Zoom Media is one of the world’s leading providers of advertising and promotion for the health and fitness sector. In the UK alone it has 4000 screens across 700 venues and works in association with all the leading health and fitness chains including David Lloyd, Nuffield, Fitness First, The Gym Group and Sports Direct.
We met with Ferne Langford of Zoom Media to learn about how gyms can improve their monetization with better advertising and promotion.
1. Be clear on brand
One of the biggest problems we see with gyms is that they want to jump into advertising and promotion before they have a clear marketing and brand strategy. Consequently, they end up communicating different messages across different channels.
You’ve got to have a clear marketing strategy first and ensure that you then have the same recurring themes across all platforms, both online and offline.
2. Capitalise on partnerships
Many gym chains, particularly some of the smaller ones, don’t realise how many partnership opportunities there are in the industry. For example, there are food and beverage brands that would love to get in front of their audience, and would happily provide free products for the exposure. These kind of relationships are great for the members, great for the gym and don’t necessarily cost a penny.
3. Monetize your audience through advertising
Gyms often have no idea of just how valuable their members are and how much brands are willing to pay to get in front of them. This could be a substantial secondary revenue stream for all gym chains and done in a way that adds to, rather than detracts from the member experience, through TV product sampling, or print and digital signage or emailing marketing for example.
4. Capture user data
In 2016 it’s all about data. The reason your audience is so valuable is because brands can use your data to target people by not just basic demographic metrics, but also by their lifestyles. This data is one of the most valuable assets your gym owns has, and if you’re not capturing and organising it then you could be missing out on additional revenue.
5. Go audio-visual
This isn’t just about advertising revenue. Creating the right atmosphere is key to member experience and retention rates, and that involves having the right audio/visual strategy. Gyms are selling a lifestyle and the choice of music and TV content needs to reflect that. If you are trying to attract a more mature, affluent audience, then your TV and music content is going to be very different to that which may appeal to an 18-year-old student.
It’s also important to consider the location of your equipment. Gym owners have a tendency to stick all the screens in the cardio section, but you have to think about people’s behaviour around the gym as a whole. Consider dwell time around the gym; resting between sets, waiting for a class to start, walkways or even at reception.
Gyms also try to cut too many corners when buying equipment. The sound quality in a gym is hugely important, so buying an inadequate speaker system will have a really negative impact on member experience. Likewise, commercial grade TV screens can seem really expensive, but when you consider how many hours a day these screens need to be on for, you’re going to cost yourself a lot more time and money in the long term if you don’t buy the right kit!