s your purpose? What impact do you want to have? Who are you aiming your offer at?
2. The What and the How – this is all about your venues and your products … what you offer, and your people and your pricing
3. Identity and Personality – what’s the essence of your brand? What are your core values? These needs to be relatable, believable and unique to you
4. Tone of voice – what emotions and passions are you looking to evoke in your customers with your messaging?
The key here is to ask: does your brand make a difference to customers’ wellbeing? Your facility is just one element of your product that contributes, but there is so much more you can offer. Customers need to feel they are part of something bigger than just a club.
The marketplace is noisy and marketing spend is lower than ever. Rather than the ‘outside to in’ marketing approach most take, focus on an ‘inside to out’ campaign, using real member stories to inspire new customers, using your community as a lure.
The interview continued with Woody being asked about how whether he felt the sector was damaged from 2020, as well as giving some advice on how operators can focus on getting back to normal. Read the full interview here.
Alliance Leisure and TA6 Receive Silver Investors in People Award
Alliance Leisure and TA6 are thrilled to announce that, following an assessment process, we have been awarded Investors in People’s We invest in people, silver accreditation.
Silver is a fantastic achievement and something only 20% of the organisations we assess achieve.
It means that the right principles are in place but more than that, it means that our people and leaders are making active efforts to make sure that there’s real consistency, and everyone in the organisation feels the effects.
Alliance Leisure and TA6 received some truly outstanding scores and results, including a first ever instance of a full 100% of staff answering that they trust the leaders of their organisation. Other results include:
We are committed to maintaining this and improving the experience and opportunities for our Team even further.
Injecting a SENSE OF HUMOUR into your brand only works if its authentic and established over time. KFC’s #ratemyKFC campaign in May 2020 say thousands of customers submit their home-cooked efforts only to be berated by the KFC social admins. Jack Hinchliffe, Marketing Director at KFC, commented “we only got away with that because we knew our customers”. KFC have tried and tested their tone of voice for years, with customer feedback being at the centre of that process.
carwow’s Victoria Bruce, Media Partnerships Manager, and Michael Oates, Programme Manager, reminded us that there is not one single customer journey for your customers but many CUSTOMER JOURNEYS. Expecting all customers to follow a single buying cycle is a recipe for disaster and brands are urged to be flexible to each individual customer’s circumstances.
AUTHENTICITY was at the heart of Cadbury’s talk from their marketing director Benazir Barlet-Betada. Going to back to your brand routes might be a way to re-establish yourselves and remind people of your core values. Well worth checking out Cadbury’s Donate Your Words campaign in partnership with ageUK.
AR, VR and AI was discussed by many speakers but David Norris from Snap Inc. summed it up with the line “AR is currently the biggest opportunity in retail”. Whilst it may be difficult for leisure operators to utilise AR and VR in the short term, as the technology becomes more accessible it may be an opportunity to increase your touch points and engagement with customers outside of physical facilities. If you want to keep up-to-date with developments from Snap Inc. then check out their newsfeed.
EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY were also hot topics with many speakers talking passionately about the need to acknowledge, reflect and act on issues surrounding inclusivity. One of the first sessions of the two-day event called upon agencies and brands to sign up to BRiM, a cross-industry initiative that “provides actionable advice to help anyone, no matter their level, improve the representation of Black people in marketing”.
“GOOD ENOUGH IS GOOD ENOUGH”. Lucy Sheehan, Marketing Director at Fitbit, used this phrase when discussing campaign production and how teams can waste time over-analysing the minutiae of a campaign plan. Sometimes you just need to get a campaign done and accepting good enough is good enough will help speed things along.
CONVERSATIONAL ADVERTISING is an interesting way to challenge how you currently interact with your customer base online. Combining an AI or chatbot experience with the likes of RCS messaging will result in a media rich experience that customers will engage more with than an old-fashioned messenger response or SMS message.
COOKIELESS FUTURES. Probably the most referenced change on the horizon is the removal of 3rd party cookies by Google. Whilst cookies have had a stay of execution til the end of 2023 (originally planned for 2021/22) that’s only given brands about 18 months to get their house in order. Big message from every speaker; focus on your 1st party data and start collecting and managing it NOW.
7 P’s OF POST-PANDEMIC MARKETING takes a fresh look at a well known marketing mix. Chief Creative Officer of Cook, James Rutter guided the discussion introducing new P’s with People at the centre. Play; with people still having fear about the next steps have fun with marketing and facilitate discovery of the new environments we live in. Purpose; relating what your purpose is to people and social issues will build trust, which in turn increases sales. Participation; increase your audience participation through any channel you communicate with them. A common theme through the MadFest sessions was “Pig not bull” – be honest and treat your customers clients and staff as equals (remember, transparency breeds trust). Poetry; to be bold in your marketing and stand out.
CONTEXT OVER CONTENT. Content is secondary to the context of the message you are trying to put out – 83% of people distrust social media ads so how do you make your ads successful? Context! Ensuring the message is correct and the story behind the content is relatable will drive engagement. 70% of an ads performance comes from the creative story behind the ad so its important to get that right for the audience you are aiming for. Context is King, Content is the cherry on top!
We said 10 but here’s a bonus…
LANGUAGE STYLES change frequently so its important to stay on top of what works for your brand. Large brands such as Burger King and KFC monitor trends weekly and adapt the language type used to ensure an effective campaign. Three main types; straight, topical and sarcastic. Having the same message in different language styles can give you the freedom to update ads as trends change.
Alliance Leisure & TA6 Partner with Swim England
Alliance Leisure and TA6 have launched a strategic partnership with Swim England to encourage the development of more inspiring and sustainable pools and wet-side facilities for local communities. The partnership went live in December 2020.
“Swimming pools can be under-utilised and inefficient in terms of the return on investment but this does not need to be the case. When thoughtfully designed, well programmed and equipped, these spaces become valuable community assets that deliver a viable return for local authorities,” says Paul Woodford, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at TA6 powered by Alliance Leisure.
As the official National Governing Body for swimming in England, Swim England has the insight and experience to optimise pool environments, coupled with a strategic plan to encourage more people to swim. Working together under this new strategic partnership, Alliance will be able to draw on this expertise to find the best solution for local authorities and leisure trusts when developing new facilities or upgrading their existing stock.
Swimming is an inclusive activity that creates opportunities for engagement that few other facilities can match, but only with the right design, workforce programming and management. As the client services arm of Alliance Leisure, TA6 will work with Swim England to ensure the programming and technology implemented in pools and wet-side projects reflect the bespoke needs of the local population, delivering a financially sustainable service that delivers community value.”
Natalie McGuire, Senior Engagement Manager at Swim England who has been fundamental to developing this collaborative approach, said:
“Working with Alliance Leisure and TA6 to actively apply Swim England’s insight, knowledge and expertise provides leisure operators with a tested solution for commercial success.
This partnership is built, not only as a result of complementary products and services but through the alignment of shared values and cultures. We are delighted to be working alongside a sector leader who shares our passion for people first thinking. Together we look to reimagine aquatic provision both in terms of capital development and commercial delivery.”