The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association is the fitness industry's only global trade association representing over 10,000 for profit health and fitness facilities and over 600 supplier companies in 75 countries.



From educational tools and events to promotional programs and public policy initiatives, IHRSA brings you success... by association!

Join | Renew
Pledge Your Support

Search IHRSA Blog
« Expert Panel to Design Adult Fitness Tax Credit | Main | Maryland Legislature Adjourned for 2015 »

CBI First Person: Kilian Fisher

Last month, at IHRSA 2015, you spoke on “Precision Marketing: Effectively Engage Your Members Utilizing the Latest Technologies.” Your main points?

I discussed the importance of segmenting and targeting both members and prospects, in order to increase sales and improve retention. Even though there are some very sophisticated technologies available, most clubs either don’t understand them or don’t have the resources to fully utilize them.

As a result, the latest retention figures in the U.K., for example, have fallen from over 60% to 50%. Understanding your market and being able to target it through “precision marketing” is key to successful growth and survival.

Which technologies are essential? And who should be doing your digital marketing?

Three technologies are key. First: a good customer relationship management (CRM) platform for sales and retention. Second: online booking (for membership, classes, programs) linked with evaluation, which allows booking from landing or “lead capture” pages on Google, and from Web and social media, all of which are compatible with various mobile devices. Third: an e-mail marketing platform with data capture. Using this, you can successfully target prospects and engage members more effectively based on a number of variables, including physical location.

You might want to enlist a digital marketing expert who’s well versed in the best modern marketing practices, and able to leverage the most relevant digital technologies for your business.

Many clubs, it seems, are using e-mail marketing. What makes it so popular and successful?

Quality subscriber data tells you which subscribers engage with you most frequently. By employing a complex algorithm, e-mail marketing allows you to follow a subscriber’s interactions with your campaigns and rate them based on their actions. If they open your e-mail, they rank up; if they consistently ignore your e-mails, they rank down. Then, you can either contact your least-engaged subscribers with a special offer to win their attention ... or, in some way, reward your highly ranked subscribers for their engagement.

Do traditional marketing methods still have a role to play?

Absolutely! On the basis of your research, choose the type of media that’s most effective in your own area —door-to-door flyers, newspaper advertising, shopping mall displays, etc. You can link these methods to social and digital media effectively by using QR codes to drive prospects to landing pages, which, in turn, link to data capture, and, then, to automated marketing. In addition, when you’re doing traditional marketing, be sure to promote Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other media to drive people to these online platforms.

You’ve also done work in the area of club standards for a number of years. Where do things stand today?

Yes, both in Europe and globally. I led the development of club and instructor standards in Ireland, and was part of the team that produced the European Fitness Instructor standards, part of ICREPS (the International Confederation of Registers of Exercise Professionals). I also was pleased to be able to facilitate the mutual recognition agreement between ICREPS and IHRSA, and to chair the IHRSA standards committee that fed into the NSF Club Standards for North America.

I’m also representing IHRSA in the Ufit Project and the UNESCO Chair, and will help devise club accessibility standards for people with disabilities. The UMF (Universal Management Framework) we’ve developed will be launched at the Ufit Conference taking place in conjunction with the 15th Annual IHRSA European Congress, in Marseille, France, in October.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.