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What’s your tingle? • michael mantell • american council on exercise (ace)

– in the minds of the public – as, say, daily tooth brushing? Years ago, Pepsodent convinced


consumers that the ‘dingy fi lm’ they felt on their teeth would – with a bit of brushing with a certain tingly, minty- tasting substance – disappear, yielding a more beautiful smile. T e American public soon came to crave that cool sensation – the evidence, they believed, that this new toothpaste was working. T e tingle they craved established the daily brushing habit. So, here’s the question to marshal your

team around: “What’s our tingle?” Is your club a habit among the key demographic you’re trying to reach? Decades of psychological research long

ago taught us how to create cravings and habits. More recently, Charles Duhigg – a writer for T e New York Times – explained the steps in his book, T e Power of Habit. Let me simplify this basic marketing

formula for you: 1. Identify the cue (the appeal to the

prospect or member) – for example, the time of day, convenient location, emotions, social connections, rituals, etc.

s there a successful club operator which doesn’t aspire to have its business services become as necessary

2. Clarify the routine (the

habit you want to instill) – for example, long-term membership to your club, purchasing training session packages, buying shakes... whatever behaviour you want to encourage. 3. Associate the reward

with the routine. Make the case that it’s worth repeating the routine over and over again in order to obtain the reward. Common rewards relating to health clubs include looking good, better relationships, improved health, increased longevity, reduced stress and weight loss. Importantly: do you know the specifi c

rewards that the people in your own unique psychographic group crave? T e next time you get together with

your key idea people, put on your psychological hats and consider, study and interrogate a ‘virtual’ prospective member. Try to ascertain their likely cues, defi ne the routine you want to establish and identify the meaningful reward that will create a habit-forming craving for that hypothetical individual.

Ask the experts... Enhancing social media

Members and prospects are constantly bombarded by information, most of it coming in the form of sales pitches in a very one-dimensional platform. With the advent of social media, our

members now have the opportunity to become part of the conversation. It is our task to create an open, transparent forum through which they can become a part of this collaborative consumerism. Whether it’s Facebook posts, tweets or blogs, the content must be engaging enough to garner the attention of a comment, like or share. Tactically, the single best way to get

your posts noticed is to upload images as part of your content. Pictures are far more likely to engage your fans than lengthy text, ‘Ask a Question’ polls, news



Make the case to members that the reward will be worth the routine You may discover that your most

promising ‘tingle’ isn’t a hi-tech member engagement system or a new line of supplements, but rather something much deeper, simpler, easier to understand, and infi nitely more gratifying. Working to deliver the rewards that your prospects and members desire is guaranteed to produce brighter, more beautiful smiles all round. Michael R Mantell, PhD, is the senior

fi tness consultant for behavioural sciences for the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and a regular CBI Unbound guest blogger. He can be contacted at Your goal should be to engage your

audience, not sell them something. By engaging them via likes, shares, comments and re-tweets, clubs can leverage the multiplier eff ect of social media: if your page has 500 fans, each with 200 friends, you can reach 100,000 potential members. But success in social media marketing

‘Use social media to engage not sell’ – Shoulders

links or videos. Images are also less likely to be fi ltered by Facebook’s Edgerank. T e content should ask for comments while being concise enough to retain your audience’s short attention span.

Read Health Club Management online at

and community creation is not simply a matter of using certain channels, or even maintaining a high level of engagement. It’s about providing a club and staff that people deem worthy of talking about. Word of mouth equity will work in your favour at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising, and with a great deal more clout. Bob Shoulders, director of social

media services, Retention Management august 2012 © cybertrek 2012


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