Why Your Health Club Needs a ‘Personalization’ Strategy

The trend toward biometrics and individualized health interventions are on the rise. Here’s how to take advantage.

Ask any marketing professional and they’ll tell you the same thing: The personalization revolution is here and it’s gaining steam.

The reason why is simple. Personalized products and services work. According to a Demand Gen report, 90% of marketers reported a measurable lift in results from using personalization strategies. Specifically, they enjoyed a…

  • 61% increase in conversion rates;
  • 59% increase in visitor engagement;
  • 56% improvement in customer engagement;
  • 56% increase in lead generation and customer acquisition.

These numbers are increasing on a yearly basis. But, as the report found, many businesses believe their personalization efforts are inadequate to meet consumer demand. As many as 65% of marketers say their personalization efforts are “average or below average,” and 74% believe personalization should be a higher priority in their businesses.

There’s good reason for that. Today’s consumers wantpersonalization. A study by Epsilon found that “80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.” And Researchscape International performed a survey that found that personalization is at the core of improving customer experience and increased loyalty.

Personalization takes many forms. For marketing, it means delivering individualized messaging through communications channel and building out customer data platforms (CDPs) that can be utilized to create more targeted experiences.

Health clubs gain from communicative personalization, but it’s in the realm of biometrics where the fitness industry is changing the game. Body scans, wearables, metabolic function tests, and other technologies are opening up an exciting new dimension to improving member experience. (They are also opening up regulatory questions, which IHRSA is tracking.)

While consumers are wary of businesses that use biometrics for identification and predictive behavior, they’re enthusiastic about using biometric devices to measure and improve their health and fitness.

So what’s your club’s personalization strategy? Because you need one if you’re going to stay relevant into the next decade. Personalization has been called the “secret sauce” driving the growth of the $4.2 trillion global wellness industry. It’s time it found a place in your club.

“Personalization has been called the 'secret sauce' driving the growth of the $4.2 trillion global wellness industry. It’s time it found a place in your club.”

Applications of Personal Data to Everyday Fitness

Here’s why personalization using biodata is so appealing to health club members. Personalized data…

  • Fills a client’s desire to be in control;
  • Allows clients to sift through the overload of data and focus on what is relevant to their needs;
  • Gives feedback on how clients are progressing;
  • Helps a client understand their personal biology—what foods or exercise will impact their body;
  • Treats each customer as the most important person in the room.

Using biometric data to create personalized programs has already been proven to work in the health club marketplace. Heart rate readings are a key aspect of surging fitness trends, such as Orangetheory, who recently exceeded $1 billion in earnings.

But as genetic testing and other biological monitoring devices become more accessible, consumers are going to seek more detailed fitness and nutrition programs tailored to their individual physiological profile.

Today’s biomeasuring tools go far beyond heart rate. Wearables and home devices for consumers can track blood pressure, body fat, blood sugar, detailed heart data (with home EKGs), blood oxygen content, and other vital biodata. And more are on the way.

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Genetic testing for fitness protocols is still a work in progress. While some companies do provide this service, genetics have made more of an impact in the realm of nutrition services than fitness. This may change in the future, but for now clubs should focus on what can make a difference now.

Among the most trusted, researched, and affordable personalized fitness measurements is metabolic data analysis. Individual metabolic measurements are a powerfully impactful tool in designing personalized programs for consumers who have specific weight-management goals. Using a VO2 max measuring device to gauge resting metabolic rate (RMR) allows personal trainers and wellness coaches to determine a club member’s threshold for burning calories at rest.

Measuring RMR can be a revelation for people who have had difficulty losing weight. Many discover that the kind of workouts they’ve been doing for years have been ineffective solely due to their personal metabolic situation. Suddenly, the client is motivated again and eager to get started on a fitness program that matches their personalized data profile.

Launching Your Personalized Program Is Easier Than You Think

According to health experts at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, a VO2 max test provides the data points that are “often used in research and is considered the most accurate” for determining cardiorespiratory fitness. It’s the “gold standard” that can provide clubs with the personalized information they need to create successful fitness interventions for members.

Unlike years past, RMR and VO2 max testing are now affordable for facilities of all sizes. But it’s better to go with a company who specializes in devices and programs for the health club industry.

Since 1993, KORR Medical Technologies has created numerous respiratory flow-measurement technologies for diverse markets, including medical facilities and health clubs. KORR’s line of devices for the sports and fitness market don’t require a licensed technician to operate and are designed to be used for multiple clients.

Here’s what you need.

  • KORR’s CardioCoach performs both resting metabolic rate tests and exercise assessments. You can collect individual data on each client, including:
    • VO2 max;
    • Anaerobic threshold;
    • Heart rate recovery;
    • Calories burned during exercise;
    • Calories burned at rest;
    • Calories burned after exercise (after burn);
    • Calories from fat vs. carbs.

Best of all, the data sets recorded by KORR’s testing devices for RMR and VO2 max are ready to be translated into practical fitness programming via personal workout zones. This is done through the CardioCoach app. The CardioCoach app guides the entire process for clients after they learn their oxygen consumption levels during exercise. Then KORR offers professionally designed workouts for a range of weight loss and performance goals, while also allowing for trainers to build custom workouts.

Once in place, a program with KORR’s VO2 max test and personalized data report will take your club’s customer service and member experience to the next level.

For more information on how you can utilize RMR and VO2 max to create your own personalized fitness program, visit KORR’s website.

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Jim Schmaltz

Jim Schmaltz is a contributor to IHRSA.org