Technology has changed fitness a lot in the last decade. Since the advent of the iPhone ten years ago, powerful mobile smartphones have created the potential of having a fitness trainer in everyone’s pocket. These devices combined with new tracking technologies and the ubiquity of Internet connectivity provide a lot of possibilities when it comes to connecting with, marketing to and engaging members. With its continued development many believe that the impact of technology in the fitness industry is just getting started.
So how can you use technology to positively impact your fitness business? That’s a good question and the answer isn’t always the same for every operator and business model.
The Fitness Industry Technology Council www.fittechcouncil.org recently conducted a research report based on a survey of 1,594 facilities in 23 countries. The report, which was published in June of 2017, asked a series of questions which reveal how fitness facilities use technology. The survey is available here. Some of the findings are outlined below:
– While 66% of respondents use social media to promote their businesses 34% say they are unsure how to use it;
– 60% of respondents spend less than 30% of marketing dollars on digital advertising;
– Over 50% of facilities use cloud based club management systems;
– 63% of facilities report they do not have a reliable resource to analyze their data;
– Only 3 out of 10 respondents think they have enough information to make informed technology decisions; and
– 42% of respondents show little to no concern about failing behind to more technologically savvy competitors.
The survey reflects the fact that many fitness operators are uncertain about technologies and their ability to deploy them in the right way. Finding a reliable and knowledgeable advisor to help you identify a smart strategic approach to adopting technology in your specific fitness business model is important. That is why Core is a member of the Fitness Industry Technology Council, which provides education and information for operators to make smart decision about what technologies are available and how to use them . FITC’s Fitness Plus Technology Podcast includes advice and insights from some of the leading fitness brands in the world. You can listen to the podcast here and on all the major podcast platforms.
Technology has impacted the expectations of members and user. Technologies are enabling fitness facilities to create new experiences in their locations via live streaming classes, immersive indoor cycling studios and the tracking of data via leader boards among other experiences. What is even more valuable is that facilities can now integrate experiences outside of the club via platforms like Myzone which tracks all activities for members. New streaming technologies also allow clubs to share exercise content via mobile apps outside the club. Solutions like OpenHub enable members to easily connect their devices to cardio consoles and integrate workout data to their favorite apps as well. Technologies like EcoFit enables the tracking of cardio equipment and soon the tracking of most other equipment for asset management and service. The list of available solutions is very long so having a game plan based on good advice and an understanding of your technology options is critical.
The impact of technology on the fitness industry is here and now. Use the resources we shared in this article to learn how to make it work for your fitness facility and brand. Our business development professionals would love to help you create a technology plan for your fitness brand.
Bryan O’Rourke is an author, keynote speaker and advisor to global fitness brands. He has ownership and management roles in a number of health club and fitness businesses, serves on the IHRSA board of directors and is the CEO of the Fitness Industry Technology Council. You can learn more at www.bryankorourke.com.