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By: Mario Bravomalo and Daron Allen Data analytics, and its myriad

bene ts, can positively affect every single health club regardless of size. This in ux of data can be harnessed, analyzed and utilized to bene t both the health club and consumer in very meaningful ways. Health clubs today face the daunting task of trying to understand and engage the web-sur ng, technology-using, sophisticated and well-educated consumer. Through proper use of analytics, club operators can predict (and be prepared to adjust to) the most current consumer trends. Data collection and interpretation will forever change club marketing and sales strategies. Club operators who understand and implement data strategies have the power to elevate their clubs to the next level and signi cantly outperform their competition.

Data analytics have a signi cant impact on the health club industry in multiple ways:

1. Data is worthless without INSIGHT; data insight is a vital asset - If a health club has a website, social media page, billing and management system, CRM or sales platform, the club has an unimaginable asset in the data it collects from its customers. Even the smallest clubs generate data, but what do we do with this data? Advanced analytics systems can track and analyze user experience, web traf c, keyword preferences and consumer trends. This amount of data can be overwhelming for any club; hence, a strategy and plan are needed to collect, store, analyze, implement and protect data assets. In this competitive market, savvy operators will begin to use data services to collect and visualize their clubs’ data with a desire to elevate beyond the competition.

It also means that clubs that never thought data would be “for them” might be scrambling to catch up. Let me make this as plain as possible: If you own or operate a club, and you have questions about how to improve your operations and stay ahead of your competition, your data is your greatest asset. It can be powerfully utilized to improve your club if you leverage the data for insight. It’s really that simple.

2. What other industries are telling us - Data will enable clubs to better market and implement customer intelligence. Like it or not, the companies you do business with know a lot about you, and the quantity and diversity of what they know about you is increasing every year. Furthermore, 87% of enterprises believe data analytics will rede ne the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years. A remarkable 89% believe companies that do not adopt a data analytics strategy within

the next year risk losing market share and momentum.

These, and other key  ndings, are from a recently published Accenture and General Electric study. This study also revealed that many enterprises are investing the majority (36%) of their time and IT budget in data analysis.

3. Data will improve internal ef ciency and operations of your club - Harnessing quanti able data from how effectively we market our clubs, sell our services, track our members and train our employees will improve internal ef ciency and operations for any club. Data is breaking away from just the IT department and is now becoming an integral part of every area throughout the company.

Analytics implementation is essential for front-line team members. Front-line team members do not have time to translate consumer preference; therefore, having a great analytics dashboard is essential for their success. These sales dashboards are evolving compilations of consumer speci c data and should be easy to read and navigate. By using sales analytics, health clubs can create a plan for constant sales improvement. Front-line team members must be provided with the right tools: consistent scripting, consumer preference insight and sales branding dashboards. Sharing the results of this invaluable data analysis allows the team to see what practices are relevant and why they are working.

Measuring ROI - Research

reveals the following: Data-driven businesses:

•Outperform their industry peers by up to 6%; •Generate 9% more revenue through their employees and physical assets; •Enjoy a market value 12% above ave- rage, and •Are as much as 26% more pro table than competitors.

Becoming a data-driven business requires top-down leadership and decision making on the idea that data is an asset and analytics are an important investment for the organization. It also requires a cultural change and an evolution of technologies

Mario Bravomalo

that enable the business to fuel an agile decision-making process throughout the organization.” (Forbes, January 22, 2015)

4. Data will allow clubs to improve the customer experience - Top IT department operators have already started investing a great deal of resources into structuring, capturing and analyzing their data to create better product offerings and customer experiences. These sophisticated operators are using data to better understand their customers’ needs. Health club operators would bene t by following the lead of these top operators.

Health club members’ experience and engagement is tracked through “Touch points.” These are points of contact that clubs can utilize to continually rejuvenate interest. Data analytics gives clubs the ability to track these member touch points, affording club operators a deeper understanding of their members, thus enhancing retention. By utilizing a central database, which gives operators a top-down look at their structured and unstructured data, the health club is provided endless insight into the adoption rates of the club’s offerings and the members’ overall experience.

5. Invest in algorithmic marketing - According to the Forbes article, “Big Data, Analytics and the Future of Marketing and Sales: companies need to invest in ‘algorithmic marketing,’

Daron Allen

consumers. Club operators who are able to use customer data to provide relevant personalized messaging to their members will have a much more effective marketing strategy. Club operators must invest in systems that will give them the ability to analyze their club members in a multitude of different categories.”

6. The risk of not implementing data into your health club’s operation - The greatest risk a club has from not implementing a data strategy is that competitors will gain market share at your expense.

These are just the top six impacts I foresee data analytics having on the health club industry in the near future. Is your business ready to capitalize on these opportunities? View additional resources at and an approach

that allows for the processing of vast amounts of data to be processed to create better and more relevant interactions with

(Mario Bravomalo, F ounder of Visual Fitness Planner (VFP), is a Licensed Physical Therapist who developed the prediction mathematical formulas of fat loss for body segments used today. An entrepreneur, his ventures include a partnership in the creation of SPORTSMED and founding the North Texas Center for Pain Management. Mario also created a cash-for-service business portal within the nursing home industry for Richard’s Healthcare. His vision of how VFP could bene t the  tness industry led to the creation of Inter-Images.)

(Daron Allen, Preside nt and CEO of the Visual Fitness Planner has 20 years health club industry experience. Daron has worked with many of the top 100 club operators. He is a Past President and Board member of THRSA, Former VP of Fitness Services of the Osteopathic Health System of Texas (OHST), Finalists for the IHRSA/LifeFitness GM of the Year Award 1998/1999 and a recognized presenter within the health club industry.)

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