How linking physical and digital marketing is helping Fitness First power up

Latest Fitness First campaign shows the brand working to harness personalisation

Differentiating Fitness First in what is a highly competitive and personal space cannot be easy, and yet the gym brand is striving to make it so as it powers towards one-to-one, personalised customer experience (CX).

The fitness business recently launched its latest campaign, 'Keep you motivation alive', underpinned by its overarching communications strategy, 'Keep fit interesting'.

The brand’s third campaign under the Keep fit Interesting platform showcases everyday scenarios in which people typically lose fitness motivation. Most of these can be solved by the mental and physical benefits of variety, an ethos Fitness First champions as it continues to help Australians persevere in fitness.

The campaign launched last month with an omnichannel strategy across digital and social, supported by a heavy national digital outdoor presence. 

The campaign provides a variety of contextual versions of the creative to resonate with consumers in low motivation moments, whether it is the daily commute home, or when the temptation of a large lunch trumps the motivation for a workout. The campaign supports the ‘always on’ marketing strategy Fitness First uses, which is heavily data and creative led.

Fitness First head of marketing, Matt Fletcher, told CMO the business is committed to leveraging the incredible wealth of data it has to offer personal customer engagement as its overarching strategy over the next 12 months.

“We absolutely have the ambition to move to a model of one-to-one digital communications and leverage the data we have to understand our audience,” he said.

For now, Fitness First uses omnichannel via digital and physical, along with data and segments via its Salesforce DMP, to facilitate its ‘test and learn’ approach.

“Our communications strategy from a strategic point of view is pretty simple. We know people join the gym for so many different reasons, so we hone in on aspects of truth,” Fletcher explained.

“The reason for our omnichannel approach is this latest campaign is an awareness driver to bring new audiences into the category, and inspire people where and when they need it the most, so on the commute, in the office, at lunch time, in the morning. We are serving up different creative at certain times and in different places.

“We leverage a whole bunch of different audience segments. We’ve got Salesforce Audience Studio DMP and we leverage this for this campaign as we build new segments in the DMP and target different creative for different segments. We’ve done out-of-home and catch-up TV, and all of our media is bought programmatically to leverage those segments.

“Social performs work really well for us, so YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and native video. However, buying TV programmatically is an interesting test for us.

“We have strong first-party data we can leverage, and we use that a lot for location-specific messaging around gyms and product promotional messaging, and we also use it to optimise our journeys right through the conversion funnel. We’ve got a pretty robust testing framework, for things like a/b testing. In terms of non-members, we use our data to create lookalike audiences.”

Like all marketers, Fletcher said marketing complexity increases every year, but along with this is a great opportunity to connect with audiences.

“We run campaigns and ‘always-on’, we have spikes at various times of years with our campaigns, of which some are acquisition, retention, and member engagement," he continued. “We have an inherently physical product, and we know prospects want to come and see if our gyms are appropriate for them, so the blend of digital and physical media is still super important for us."

Proprietary data shows the more variety there is in a routine the more likely consumers are to stay motivated, Fletcher said.

“Our USP is variety; it underpins our fitness philosophy because it plays an important role in keeping people motivated and reaching goals," he said, noting the way clubs are designed, to the classes and fitness experiences on offer, are driven by this goal. “People join the gym for so many different reasons. So we offer a huge variety and choice of offerings, choice of locations, and these changes down to the individual constantly. So our messaging is humorous, relational, and emotive, to make that connection.

“From a marketing point of view and the individual nature of the product, our focus is on personalisation, but it’s challenging because it is an inherently personal thing. The opportunity over the next year for us will be enhancing our ability to communicate on a more personal level.

“We must connect the physical and digital together in a way that makes sense for our audience. Fitness First recognises it has an opportunity to be the leader in this hybrid style of CX it is aiming for. It helps to have a good brand and product that is physical and personal, and then we can layer over digital touchpoints people actually want on that personal level."

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