9 Keys to Successfully Marketing a Gym

 In Marketing, Opening a health club

When launching a new gym, developing and executing a comprehensive marketing plan is critical to the success of your business.  A good marketing plan provides a roadmap for acquiring customers. Listed below are the key elements that drive good marketing efforts that result in the acquisition of a solid customer base.

  1. Identify Your Target Market

Determine who your most likely buyers are along with their demographics (age, gender, income), geography, and wants and needs as they relate to the products and services you’ll be offering.  Identifying your target market enables you to create outreach tactics geared to your prospective customers and messages they want to hear.

  1. Know Your Competition

Knowing your competition, their products, services and pricing, will enable you to differentiate your business and price your products and services accordingly.

  1. Create Your Positioning and Unique Selling Proposition

Knowing how you want your brand perceived and what distinguishes your club or studio from your competitors enables you to create branding and marketing messaging that is compelling and communicates what makes your business special.

  1. Determine Your Pricing

Your pricing should match your positioning. For example, if your messaging suggests your club is exclusive, the best, or luxurious, your pricing should be on the high end.

  1. Create Promotional Offers

Create a pre-sale promotional plan that drives customers in your door and incentivizes them to buy now rather than wait until later.  If your pre-sale is going to last for three months, your best offer should be at the start of the pre-sale and change on a bi-weekly or monthly basis so that you can always say, “join now because the price is going up on ________”.   As part of your promotional plan, you’ll also want a referral offer plan that incentivizes and rewards those that join to work on your behalf by spreading the word and encouraging their friends to do the same.

  1. Produce Marketing Materials

Identify the collateral you’ll need to market your business. You’ll definitely need a website. You’ll also need business cards and rate cards for membership and services such as personal training, massage, lessons, etc. You may also want print brochures as well.

  1. Develop Marketing Strategies

The marketing strategies you use to reach new customers and generate sales leads are one of the most important parts of your plan.  Your strategies should include a multi-channel approach and be based on those tactics that will most effectively enable you to reach your target customers.

  • Online Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization: Your website will need to include key words that your target customers will use when searching online.
    • Digital Footprint: Ensure you’re optimizing your digital presence through search listings such as Google and Yelp.
    • Paid Online Advertising: Develop and execute online advertising based on target demographics and budget.
    • Social Media: Develop and execute engagement and content strategies that will be used on various social media platforms to engage customers and create community.
  • Email Campaigns: Communicate regularly with members and prospective members via email in order to keep them engaged and excited.
  • Traditional Advertising: With the rise of online marketing, traditional marketing has taken a back seat. However, you may want to consider direct mail and print, radio and TV ads if you expect these tactics will work for your target market.
  • Outdoor Advertising: In some markets it’s worth spending money on investing in billboards or other outdoor advertising venues to create visibility and awareness.
  • Public Relations and Publicity: Conducting outreach to press and relevant fitness and lifestyle bloggers and social influencers can result in visibility online and in the media.
  • Events: Events are great ways to promote your club or studio if they bring people in and get them excited.
  • Partnerships: Developing relationships with corporations, hospitals, physician groups and physical therapy practices can result in their employees joining or prospective customer referrals and leads.
  1. Build a Marketing Budget

To generate leads you’ll need a month-by-month budget broken down by how much you plan to spend on each strategy. However, don’t be surprised if you need to adjust the plan throughout pre-sale and the initial opening months based on what tactics are successful and generating a sufficient return on the investment.

  1. Establish Goals and Track Your Results

Without goals and tracking your results, you can’t know if your marketing is working and your dollars are being spent wisely and generating a sufficient return. If you track where your leads are coming from you’ll gain the insight you need to determine how to continue to spend your marketing budget.