By Tim Lyons, ProFit Marketing Solutions
To anyone just starting out in business, fitness or otherwise, the words marketing, advertising and sales all sound synonymous with large expenditures of money for very little return. We just want to get people through the doors, right? Can’t we just have a sales guy up front ready to take the money? And, be honest, raise your hand if you use the three words interchangeably. It’s ok. I used to be one of them.
Many business owners believe they have a killer marketing plan, advertising campaign and sales strategy in place when the opposite is true. When you start allowing marketing people to do sales and sales people to create and upload ads, you can run into serious issues that can impede your growth by a large margin.
Understanding the purpose of each of the disciplines is paramount to your success. So, let’s start with some definitions.
“Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” – American Marketing Association.
This overarching term refers to what you need to do to create a plan to get your product in front of customers. This includes research into what your consumers want, how they want to receive it, how you will strategically “get the word out” (i.e. which mediums will you use to promote your product) and determining a budget that you will adhere to in spreading the word about your product. And, in fact, the next two pieces – advertising and sales – are planned out in detail under the marketing plan.
“Advertising is the paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.” – About Money
Determined as part of your marketing plan, advertising comprises the actual mediums you chose to utilize to get the word out about your products. Placement mediums include everything from the traditional TV and Radio spots to Pay Per Click options such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter Advertising. This is the portion of your plan that costs you money – make sure you have a tried and true plan to spend it or else it’s as good as throwing money down the drain.
“A sale is the act of selling a product or service in return for money or other compensation. Signaling completion of the prospective stage, it is the beginning of an engagement between customer and vendor or the extension of that engagement.” – Dictionary.com
Sales should be the easiest piece of the puzzle, right? In my experience, it can be the toughest job of all and many gym owners do not have actual processes in place to close the deal. Your Marketing Plan detailed the offer, your Advertising Campaign spread the word, now your Sales Team needs to take over to convince consumers the price is right and they need to jump on it before it’s too late. You must empower your sales team or dedicated trainers who do double duty as sales people to make decisions that allow for slightly different offerings to ensure you gain new customers.
Separately, marketing, advertising and sales don’t do you any good. Together, they work in unison to target and solidify the ideal customer for your business.
If you’d like to lear exactly how to run powerful marketing campaigns for your business, check out my free webinar “Fitness Marketing Domination” and get registered!
At Profit Marketing Solutions, we have spent countless hours determining the best way to capture your ideal fitness audience for your marketing and advertising efforts. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you take your gym to the next level.