CONSUMER | 12 MIN READ
The fitness industry has a customer loyalty problem
New Year’s Day is an object lesson to this effect. New members storm gyms by the busload, and less than two weeks later, the scene is a ghost town. Little, it seems, can be done to retain them.
Zach Beatty doesn’t blame customers’ intrinsic motivation. As the VP of Marketing at Aaptiv, a leading provider of premium digital health and wellness content, Zach has surveyed the wreckage of an industry rife with products and services that have made promises they can’t keep.
“The fitness industry hasn’t always helped consumers develop a true understanding of the time, programs and habits necessary to reach their health goals. We’ve all seen ads for quick fixes in the form of nutritional or supplement packages, gadgets, and training programs that promise unrealistic results in a short time and little effort. If consumers define their success based on these expectations, they are likely to get discouraged and give up. That’s why at Aaptiv we strive to help our members develop the habits, routines and confidence necessary to live a healthier life. From what I’ve seen within the Aaptiv community, many of our members are accomplishing more than they ever thought they could.”
Aaptiv offers its customers exactly that—routine, encouragement, and support—in the form of over 2,500 audio-based workouts designed to push people beyond their limits with trainer-led classes across every type of exercise and a wide variety of activities, including running, strength-training, yoga, indoor cycling, meditation, and more. So in an industry full of businesses relying on fads to keep them afloat, Aaptiv stands out.
The idea that dollars cannot replace discipline has not only shaped Aaptiv’s product, but how they market it, too. Despite what many of us have read in viral stories about growth hacking, Zach’s cross-functional team knows that a loyal customer base will not appear overnight, especially not in the health and wellness space.
Both Aaptiv and its members succeed, in part, because they’ve given up their addiction to quick fixes, and recognized that nothing can replace hard work. Aaptiv members know that meal-replacement shakes can support an active lifestyle, but not substitute for one. Similarly, Zach knows that growth marketing tactics can supplement a customer strategy, but they cannot be the strategy—not if he wants customers to stick around.
In our interview with Zach, he tells us how Aaptiv’s cross-functional team of marketers, data scientists, product experts, and in-house trainers have turned their quest for acquiring customers into a commitment to creating advocates—the kind who not only use Aaptiv regularly and encourage others to do the same, but also leave reviews like this one:
"This app will make you look forward to working out. You'll be hooked and your workouts will never be the same. You'll want to tell everyone about Aaptiv!"