Digital Marketing in Fitness Industry
Digital marketing refers to the type of marketing that utilizes electronic devices such as computers, game consoles, Smartphones, digital billboards, and tablets to interact with their consumers, suppliers, and other significant business partners. The fitness industry is embracing the idea of digital marketing gradually as different companies try to reach their customers and try to improve their delivery of services. It is worth noting that digital marketing could either be a pull digital marketing or a push digital marketing. Pull digital marketing entails consumers participating in active searches of the contents of the market via emails, text messages, and web feed. The key examples of pull digital marketing include streaming media, websites, and blogs. Push digital marketing entails the marketer sending a message to consumers without their consent. It involves displaying messages on websites and new blogs. Fitness First is one of the largest privately owned health clubs around the globe but it faces competition from other companies in the fitness industry which are embracing the idea of digital marketing.
This paper explicates the current digital marketing campaigns and technologies employed by First Fitness competitors. It also analyses the competitors of First Fitness, and outlines recommendations that can help First Fitness tackle the challenges posed by competitors.
Digital Campaigns and Technologies Employed by the Competitors of First Fitness
Most competitors of First Fitness such as Virgin Active, LA Fitness, David Lloyd, Matt Roberts Training, and UP Fitness are currently using the social media. These competitors have embraced the use of various types of social media including Facebook, twitter, Blogger, LinkedIn, My Space, and WordPress to promote their products and services. The use of social sites has facilitated closer interactions with consumers as they are able to share vital information with these companies. The shared information helps in the improvement of the available products and services. These companies have also been able to post their advertisements on social sites making sure that relevant information concerning the available products and services reach a large number of customers (Cogent Analytics Ltd, 2012).
Another significant digital marketing technology utilized by these competitors is mobile apps. These companies were quick to embrace significant mobile apps such as Lose It and WebMD that came into place. Through such apps, they give consumers tips that would help them stay fit and lead a healthy life. Revenues have also been able to be collected through the utilization of such apps by customers hence boosting the position of such companies (Jahns, 2012). They utilize such apps to reach consumers through subscriptions and the sending of vital messages to such consumers hence expanding the market.
Emails also serve as significant digital marketing technologies and campaigns for the competitors of First Fitness. Emails provide a proper chance for these companies to have personal communications with their consumers. They could send relevant promotional information to their consumers through yahoo, gmail, and hotmail hence ensuring that their products and services are known all over. Notably, Emails offer a chance for these competitors to engage in push digital marketing where they send messages to a large number of recipients hence gaining popularity.
Interactive websites are also commonly used by the competitors of First Fitness. It is vital to note that interact websites interact with their users through either a graphical user interface or a text-based interface. These competitors have maximized on these opportunities to promote their products and services significantly and ensure that they gain more popularity in the market.
Digitally advanced training support programs, machinery, and services have also been utilized by these competitors. Most of these competitors are utilizing significant leaning machines that allow their customers to choose the weights they want as they deem fit. They are not limited to specific weights because of the level of development at these companies. More so, support services such as training programs are conducted with an advanced level of expertise hence attracting more customers. Competitors have been able to take advantage of the fitness industry through continuous utilization of innovations in their training programs and effective utilization of training machines.
Graph showing the increasing use of smartphone apps in the fitness industry.
It is always vital for companies to carry out a keen analysis of their competitors to ensure that they understand their operations better and maximize on any available weaknesses competitors exhibit. Some of the key competitors of First Fitness include Virgin Active, David Lloyd.
Virgin Active is a chain of health clubs found in the UK, South Africa, Italy, Spain, Namibia, and Australia. Virgin Active acquired the assets of Health and Racquet Club in South Africa to establish a firm market in the country in October 2000. It bought these assets at SA Rand 319.6 million hence dominating the fitness industry. Branson (2013) reiterates that the company has remained relevant and it utilizes the most current equipment in its training. It has new gym machines that promote flexibility and ensure that customers enjoy each minute of training. For instance, its weights are designed in such a manner that they can accommodate all individuals with the passion of participating in exercising. Additionally, it has been deemed as one of the best companies because of its dynamic exercise environments that offer customers with a unique and fulfilling experience. Innovations are also on the rise at the company and it has been trying to expand and reach a wide range of customers through the provision of quality services. The company is accommodative and caters for individuals of all ages with the provision of diverse services.
David Lloyd is one of the leading sports, health, and leisure business in the UK. The company opened its first club in 1990 with the aim of providing families with high quality fitness and leisure facilities. Its operations were unique from the operations of other companies in the industry as they also entailed the emphasis on racquet sports. The company has high quality gym and tennis trainers hence encouraging diversity and accommodativeness of a large number of customers. Customer support is always assured at the company with all individuals being motivated to work toward the achievement of their goals at the gym and tennis clubs (David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, 2013). This boosts customer loyalty. First class products such as leaning machines and swimming pools are also offered for advanced training at the company hence ensuring that efficiency is realized. Overall, the company is moving to greater heights even as it avoids partnerships with organizations such as the Lawn Tennis Association.
Fitness First can come out as the strongest company and tackle the digital/technological challenges posed by its competitors by adhering to the following recommendations.
The company put in place measures that promote continuous innovations in the marketing of its products and services. With adequate finances and manpower, the company should ensure that the level of innovativeness is high in line with the emerging technological standards. Innovation should be in all areas including the internet and the products and services provided. Sound measures of innovation would help the company overcome these technological challenges as it will keep up with the emerging trends. Innovations would also be increased through hiring of a qualified staff and engaging in continuous training.
The company should also expand its research and development department. Fitness First Company would be able to tackle the technological challenges posed by its competitors by expanding and improving its research and development department and equipping it with more resources. With an effective research and development department, the company would collect information relating to its competitors and it would be able to adopt significant measures that would improve its ability to tackle the emerging technological challenges from competitors.
In conclusion, the contemporary world is full of technological developments and most companies including those in the fitness industry are embracing the technology to compete favourably in the market. Fitness First Company faces significant competition from firms such as Virgin Active, LA Fitness, David Lloyd, Matt Roberts Training, and UP Fitness. These firms have embraced the use of technological campaigns and technologies such as social sites, mobile apps, Emails, interactive websites, and digitally advanced support programs, services, and products. Fitness First can overcome these challenges by encouraging continuous innovations and expanding its research and development department. Therefore, adherence to the changing trends in the fitness industry would boost the competitiveness of Fitness First Company.