In our digital age, marketing and promotion is key to running a successful gym. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data on the marketing profession, roles in advertising, promotion, and marketing management are projected to grow 10% from 2020 to 2040, with over 30,000 openings available each year. This demand is driven across all businesses and industries.
For gyms and fitness centers, marketing managers play a particularly important role in turning a profit. Even though the market is huge for physical fitness services, gyms face many challenges — fierce competition, a highly-diverse clientele base, and difficulty in retaining existing clients. Hiring an expert marketing manager helps address these issues and propel your establishment forward. Here are three skills a marketing manager should definitely have:
In our article on ‘How to Bootstrap Your Sales and Marketing for Your Gym’, we mentioned a few business-critical tasks like handling member referrals, managing corporate accounts, and proactively planning with clients, vendors, and stakeholders in mind — all of which cannot be accomplished without a marketing manager. A manager isn’t only responsible for creating effective campaigns; they’re also in charge of tasks involving customer research and branding.
This aspect of marketing requires someone with highly-organized, efficient technical skills to get the job done. A marketing manager should be able to utilize specialized software, tools, and equipment in relation to search engine optimization, data analytics, customer relationship management, and budgeting reports to ensure the success of a campaign. For instance, if they’re planning to give away anniversary gym swag for regular members, they first need to see if this strategy fits with the demographic and can drive an ROI, or risk overspending on a project that doesn’t provide value.
Most of the time, marketing communicators try to make the message as clear and simple as possible. However, findings from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute reveal that consumers believe a decision is informed and worthy if they spend a lot of time on it — so a marketing manager must craft the right message with some complexity as well. Sophisticated and creative communication skills are crucial vis a vis your overall marketing strategy, especially if you want to share customer testimonials, write blog posts, or post content on social media.
As Maryville University’s communications course highlights, modern marketing professionals should at least be equipped with skills in writing, research, digital media, and visual communication know-how. At a higher level, your gym’s marketing manager should also have insights on strategic communication to develop high-quality campaigns. A savvy marketer can craft useful and appealing meal plans, then turn these into gated content on your website. To access the plans, visitors would need to input their name and email address, potentially giving your gym a way to acquire fresh leads without much expense.
A managerial study from California State University emphasizes the importance of interpersonal skills for a manager. They should be great active listeners, communicate clear goals or expectations, and effectively manage conflict. Marketing managers should be capable at interacting with people, because their job requires them to coordinate with different trainers, coaches, and other customer-facing personnel to understand what gym members need.
Marketing managers should be able to work well with other team members to enact a good campaign. If you want to recognize diligent gym members on your digital channels, you need to get input from the trainers who should know about this project to pay adequate attention when people are working out. A marketing manager would also need people skills to make important deals, like sponsoring a fitness podcast to drive gym membership. There are many people and organizations involved with marketing, so marketing managers should be capable of leading everyone in the right direction.
An article written for fmconsulting.net by Sierra Callan
An Outsourced CEO and expert witness, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. In addition, his company will buy gym equipment from gyms liquidating or closing, provide financing or advance funds on receivables. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.youtube.com/gymconsultant.