Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Wearables: Personal Data & Sharing

Since writing the first 2 articles of this series, the GDPR has come into force in Europe. Most people have seen this as a hassle; being asked to opt back into a plethora of email newsletters. But there is a wider effect in terms of storing and sharing personal data.

To get tangible rewards for exercising, you need to store your data somewhere, and you can (and should) get more rewards for sharing your results with your friends. After all, you’re helping to motivate them to exercise too (or use the same app or wearable). But at the same time, there’s a question about how the data is used, from selling you a new pair of running shoes, to reducing your health insurance premium.


Tim Berners-Lee says we need to take back control of our data. Sure, it needs to be stored somewhere, but we, the user should be able to define exactly who our data is shared with, and how it is used.

Wearables: Data, Devices and Clubs

Wearables have been around long enough now for us to dispel the myths that they will replace gyms, supersede personal trainers, or kill the health club industry.


Like budget clubs, they might provide a route into fitness for some people, who then move onto ‘harder drugs’, i.e. a gym membership. For athletes and experienced exercisers, they add another layer of measurement, or the chance to level up what they’re already doing.

From a club operator point of view, the plethora of wearables and fitness apps is a minefield.

Wearables: Devices & Motivation

In terms of motivation for exercise and all-round wellness, the Fitbit is a great wearable device. You need to bear in mind that my personal exercise motivation was already good; I run 2-3 times (averaging around 15km) per week, I also go to a Pilates class and do a Taekwondo session once a week, swim and play golf 2-3 or times per month, and am generally very active, preferring to walk or cycle to get around where possible and practical. 


However, the Fitbit has given me another boost in terms of measuring my activity and motivating me to do a little more. Targets, reminders, warm-up, workout and chillout functions all add to the overall wellness experience.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Retention Conference announces 2018 date & speaker line up

GGFit has announced the launch of RRR – a dedicated Retention Conference focused on providing operators and gym owners with data insight and expert advice focused on improving member retention rates.


The event will take place at the Oxfordshire, a prestigious golf, hotel and spa venue, conveniently located just off Junction 7 of the M40, on Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

With a packed programme of expert speakers, opportunities to share best practice and a full complement of food and refreshments, the event is a must for anybody keen to retain members for longer and positively influence profit margins.

Speakers already confirmed are Alina Cooper, MD and Co-Founder, FitLinks, Paul Roberts, Founder of MyCustomerLens, plus Adam Whitchurch, CEO of Customer Clever. Event Founder and Director of data specialist company, GGFit, Guy Griffiths, will compère the day and will also share valuable insight and examples of best practice from his extensive work within the sector, working closely with operators on the ground, influencing retention rates.

Commenting on the event, Guy Griffiths, says: “This Conference is the product of our previously successful biannual Sales & Retention Convention.

“Retention remains a challenge for the sector with the industry reporting an average length of stay of 10.9 months (according to GGFit & the DataHub). We want to help operators to get their members to stick around longer.

“With a particular focus on the utilisation of new technologies and techniques, this conference will provide operators and gym owners with a wealth of data insight and practical solutions which can be easily applied with immediate effect to keep members engaged for longer. We have scheduled a mix of seminar sessions, workshops and networking opportunities to ensure attendees leave with a clear idea of how they can apply what they have learnt to their own business.”


RRR – Retention, Retention, Retention early bird tickets are available now, with discounts available for ukactive members. A free to access webinar series is also planned in the lead up to the event. More details about these can be found at ggfit.com/events

To enquire about the event or to book your tickets, visit ggfit.com/rrr. Preferential rates have been agreed with the venue for those who wish to incorporate an overnight stay on October 8.

Friday, 22 June 2018

An Active Uprising in Manchester

Congratulations are due to ukactive for a fantastic new event in Manchester. Times are changing, and the Active Uprising brought together an ever-growing network of like-minded people and organisations as a movement with a global drive for physical activity.


With different streams focusing on Community, Innovation, ukactive Kids, Sweat North, and Ignite, there was something for everyone in the fitness industry. Many delegates wanted to be in more than one session at a time, and all breakout sessions were popular.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Drowning in data? How to make sense of the customer feedback deluge with MyCustomerLens

The fitness industry is collecting more customer feedback every day, but [how] is the data being used?


Let’s look at where some of this data comes from, how you can collect better feedback, and use the data to improve your bottom line.

  • Net Promoter Score is now established in the fitness industry, and is a great benchmark. But you must ask the follow-up open question “Why did you give that score?” It's this follow-up question that turns NPS from another metric into the secret of continuous improvement. 
  • Likewise, “Score your induction”, “How was the joining process”, etc. on a scale of e.g. 1-5 are interesting, but the free format comments that follow is where the real value lies if you want to improve your customer experience.
  • Finally, there’s a wealth of information in leavers questionnaires, particularly when free format questions are asked (rather than a multiple choice “why are you leaving?”, which inevitable shows most ex-members “moving away”).

So, if you’re asking lots of free format questions, you have lots of comments.

Making more people more active with data – imin, are you?

“imin will fundamentally disrupt the way we use data in the sector, and cause a huge impact in the world. We are proud to be working alongside them” said Peter Fitzboydon, former CEO of London Sport. Peter is now MD of Parkwood Leisure.


From a member retention perspective, we see imin as a tool to increase engagement, firstly by bringing more members into a club, but also by enabling existing members to exercise outside the club. Filling exercise classes in general is a good thing for getting members to stick around, and imin is also interesting from a reporting and integration perspective.



imin and the openactive community are using data to help get people active. Anyone using an app connected through imin can search for all activities and facilities, and instantly book available sessions.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Elevate goes from strength to strength

The Elevate “Arena of physical activity, health and performance” goes from strength to strength. In just 3 years, it has established itself as one of the key fitness industry events in the UK. 


There was a good buzz in the lead-up to the show, both on social media and in the press. Booking advanced meetings with clients and partners was positive, rather than being met with the usual reply of “not sure, perhaps I’ll see you there”. In other words, delegates were there to network and ready to do business.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Why SMS… Do You Want the Bad News or the Good News?

SMART phones are becoming so popular that even your Gran’s probably got one. This means more people are able to download apps, but for SMS, it means that messages are collected in conversations, in other words, grouped together when sent from the same number.


It’s important to balance the absentee messages with positive news, or what we call ‘High5’ messages. If you send regular newsletters by email, but only absentee messages by SMS, your “yo-yo” members (those who often become absent) will find their SMS conversation from you full of absent reminders (see below). This bad news thread can cause negative vibes, making them check the value of their membership.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Creative ways to use SMS to gain consent (TextAnywhere)

This is a guest post from our partners at TextAnywhere

Before taking any step to obtain consent you must ensure that the individuals you are contacting haven’t unsubscribed, as you can’t contact people who have already done this. In addition, your previous method of collecting the data was in line with PECR’s guidelines. If you’re unsure about this, it’s probably better to refresh consent.

  1. SMS Surveys
Text message surveys can be a great way to refine consent. With a reported, you are bound to get a positive response rate. With TextSurvey, you can clearly refine the different areas of SMS consent the individual would like to receive such as updates on new products/features, customer feedback surveys, customer support updates. You can download the report from TextSurvey which will show the timestamp of the message and the responses to each question, which is an excellent way to show proof of consent.