How to Start Persona-Based Marketing at Your Fitness Club

Sara Perry

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January 31, 2024

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category

minute read

PUblished

January 31, 2024

Personal trainer talking to two members

Understanding your fitness club members is essential for growth and success. By creating member personas, or a detailed understanding of a member profile, you stand to gain valuable insight into the diverse community at your club and their unique needs.

Member personas serve as a roadmap to deeper engagement and club growth. In this guide, we’ll discuss how to create member personas and use them to deepen member engagement through persona-based marketing.

  1. What is persona-based marketing?
  2. What is a member persona?
  3. How to create member personas
  4. How to find data for persona-based marketing
  5. How to use persona-based marketing at your fitness club

What is Persona-Based Marketing?

Persona-based marketing is an approach that involves creating detailed profiles of your ideal members to support personalized marketing strategies. This method ensures that your marketing efforts are more relevant, impactful, and ultimately more successful in attracting and retaining members.

The essence of persona-based marketing lies in its focus on personalization. The goal is to move beyond generic, one-size-fits-all marketing tactics. Instead, dive into the specific needs, preferences, and challenges of different member segments. By understanding these nuances, you can tailor your marketing messages, programs, and services to deeply resonate with each segment.  

Detailed member personas are the backbone of persona-based marketing. Let’s delve into what they are and how to use them to connect with your diverse member base.

"When you are able to engage with people in a personalized manner, you’re actually able to drive up their lifetime value by over 20%,” says Susz.
Vi, the leading AI-as-a-Service provider for the health and wellness industry, believes personalized engagement is the key to higher acquisition and retention.

What is a Member Persona?

A member persona is a detailed profile that represents significant segments of your fitness club’s members. They aid in understanding the demographics, behaviors, and preferences of your members. Detailed member personas guide effective persona-based marketing efforts and ensure your messaging resonates with members.

While you may know them as “buyer personas”, “marketing personas”, “customer personas”, or “target personas”, the concept remains the same: they help you create relevant communications, attract the right members, and drive engagement.

They have become indispensable tools for fitness clubs wanting to foster better member experiences and drive revenue. Creating and using personas to drive persona-based marketing helps fitness clubs:

  • Understand Member Needs: Every member has unique goals and challenges. Personas offer insights into what motivates members, enabling personalized engagement.
  • Create Messaging That Resonates: With a nuanced understanding of your audience, you can develop specific, impactful messaging that speaks directly to members.
  • Boost Engagement: Recognizing the distinct preferences of different members allows you to create programs that truly connect, increasing long-term engagement.

How to Create Member Personas

Member personas help you understand the behavior and demographics of your club’s members. Every fitness club has unique members and with unique needs. Identifying and differentiating between those personas is crucial for effective member engagement.

This category can be further broken down into individual member personas and family personas.

Individual Member Personas: These focus on a single member’s specific needs and preferences. Are they seeking personal growth, working towards a specific health goal, or seeking a fitness community? Understanding their motivations enables you to create customized experiences that cater to member needs.

Family Personas: Tailoring experiences for families requires a different approach. While individual members might seek personal development, families often look for programs that benefit their children or the family unit as a whole. What does a fulfilling experience look like for family units at your club?

For member personas to be effective, they should be as detailed as possible. Gain a deeper understanding of members’ motivation and demographics by including information such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Values
  • Goals
  • Fears
  • Challenges
  • Interests
  • Economic status
  • Preferred communication method

When working with family personas, consider including additional information such as:

  • Family member ages
  • Number of family members
  • Childcare needs
  • Impact of school year on engagement

You’ll need to create more than one persona to engage a range of members with different interests. For example, let’s say your fitness club offers group exercise classes, pool access, and personal training. You would need to develop at least three separate personas to represent the members most likely to engage with each offering. Crafting multiple personas will make it easier to tailor your marketing efforts and programming to your members.

Incomplete member persona template for Tennis Trina
When creating multiple personas, give them a name like “Tennis Trina” to make them easier to reference.

Download this free member persona template to get started creating your fitness club member personas.

How to Find Data for Persona-Based Marketing

Crafting detailed member personas requires a blend of quantitative and qualitative data. Here are three places to collect the data that will shape your understanding of your members.

Marketing Automation Tools and Club Management Software

You need to understand the behavioral patterns of both your ideal and current members. The good news is that you should already have access to some of that data through your marketing automation tool and club management software. Comb your internal records and member profiles to reveal patterns in demographics, participation rates, and engagement levels.

Personal Interviews

Speak with members directly to understand why they chose your club over the competition. Engaging in one-on-one discussions is an opportunity to understand your members on a level that quantitative data alone cannot offer. Speaking face-to-face with members can uncover personal stories, motivations, and suggestions for future improvements. Feedback forms, past surveys, and questionnaires can also be helpful resources for understanding member needs and experiences.

Online Interactions

Understand how your members engage with your club behind their screens.  

According to The Harris Poll, 55% of consumers learn about new brands on social media. Analyze how members are interacting with your club through platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram. Comments, likes, and shares can indicate what content resonates with your members and provide insight into their needs.

Tools like Google Analytics can show you which pages on your fitness club’s website are the most engaging. This information can highlight the preferences of your website visitors and the paths they follow to interact with your club online.

How to Use Persona-Based Marketing at Your Fitness Club

Leveraging member personas can be a game-changer for how you engage with members and scale your club’s growth. Here are some ways to implement persona-based marketing strategies to meet member needs.

Identify Key Member Segments

Start by segmenting your members based on the personas you’ve developed, such as categorizing members into “Early Morning Enthusiasts” and “Weekend Warriors”. By categorizing your members into distinct groups, you can create more targeted and relevant marketing campaigns.

Help Members Find the Right Classes

Each member has unique motivations, challenges, and preferences reflected in their personas. Use this information to connect members with the classes that are most likely to help them reach their fitness goals.

For example, if one of your personas is a “Health-Conscious Parent,” you can personalize your outreach to suggest quick, effective classes that align with a busy parent’s schedule. This personalized approach resonates more with the target audience and increases the likelihood of higher engagement and retention. By personalizing member engagement, we’ve seen clubs increase their member lifetime value by over 20%.

Create Persona-Specific Classes

Use your personas to develop programs that align with your members’ goals. For the “Corporate Professional” looking for stress relief and networking opportunities, creating a yoga class followed by a social hour may improve attendance for those members. These targeted offerings not only cater to the specific interests of your members, but also provide an opportunity to cross-sell other services your club offers.

Remember, these member personas are not just abstract concepts. They represent the real individuals engaging with your club day-in and day-out. Leverage these persona-based marketing strategies to understand your members on a deeper level and create an environment where every member feels understood and valued, enhancing their experience and loyalty.

Looking for more ways to attract and engage leads?

Using your fitness club’s CRM software to its fullest potential can increase retention by 14%. Learn how you can use your CRM to drive and engage leads from the Club Automation team.

Read the highlights or watch this webinar to learn:  

  • How to nurture prospects after a free trial
  • Which tools you need to reach leads at the right time
  • Why being the first to respond can convert more members

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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Static and dynamic content editing. A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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Into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

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