The Data Revolution: How to Make Data Work for Your Gym
We’re smack in the middle of the digital age where all businesses, regardless of industry, are relying on technology and data to drive processes and efficiency. Even for an industry like fitness, which for so long was apart from the digital space, isn’t immune.
While leveraging some sort of back-end digital platform may sound like a waste of time, it actually helps gather, analyze, and report on hidden data points that can help inform your business strategy. Basically, if you’re not leaning into technology, you’re missing out on an incredible cache of data.
First, let’s take a step back and look at all the ways data influences the way your team does business. From scheduling out your internal employees to monitoring staff performance to tracking class enrollment, data is at the heart of everything you do. It’s easy for gym owners to lose sight of the fact that their gyms are actually businesses, and businesses require data to operate successfully. Most of the time, it’s just realizing where this data stems from and taking proactive action to collect it. With this data in hand, your team can make better decisions and operate more efficiently.
Here are a few ways you can make this data work for you for a stronger, more efficient strategy:
Expanding marketing efforts
This is at the top of the list because member data can actually help increase new memberships. On every single piece of new member communication, make sure to include a question about how the person found out about your gym or services. Once this data point is uploaded into your gym management platform, you can start tracking trends and benchmarks. This will help you understand exactly where new members are coming from, which in turn can help expand marketing efforts. Instead of wasting time on channels that aren’t converting, you can focus on high-conversion marketing campaigns to bring in new members.
Identifying utilization patterns
If you’re collecting data around your member utilization patterns you can better schedule out your classes, hours, and trainers. Utilization means understanding what times and days of the week are the busiest, which classes people are signing up for but aren’t attending, as well as which sessions are the most popular. Leverage an online class scheduling solution and give your members the chance to check-in online to collect as many data points as possible. With this data in hand, your team can better prepare for your days, deliver in-demand services to members, and increase attendance.
Realizing member demographics
Collecting data and insights on member demographics sometimes goes under the radar at gyms and health clubs, but it can be extremely beneficial to marketing and operations efforts. If you’re running a smaller team, you probably know all of your members by name and can measure your demographics in person. But if you’re managing a larger health club, do you know what your ideal member looks like? Track and monitor member demographics to ensure you’re providing the right services to your members. This will help with attracting new members as well as retaining the ones you already have.
Integrating with other platforms
In the last few years, wearables like FitBits and Apple Watch’s have become a must-have accessory for any fitness buff. To attract and engage these modern customers, your gym must figure out a way to engage and integrate with these wearable devices to create a community both in the gym and online. These ‘plugged-in’ gyms are great for both you as a management team and for your members.
- For members, they have the ability to share and engage with each other and better track how their in-gym workout intersects with their other fitness efforts.
- Trainers have access to member fitness data to develop even more personalized fitness plans and workouts.
- And, as a manager, you have deeper visibility into your membership base. Think about creating a custom app or working with companies like MyFitnessPal.