According to a study from the American Public Transportation Association, walking is more popular than ever. Of course, fitness fanatics already know that walking or running to a destination is much healthier and cheaper compared to riding in a car, bus or train.
The study states that millennials, or those born between the years of 1982 and 2003, residing in cities are walking more than using any other mode of transportation.
Some might say this generation is getting their exercise by walking to work, the store, home or to visit a friend instead of on a treadmill…but what does that mean for the fitness industry? It means we have to get more creative when marketing to this generation than ever before because they’re already getting a decent amount of cardio without stepping foot in a gym.
You might not know this generation is the largest and most diverse generation in our nation’s history. They’re driving trends and are used to having technology at their fingertips. We’ve all seen a 20 or 30-something glued to their smartphone while walking in public, nearly running into people if they’re not careful.
Below are several tips on how to attract millennials to your facility and keep them coming back:
Let Them Be Social
Allow people to socialize during workouts, other fitness programming or even develop mixers for members on occasion. Long gone are the days of not talking while you work out and people go to places like the gym to fill the void social media leaves behind – social media doesn’t bring about the same feeling as face-to-face interactions. Greet individuals by name to make them feel welcome!
Millennials desire human interaction after being glued to a computer, tablet or smartphone all day so when possible, introduce someone who is new to your class or the facility to a longstanding member with a similar background. You never know, you could help develop a lifelong friendship between the two or create a bond between individuals with similar fitness goals.
Make Workouts Short and Sweet
Millennials are craving short, effective workouts to cram in between work commitments, graduate school coursework, volunteer groups and obligations with family and friends, so give them what they want. Keep them returning to your facility with 30 to 45 minute, sweat-inducing workouts they enjoy and/or can’t find at just any gym. Busy people like to know it’s OK to be a few minutes late to class if they’re held up at work or couldn’t get there as fast as they’d hoped.
This savvy generation will take note of upbeat music, instructors who interact with everyone in the class and high-quality fitness equipment. Once they leave, they’ll head to their next commitment and be grateful that you respected their time.
Promote Personal Training
Millennials have no problem spending money if they think it’s a good investment or for an experience they think is worthwhile. FoMo (fear of missing out) is a real thing and if they know their friends are working out with a personal trainer, they’ll most likely want to as well. Feature millennial clients on your facility’s social media pages or other marketing to get the wheels turning and offer a discount to those who want to work out with a trainer on a trial basis. Promote that each session is based on a client’s individual needs and that they’ll be receiving one-on-one time with an expert. We know your schedule will begin to fill up once word spreads!
Ask For Their Opinion…and Listen To It
Encourage millennials to leave feedback on your facility’s social media pages or by asking them face-to-face. Find out why new members are utilizing your services and promote incentives for “refer a friend” type marketing. Millennials like to be heard so if you ask for their opinion, listen to what they are saying and see if their comments match with others. Once you discover what these members like most about your gym, promote that aspect to others and thank them for their insight. Once you find out what they like least, thank them for their honesty and do your best to fix it, even if it’s an isolated issue.