The Digital Natives Expect You To Bring Your A-Game

There is a simple logic that justifies marketing to Millennials; it is the fact that, being young people, they will be around for years and years to come. So if you can capture the mood and attitude that appeals to them, you have a shot at building relationships with a valuable demographic.

Millennials are the offspring of past generations that were subject to sophisticated marketing, even if the media was less advanced. This recent generation has grown up within that context, and they are the first generation that is truly native to the digital realms. So this fact is something that you should keep in mind when you seek to acquire and retain Millennials as fitness club customers.

The Nature And Behavior Of The Millennial Generation

The concept of generations is a useful construct, made up to determine the characteristics and behaviors of demographic groups. According to Pew Research, Millennials are the group that was born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. They are now the largest part of the workforce and taking the economic clout away from the Boomer generation.

Club Solutions Magazine recently quoted George Foreman III, the founder of EverybodyFights, as an advocate for combining technology with bricks-and-mortar gym facilities to appeal to the millennial market. Young people of the digital generation have never known what it is like to be short of answers; they have always been able to turn to digital reference sources and social networks.

The Principle of Authenticity

The millennial persona might have multiple devices available and be quickly switching channels, judging which is the best solution for the situation at hand. Consumers who have such direct access to data are looking to find the best deal, whether that is a low-cost bargain or an exceptional experience.

The digital realm gives them the tools to research and fact-check all your assertions. So gym owners, if you have not begun to move toward the digital fitness regime yet, you really should start an initiative now. It means using your data to connect to your members socially and build relationships with high levels of authenticity.

Remember millennial consumers are looking for you digitally. They ask their extended networks for advice and recommendations. They read and contribute to review sites like Yelp. They search Google and Facebook for the highest ranked search result for specific keyword phrases. They put together pictures from multiple sources, but you can have an impact on the media that they see.

When you make contact with Millennials, make every step an effort to turn transactions into relationships. Even if they never sign up personally, each new contact can become valuable to you. Get their name for a list. Email them and solicit more information. Always use offers. Give out free merchandise in return for interactions and engagements; perhaps you can acquire a social media vending machine to encourage it.

In a sense, fitness club membership is perfect to match Millennials and technologies. The latest digital fitness concepts capture data about your workout performance and also give you communication channels. You can automate your relationships to make and update appointments with trainers and still appeal to this demographic. Diversity is essential to optimize the workforce in your gym, make sure to integrate Millennials into the team; more on that in a future post I think.

Drop The Avocado And Get Off My Lawn

There is a fad in the media right now; writers love to complain that Millennials spend their money on frivolous things. Such complaints seem to imply that young people act entitled and wasteful, that might grab headlines but the numbers about millennial finances don’t bear that out.

Millennials have higher costs of healthcare and education among other things, so they tend to be more careful in how they spend income. That means that you have to fight harder to get part of their budgets. Their career pressures and sophistication accounts for their selective attitudes, but knowing this you can use it to your advantage.

Millennials are just young people, and that is a set of traits that is common to all human behavior. Gym business owners who deliver high-value offerings and engage with their younger audience members will be rewarded with strong and long customer relationships. If you connect and respond through the digital channels that suit the niche in which you operate you can initiate memberships that last for years to come.

Bibliography

Fagan, Lawrence. Lifetime Customer Value Calculation And Why It Matters. April 6, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/3757-lifetime-customer-value-calculation-and-why-it-matters/ (accessed December 30, 2016).

—. Small Gym Business Owners Get The Best of Both Worlds With Automation. November 8, 2016. https://blog.gyminsight.com/4053-small-gym-business-owners-get-the-best-of-both-worlds-with-automation/ (accessed May 22, 2017).

Fry, Richard. Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation . April 25, 2016. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/25/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/ (accessed May 22, 2017).

Qiu, Linda, and Victor Daniel. Fact-Checking a Mogul’s Claims About Avocado Toast, Millennials and Home Buying . May 15, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/business/avocado-toast-millennials.html (accessed May 22, 2017).

Verbanas, Rick. Tips on Marketing to Millennials. May 14, 2017. http://yourguerrillamarketer.com/tips-marketing-millennials/ (accessed May 22, 2017).

Zabonick, Rachel. Gym Technology: George Foreman III on Tech, Millennials and More. April 18, 2017. http://clubsolutionsmagazine.com/2017/04/gym-technology-george-foreman-iii-on-tech-millennials-and-more/ (accessed May 22, 2017).

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