By: Mike Frame, Executive Director of Sales, Consumer Services, Valassis
Published Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Millennials are redefining fitness and healthy living. The shift from traditional gyms with monthly membership fees to boutique fitness studios is apparent, causing a change in thinking in the fitness industry. Millennials are gravitating toward classes and events that are fun and involved at boxing, cycling, group training and custom fitness studios, versus the old-fashioned “ugh, I guess it’s time to go to the gym again.”
Yes, millennials are blazing new trails in the fitness world and technology is along for the ride… literally. Wearable technology like smart watches, heart rate monitors and activity trackers that sync with the user’s workouts play a key role in their fitness lives.4 They share their healthy eating habits on every social media channel they can get their thumbs on and love connecting with friends, getting them to attend fitness classes and events to keep things fun.2
Workouts like HIIT (high intensity interval training), group training, strength training, personal training and yoga are among fan favorites.4 Millennials don’t stick to one thing either. They often get bored doing the same routine or even type of exercise over and over, so they are taking advantage of multiple options available near their location.2 It is vitally important for fitness providers to constantly innovate, so the fitness experience is fresh and exciting and keeps up with millennials’ fast-paced lifestyles. Failure to do so can and will lead to potential attrition within the member base. New classes, workouts and routines, as well as making the all-important personal connection with a fitness coach, helps form relationships that can last for years.
Once a member has an amazing fitness experience, they share it with their friends. But, as a marketer, how do you introduce your brand and unique approach to fitness to potential members in the first place?
Understanding the touch points that drive trial is very important. The necessary components are intelligent targeting, trusted technology and making the right kind of connection. The closer you can get to a one-on-one conversation, the closer you will be to driving trial. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) platforms are proving very effective in helping fitness marketers introduce brands and encourage trial by connecting with the right online audiences.1 Likewise, guerilla marketing – where fitness coaches are connecting with people in-person at events to introduce their brand’s fitness approach – is also thriving. Fitness is a very personal thing to millennials and the one-on-one connection really makes a difference.
Staying fit is also a big part of millennials’ social activity2 and that trend will continue to grow. They have made healthy living fun and something to look forward to. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t live only on their phones and use only social media. In fact, millennials use traditional media and those with kids reflect Gen X in their use of media – seeking the best value and service for their dollar.
So marketers, don’t forget to tell millennials about your gym or the new classes you add. They love to be informed on what’s fresh, hot and exciting.3 Fitness providers that get it will be among millennials’ fan-faves and will enjoy a growing base of followers.
2. LA Times, Millennials are spending big on trendy places to sweat, 23, 2017
3. How Life Works, Why You Won’t Find Millennials Doing Aerobics: The New Wave of Health and Fitness, April 23, 2018
4. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal, Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018, Nov./Dec. 2017