According to analysis from IBIS World, industry revenue for the fitness industry is expected to grow at an annualized rate of 1.5% to $36.4 billion over the next five years due to increasingly health-conscious baby boomers signing up for health club memberships. With the economy in great shape and more Americans wanting to get into shape, what can fitness clubs servicing rural areas do to get their share of industry growth? Let’s explore.
Rural fitness challenges
A challenge when it comes to fitness in rural geographies is that weight control and exercise are not always top of mind. This combined with other socioeconomic factors can leave many rural residents feeling stuck in a health rut and a bit unmotivated. When rural women ages 55-64 were asked whether they were in control of their weight, they were 21% less likely than the average adult in the United States to agree that they were. Men in this age group were only slightly better at 9% less likely.
Because of this, in addition to a lack of resources such as quality healthcare, drug stores, and healthy food options, rural residents over index by 45% for having suffered a heart attack or stroke in the last 12 months. These are preventable illnesses that fitness clubs can play a vital part in helping to reduce.
Reaching rural fitness customers
For fitness clubs looking to increase volume, appealing to rural residents is all about understanding them as customers. What are their needs and what challenges do they face? Does your gym offer health and nutrition services that they desperately need? What about programs to help fight childhood obesity – another pain point in rural communities. In fact, many of the health programs fitness clubs offer would have the greatest impact in rural residents. The challenge is reaching these residents with the right message.
Data Analysis and Targeting is the Key
Increasing fitness club volume by targeting rural geographies requires a strategic approach using location-based consumer analytics in combination with high response-rate media such as direct mail. With our data analytics, we help you know which households to mail to that will generate the highest response. This is the approach we recommend not only to large fitness clubs, but also small independent clubs as well. Curious to see how other clubs have benefitted? Check out the case studies below and fill out our form or give us a call today at 877-620-6283 to discuss how we can help you increase membership for your fitness club.
IBIS World 2018
NHCS Adult Survey 2018/span>