Friday, June 26, 2009

Casey Conrad gives more insight into Program Marketing for Health Clubs

Are your beliefs about how health club memberships should be marketed and sold preventing you from being more successful?

I ask this of you because of a conversation I had yesterday with a long-time health club operator. Here was his situation; he’s been in the industry for over 20 years; he owns two locations; business isn’t so good right now; he called to inquire about having me do some sales training with his staff.

When someone tells me they want sales training the first thing I do is ask them about their marketing and specifically do a comparison of their number of tours year to date and by month compared to the last two years. It was obvious from the numbers that, although on-going sales training is important, his problem wasn’t necessarily sales skills, it’s a numbers problem. He doesn’t have enough traffic walking through the doors.

I spent some time discussing with him strategies and tactics to attract more traffic but he kept fighting me on it, constantly saying things like, “But we want to accomplish this,” or “But we tried something like that once and it didn’t work.”
Reality check: Today’s market is different than anything this industry has ever seen. What may have worked two years ago won’t necessarily work today; what didn’t work two years ago might just work today.

Listen to my audio where I briefly discuss the strategy and some tactics for driving more prospects through your doors. Copy and paste the link below into your browswer and you can listen to the audio:

Keep on marketing! Casey

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Casey Conrad answers health club operators' questions about Program Marketing

After yesterdays post and video discussing Program Marketing I got some e-mails back asking me a couple of questions.

First, what length of time should a program be?

Of course, there is no absolute answer but it is best to keeep it somewhere between 4-12 weeks. That will depend upon the program. For example, if you are going to offer an introduction to fitness program, that includes structured time with a trainer either individually or in a group, I'd lean to 4 & 6 week options. If, on the other hand, you are talking about a weight loss program, you are better off with something between 8 & 12 weeks to improve the weight loss result.

Remember, here, although these programs can certainly be sold to members what we are trying to do is create short-term programs that appeal to people who aren't coming into the club right now because they are either intimidated or don't want to deal with the "signing up" for a membership. We are lowering the barrier!

Second, what should the pricing model be?

Again, there is no absolute, but if you follow the reasoning that Program Marketing allows you to attract people who wouldn't otherwise join the club, it is best to try and keep the price down as low as you can--within reason--where the customer recognizes that you are offering good value for money AND you are transparent with them as to why you are doing it; i.e. that you want to earn their trust.

That said, if you can keep a program between $49 and $249 you will attract more people.

Keep the questions coming. In good health. Casey

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Casey Conrad talks about Program Marketing for Health Clubs

Most health clubs I talk to these days all are facing the same issues:
1. How to get more tours to walk through the doors.
2. How to increase the % of tours to people who join.
3. How to find new, creative ways in marketing that reach more prospects.

Program marketing helps with all three of these goals. Program Marketing refers to the creating of specific, short-term, niche programs that make it easy for a never before member of a club to have a positive experience with the club. Ultimately, the goal is to give them a great experience, earn their trust and eventually have them become a member.

Many club operators are fearful of offering programs because they don't bring in the net profit or addition to the EFT that a regular membership does. This is short-sighted. Someone who is ready to join and knows what they are doing with exercise won't buy a program--they'll buy a membership. It is those that are reluctant to join that will gravitate towards a program.

The sky is the limit; introduction to fitness, group exercise, weight loss, low back pain relief, yoga . . . any type of entry level program that can deliver an outcome will work with Program Marketing. Check out the video below to see how one club is using this strategy to drive more tours and sales.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Casey Conrad provides training in Sao Paulo Brasil

This past weekend I was in Sao Paulo, Brasil to give a 2-day for 150+ health club operators from throughout the entire country. Marcos Tadeu, founder of Fitness Management School, Brasil, was the host. We spent the entire second day on how to successfully market. Anytime I do an entire day of training on marketing I ask the audience several "self-assessment" questions:

* Do you have a 12-month marketing plan that details out the specific
promotions by month, the campaign titles, the deadlines, etc?

* Does your marketing plan include specific activities in each of the 5 pillars;
External, Internal, Guerrilla, Corporate and Community efforts?

* Are you incorporating eMarketing strategies into each and every promotional and
advertising effort you do? Specifically, are you trying to turn every marketing
effort into a capture mechanism that will obtain the names and e-mails of

* Are you using Program Marketing as a way to reach more prospects and lower the
barrier to entry, helping us bring a new untapped market share into the club?

These are just a few of the "big picture" questions to ask yourself. Remember the
"6-P" philosophy; "Proper prior planning prevents poor performance!"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Casey's Teleseminar was a Smash Hit

Casey's Teleseminar, "How to Turn Web Leads into Sales" was extremely popular. If you missed it, watch this video.