Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not Just Small, But Tiny

A few days ago I mentioned I haven't gone to the gym for two months. Last night, something dawned on me. No, it wasn't the possibility that I'll turn into a pile of mush if I continue to avoid exercise. What struck me was the fact that my gym doesn't seem to care.

No one working there takes a look at the membership roster to see if any members have been chronically absent. Or if they do, they file the info somewhere in the back of their mind, and take no action.

It's not that I require attention from my gym in order to go back. But I think they're missing an opportunity to market their members. With today's connectivity and the easy use of their database, my gym could send me an email asking about my well-being. We're talking a few minutes of somebody's time here, time that could be used to foster a connection.

If you think about it for a few minutes, you'll find that there are just a few reasons why gym members might miss a month or two of workouts. It could be:

Work demanding more time;
Injury or illness laying a member up;
A job change forcing the member to a new location;
Loss of interest in exercise or that particular gym.

Whatever the reason, my gym is missing out on an opportunity to engage me more fully as a member. Of course, the real reason gyms don't consider this an opportunity because they can't see a direct line from their email message to money in their pocket.

As traditional "mass media" ways of thinking are undercut and forced to evolve through our massive online connectivity options, businesses are being called on the carpet because they continue to think BIG. I see my gym's opportunity, noted above, as a way of acting tiny, rather parallel to the thinking I read this morning in an interesting post at Brand Autopsy titled How Tiffany Saved Michael’s Life. Thanks to John Moore for helping me frame my thinking in this way.

For my gym, and many others, marketing these days really reduces down to small, miniscule, seemingly-unimportant actions that could combine to create huge results.

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