Marketing: A Necessary Evil
PFP Magazine December 2012
By Tammy Polenz
Marketing is something that many boutique facilities, person trainers, coaches and group class instructors overlook until it is too late. There are two scenarios in the fitness world. The first is that you have an open schedule, which leads you to market like crazy. The second is that you are slammed with clients resulting in no time to market. Unfortunately, this means that you are either making money or you are not: there tends to be no in between.
How do you rectify this problem for good? First and foremost, you make a plan. Creating a marketing plan will take some time, but it is well worth the investment. Determining your plan's budget is a critical step in the process. Once you have decided on a marketing budget, you are ready to begin making a list of the varying types of advertising approaches available. There are many types of promotional options to choose from. Many incur little to no cost, but others like guerrilla marketing can have a hefty price tag.
Here is a short list to get you started:
Direct Mail Marketing
Soft Sell Marketing
Another thing to remember about marketing is that 80% of a company's revenue typically comes from 20% of its clients. Not understanding this one critical piece of information can cause you to spend too much of your resources focused on the wrong target market. This relevant piece of information can be especially useful when developing your internal marketing strategy. It is those few individuals that believe in you most that can drive your monthly sales number through the roof.
Now that you understand which options to include in your plan, the next step is to create a calendar. This is a frequently overlooked stage that has the ability to tell you a lot about your plan. Establishing an annual schedule will keep you on target and aid in determining the best marketing avenues to take for your business model. Marketing success can be determined via your bottom line. Integrating this step into your plan will prevent wasted time and money in the future.
The last phase of the plan is rollout. Determine what processes work the best for your company's objectives, budget and available time. Establish integration, distribution and monitoring methods. This may include 'you' as the facilitator or someone else. Paying someone part-time or hiring an external marketing company can help you manage your plan effectively, without increasing personal time commitments.
About the Author
Tammy Polenz, CPT, has been actively involved in the fitness industry since 1991 as a personal trainer, club manager, corporate wellness consultant, and gym owner and designer. She is the author of Think Fit 2 Be Fit, founder of Vedas Fitness in Cleveland, and has been featured in numerous fitness magazines and media.