Fitness Marketing During COVID-19: What Did We Learn?

COVID-19 and the enforced closures of fitness centres globally forced us to think very differently about how we market. In such challenging circumstances, we leveraged our combined marketing experience and implemented unique advertising strategies to ensure our clients stayed front of mind with prospects and members. Looking back, what did we learn?

Be the first mover and adapt quickly

The COVID-19 shutdown reinforced to us how important it is to be forward-focused and adaptive. As an agency, our clients were and are our #1 Priority.

“How did this affect their business, what did this mean for their staff, and how would this affect our campaigns?”

Through this experience, we recognised every client responded differently despite the similar business and financial impact incurred, but with every client, it was about empathising for their situation and recognizing we were all in this together.

From here, we were able to build the foundations of needs for our clients and use this opportunity to move and align ourselves with a strategy that would best suit their individual needs.

From the standpoint of our Fitness clients, transitioning a brick and mortar business to online, as you have all experienced by now was crucial. Being amongst the first to deliver at home workouts proved to be much more impactful with a much higher attendance rate compared to those who introduced at home workouts 3, 4, 5 weeks into lockdown.

These at home workouts were never required to be professionally shot, with high production equipment, it could have been as simple as an iPhone camera streaming via Facebook. Consumers understood our clients positions and welcomed with open arms this offering, but it was clear - first come, first serve. And that’s where fitness clients went. To the early adopters and deliverers.

Read the room: Hygiene factors are crucial to highlight

In many cases, we forget that on the other side of our screen, is another person, also in front of a screen. Through moments of uncertainty, it’s essential to address and adapt to the changing concerns and emotional needs of our customers. This was also an important focus of ours and our clients throughout COVID-19.

As the pandemic caused more concern about hygiene and cleanliness within the fitness industry, it was crucial to deliver a message focused on the fact this was a priority (for our clients), and that staff were taking all necessary steps to follow government hygiene guidelines.

This helped our clients maintain a community focus, show empathy and kept our communications relatable, and also reassured our customers they are in safe hands.

Care about the community, not just sales

Throughout the pandemic, our recommendations were focused on the consumer well-being. In a time of a pandemic, where everyone is experiencing the same changes and difficulties, it was essential to show genuine care for our current customers.

In addition to this, our clients maintained close contact with their members, through community Facebook groups, social posts, Google My Business updates, sms, phone calls and email campaigns.

The importance of communication and teamwork

The importance of teamwork and adaptation was also reinforced within our agency as we faced the unique challenges of COVID-19 together.

Being forced out of the office and having to adapt to working from home, we quickly learnt the importance of regular communication, trust and collaboration. We also learnt the importance of staying calm during a crisis situation. Despite facing substantial challenges, we supported each other, applied our marketing knowledge to make recommendations and adapted our strategies based on the results we saw.

COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into every industry, however when you support your team and collaborate, remarkable results can still be achieved.

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