There are many digital tools your club can use, but just using a bunch of tools at the same time isn’t a real strategy. Running your club’s social media account is smart digital marketing tool, but it’s not a strategy. Neither is running referral competitions or having a rewards program. A true strategy requires all of your tools to work together in a deliberate, coordinated way. Clubs with successful digital strategies think of their strategy in terms of different layers that are dependent on each other to succeed. These are the three levels of a building successful digital marketing strategy.
1. Bottom level: Operational Features
The foundation of your digital marketing strategy needs to be focused on operational features that make your members happy. If you have a club mobile app, these are features such as class booking, smartphone check-ins at your club and mobile account management.
These features may not drive lots of direct revenue for your club, but they are a vital part of your digital marketing strategy. Members don’t want to feel like they’re constantly experiencing a sales pitch. If your mobile app only has features that ask members for money they are not going to use your app or other digital platforms. That’s why these features are so important, because they are the non-sales backbone of the rest of your platform.
2. Middle Level: Engagement Features
Now that your operational layer is in place and your members are using your mobile app, you have unlocked the opportunity to offer features that drive engagement. These high-value features enable members to interact with the club through digital channels. Features like tracking workouts, setting goals, competing in fitness challenges and connecting with wearable devices do more than the simple actions of your operational features. Engagement features often don’t earn direct revenue for your club, but they do get members engaged with and thinking about your club in new ways. Especially with fitness challenges and workout tracking, these features start to actually influence member behavior in club-friendly ways.
3. Top Level: Marketing Features (and Revenue)
Now that members are using your mobile platform and have become engaged with your app, you’ve earned the opportunity to use your digital tools to create revenue. Features such as reward programs, member referrals and push notifications with impulse purchase offers are direct opportunities to earn revenue through your mobile app. These features are the main source of returns from investing in a digital strategy.
While the marketing features are the most exciting, hopefully it is now clear why you shouldn’t launch an app with just marketing tools. Push notification offers are amazing marketing opportunities, but without members engaged with your app for non-sales reasons, there won’t be anyone to read them. By laying the foundation with the operating and engagement layers, you can reap the revenue rewards of executing a successful digital strategy.
Want to build the three levels for your own club? Start by learning more about what your club can do with its own mobile app: