As millennials’ spending power increases, it’s important that fitness center managers recognize the differences in marketing to this powerful group of growing fitness enthusiasts. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Meet millennials where they are — which is primarily online. Everyone knows a strong social presence is key, but it can also be a drain on resources. So don’t try to be everywhere. Instead, focus on the social networks that make the most sense for your audience and you. Leveraging user-generated content can reduce the burden of content creation while also putting real faces to your facility.
Put it all out there. Rather than hiding details you think may be less appealing to a member (because let’s be honest, it’s hard to hide anything online these days), be forthright with it and use that transparency as an opportunity to control the narrative. Are your hours more limited than your competitors? Then focus on the fact that your facility is always staffed and there is always someone available to answer customer questions.
Body positivity has become more than a buzzword — it’s a social movement. Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all view of the ideal body. Understanding that members have different goals and a different definition of success is important, as it allows you to provide the right support.
Millennials are looking for results. Some will come into your facility knowing exactly what they need to do to get those results, but many will not. Guide them to your group fitness room and offer classes that are proven to get results. The group fitness room is also a great place to upsell members on personal and small group training to help them achieve their fitness goals.
There is work, there is home, and then there is the “third place.” If members come in, workout and then leave, you aren’t their third place. Space to mingle, WiFi connectivity and snacks for purchase — these are a few things that will keep people from rushing out the door. Keeping them inside your doors for just a few more minutes will give them time to build meaningful relationships with staff and fellow members. Great connections are made in the group exercise room — but to cultivate those relationships, people need a place to gather.
Millennial preferences should not be putting traditional fitness centers out of business. The key is to effectively engage millennials through social media, personalize experiences through innovative group fitness programming, and ultimately create a sense of community that will keep them coming back.