For those of you who think your old form of advertising is still effective, you’re wrong. Just stop and count your telephone information calls. How many guests do you tour as compared to a few years ago? What is your current sales volume? How does it compare to last year? Most importantly take a strong look at your bottom line.
For those of you who don’t do any external advertising and have the mindset “build it and they will come and join,” you’re in for a rude awakening.
Do you still think the yellow pages deserve a share of your monthly advertising budget? Take a minute and compare the thickness of this year’s phone book to last year’s. And think again.
Do you still think those marriage mail pieces you designed have the magic touch and deserve a large share of your monthly advertising budget? Think again.
If you look at your past advertising campaigns, I’m sure you will find that all of them have had a diminishing return on your investment.
Remember the old saying, “You can’t expect different results if you keep doing the same thing!”
So what are you going to do? How are going to spend your advertising budget?
Traditionally speaking, you should be spending at least 10% of your gross income to further the branding and growth of your business. Your advertising dollars should be spent equally internally and externally. You might be asking yourself what I mean by internally and externally. Internally means that you promote from within; you do things for your members and in return ask them to do something for you. Promoting externally would include some of the possibilities we will be discussing below.
Before we get started, I would like to share a short story. My dad, now 81, owned a successful sign and advertising business, established back in 1945, and on his office wall was this shiny placard that I will always remember.
The wording went something like this:
“A man wakes up in the morning after sleeping on an advertised bed, in advertised pajamas. He will wash with advertised soap, shave with an advertised shaver and have advertised juice, cereal and toasted bagel, toasted in an advertised toaster for breakfast. He'll then put on advertised clothing and glance at his advertised watch.
“He will call in to let his office know he's running late from his advertised phone, ride to work in an advertised car, and sit down in an advertised desk chair when he gets to the office. He'll work at his advertised computer, and write with an advertised pen.
“Yet this man hesitates to advertise or market his business, saying that marketing and advertising don't work. Finally, when his unadvertised business goes under, he decides to advertise it for sale.”
Results from your advertising don’t always mean you will be flooded with telephone information calls and/or walk-ins. Results can be as simple as branding your business on a weekly or monthly basis with the latest and most effective methods of advertising. You have to constantly and consistently put your name out there. Show your audience you’re alive, run the flag up the pole, and let them know you are there to provide a great service and to show them how to get the results they want and need. Don’t be like the guy in the story above.
So, if you’re a fitness business owner, manager, personal trainer, or someone wanting to attract new customers to your business, regardless of your advertising budget, read on to learn about several unique marketing approaches that are cost effective, results driven, and fantastic for branding your business! But along the way let us not forget that advertising has always had and will always have a cumulative effect. It’s not something you can do just once in a while; you need to be an ongoing presence in the marketplace to be successful.
People in the fitness industry are always asking me, “Email advertising or social media advertising? Which is the best use of my time and financial resources?” I always give them the same answer: “It's not either/or; it's both.” That is a fact!
Unique Marketing Approach Number One - Email Campaigns. This form of advertising puts the power of zip-code-targeted emails to work for you. There are several marketing companies that will run a campaign for you, but none for as low a cost as GFA e-Marketing. I am particularly knowledgeable about this approach and GFA e-Marketing because I work for Global Fitness Association, the parent company of GFA e-Marketing. The marketing companies I have surveyed range from fifteen cents to eighteen cents per email and mail out the email campaign only one time. In comparison, GFA e-Marketing’s emails are priced at four cents per email, which includes sending out your advertising message four times, once per week for a whole month. Advertising in this manner assures you a true advertising campaign that will reach thousands of potential new customers and stir them to action through repetitive text and images.
Setting up an email campaign is easy. All you need to do is:
Choose your prospects. (Choose men, women, or both.)
Choose your location. (Target by zip code or city.)
Create your email advertisement. (Use your own design or let the GFA
e-Marketing staff consult with you and build your unique message.)
Schedule an email date. (You select the dates.)
This is all made possible by having access to the industry’s largest database. GFA
e-Marketing has access to over 250 million opt-in email addresses throughout the United States and Canada.
Unique Marketing Approach Number Two - Social Media Presence. This form of advertising combined with email advertising can be very successful. Combined with email marketing, your campaign will add improved potential new customers engagement and opportunities for word-of-mouth recommendations. Social Media can change your business and bring in more new customers, but it can also consume many hours of your time and be a lot of work. If you don’t know what the words tweet, post, and wall mean, you might want to consider hiring a professional social media specialist and do it right the first time.
Unique Marketing Approach Number Three - Web Site Presence. This form of advertising is a must in today’s market place. But for some reason many fitness professionals struggle with whether they should have their own website? In my mind there really isn't a question. Here are the facts: Your presence on the Internet is important because you can advertise your services, or anything else you feel is necessary for potential customers or current customers to know. The Internet is visited by billions of people a day, and having your own website for communicating to your customers and future customers is essential.
With technology rapidly on the move and things constantly changing at the wink of an eye, you can’t afford to fall behind. So look past the obvious, take off the blinders, stop living in the past and get involved today with the latest available advertising techniques.
Don’t get me wrong, you should still dabble in other traditional forms of advertising, but not to the degree you have in the past. Our data clearly indicates that the modern approaches, which we have been discussing above, are the key to your future success.
The strategies you learn and practice now, when the economy is flat, will serve you now and many times over in the future.
For more information on this subject, give us a call at 925-672-4800 and we will gladly do our best to answer your questions. You can also visit our website at www.globalfitnessassociation.com/info for more information.