The Marketing Mix for Gyms

Published on: 
08 November 19
Posted in: 
9 min read

If you’re a fitness business owner, you know that variety is crucial for keeping your members engaged. Repeating the same moves, runs, and lifts in classes every week can get tedious and lead to a plateau. You need to change things up and see what options bring the best results. 

The same applies to the marketing mix for a gym. While you may find a method that works well for a while, you should always have a range of backup tactics to experiment with in case your results begin to plateau. 

One of the most essential factors in running a fitness business is using your time wisely, and applying the 80/20 rule is one of the best ways to ensure you’re efficiently reaching your marketing goals. 

But what strategies can you implement across your business to promote brand awareness and drive new members through the door? 

In this post, we’ll highlight the elements you need to create the perfect marketing mix for your gym. First, we’ll dive into what a marketing mix is, and why you need it! Skip ahead to:

What Is a Marketing Mix?

In the fitness industry, a marketing mix combines tactics and strategies to promote brand awareness and, ultimately, increase membership sales. The perfect marketing mix for your business will be something you experiment with – until you find the best tactics for your studio. You’ll discover what works best for attracting new members, retaining existing ones, and ultimately – what works best for growth. 

The marketing mix goes hand-in-hand with a combination of basic marketing strategies. In the next section, we’ll discuss 4 of these areas and how to apply them to your fitness business. 

Why You Need a Marketing Mix Strategy 

A marketing mix for gyms is essential because it will keep your marketing efforts effective, and you’ll always be one step ahead. If one of your marketing tactics stops working, you won’t need to panic. You’ll have tried and tested backups ready to go!

While social media and digital advertising are excellent marketing resources, you can’t rely on these alone. Any marketing mix needs to include both on and offline strategies. Check out these 7 alternatives to digital ads to inspire your offline tactics. 

In the next section, we’ll look at 4 key elements of a marketing mix and how to apply them to a fitness business. 

The 4 P’s of Marketing

marketin-mix-for-a-gym

Image source: https://marketingmix.co.uk/

The ‘Four Ps of Marketing’ are product, price, place, and promotion and make for a simple way to breakdown what you’re selling and how to sell it:

  • Price. The cost of your products, services, and equipment. What are your members paying for? What value are you providing?
  • Product. The products, services, and equipment your studio provides. What are you offering to members?
  • Place. The physical location of your studio. Ideally, you’re in a prime spot for footfall – but if you aren’t how can you tailor your marketing strategy to physically get in front of your target audience? 
  • Promotion. The tactics you implement to promote brand awareness and engage potential and existing members. 

The ‘Four Ps of Marketing’ are price, product, place, and promotion and make for a simple way to breakdown what you’re selling and how to sell it. 

1. Price

The pricing strategy you implement for your classes and services is a critical part of your marketing: think of what you offer in terms of value. If your services are priced higher or lower than their perceived value, they will not sell. Structure your pricing in a simple way that offers value to your members. Keep it straightforward, like the example below:

1 class $20

10 classes $150

Unlimited monthly: $110

In terms of your business, the most efficient option is to sell the recurring membership program. Your ‘unlimited monthly’ customers mean you have a steady income from your studio. 

Add an additional stream of income to your business by selling products in your gym, or providing extra services such as one-on-one sessions for an additional cost. 

4. Product

For a fitness business, this aspect of the marketing mix is your services. The most important part of this having a clear definition of what you offer and clarity on who your target audience is. Without this, how can you sell your services and attract the right people to your studio?

Say, for example, that you provide female-focused fitness classes. It would make no sense for you to hold a workshop for your members on ‘building big biceps,’ as this is a topic that is generally more appealing to men. 

This ‘product’ aspect of your marketing mix ties in with the previous three we’ve mentioned, and it will influence the way you approach those strategies.

2. Place

When it comes to ‘place’ and your fitness business, it’s about more than the physical location of your studio in terms of marketing. An excellent location with lots of foot traffic will obviously contribute to getting more prospects through the door, but without the ideal location, you need to get creative. 

It’s more important in today’s world than ever before to integrate your physical and digital marketing. Think about the placement of your ads, both on and offline, and how they can work together. Social media opens up a whole new world of opportunity for you to reach your target members. Whether its a Facebook ad or posters in your local area, consider the following questions when it comes to advertising your services: 

  • What is the objective of the ad? 
  • How will you measure its success?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What kind of content and messaging will appeal to them? 

If you’re new to Facebook ads and aren’t sure where to start, check out our ultimate guide to Facebook ads. And if you need some content inspiration both on and offline, check out these attention-grabbing gym ads to get you thinking outside of the box. 

Be Proactive

Advertising aside – if your studio doesn’t have a lot of traffic potential, be proactive! Take your services to prospective members. Creating a corporate wellness program is a great way to reach new markets, and provides an additional revenue stream to your studio. If your fitness business is located in a small to mid-sized town, you may be thinking this is more relevant to a studio or gym located in bigger towns and cities. But with a growing emphasis on workplace wellness, this is no longer the case. A lot of businesses will now offer employees some form of gym membership; often to a gym close to the office.

There are a host of things your program can include; weightloss and fitness challenges are a good place to start as they are a fantastic way of motivating employees to take part in a health and wellness program. By challenging them to reach a goal, they have more reason to stick with the fitness and nutrition plan you laid out for them.

Some great ideas for programs and challenges include:

  • 8 Week Physical Health Programmes
  • 28 Day ChallengeCouch to 5K
  • 8 Week Mindfulness and Mental Health Programme
  • 8 Week Nutritional Health Programme

Check out these 5 ideas for corporate wellness programs for more inspiration. 

3. Promotion 

Promotion is a crucial aspect of marketing and an essential part of the marketing mix. But you must promote your services in terms of their value. If you’re providing a premium service that members will love, premium prices are a reflection of this. Low barrier-to-entry offers devalue your brand; a member won’t see the real value in what they’re getting if you’re giving it away for free! 

The free gym trial is dead, and there are plenty of more creative ways you can entice and engage new members. Try some of the ideas below to get started.

Offer a referral program

A loyalty or referral program is a great way to encourage your members to act as your brand ambassadors. Happy members refer their friends and families to your studio and are rewarded for their efforts. Referral marketing can be a very cost-effective tool because you only have to pay when new customers come in.  For more tips, check out this blog on creating an effective gym referral program. 

Work with influencers on social media

Start with social media platforms and people you already know to get started with influencer marketing. If you have a loyal client who never misses a workout and is involved on Instagram, contact them. They may have only 500 followers, but be willing to promote you in exchange for some additional personal training at your studio. Stuart Brauer highlights how effective this social media marketing tactic can be in this episode of The Fitness Founders podcast.

Host events and workshops

Workshops are a fantastic way of introducing people to new health and fitness concepts. Slowly introducing exercise concepts and nutrition in a workshop promotes a relaxed environment. Here are some useful workshop ideas: 

  • Mindfulness practices for improving the mental well being
  • Teaching important physical fitness components
  • The amount of exercise required by a healthy adult
  • Laying the foundation for productiveness through five simple steps
  • Cooking classes for teaching healthy eating

In Summary

Emerging trends mean that you need to continually adapt your marketing strategy to keep up, stay relevant, and appeal to your target audience. Focus on the 4 P’s, apply them to your fitness business, and you’ll be on the way to executing an epic marketing mix strategy for your gym.

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