Well we would say that wouldn’t we!  But seriously, many operators I speak to have concerns about 3rd party sales teams due to previous bad experiences.  We like to think we’re different. Recruiting a full-time sales resource can be a long, time consuming process, which not only involves sourcing a suitable candidate, but also requires training and further expenses.  If the successful candidate doesn’t work out, it’s highly likely they’ll be retained until they ‘come good’ based on the time…
As one of the leisure sector’s pace setters in digital marketing Alliance Leisure understand how important it is to maximise your brand exposure digitally.  Creating a digital marketing plan that is relentless will drive huge interest and massive brand awareness.  Most digital strategies deliberately remove the slow human element by using virtual call-to-actions, such as online joining, micro-sites, data capture forms and social media competitions.  With the emergence and now establishment of the low cost fitness model the pressure on…

New Customers Only!

By John Leaver

We’ve all heard it before, and some businesses have even made marketing campaigns based around it (Nationwide Building Society 2007), but what do we do for our existing loyal customers when apparently new customers get all the best deals. No doubt if you’ve run a discounted introductory offer for new customers at least one of your existing members has asked “what about us?”  So what do you do - respond with a ‘tough luck’ reply? Offer all your existing customers…
Just over 12 months has passed since Alliance Digital was setup so we ask the guru heading up this team of social media and online experts, John Leaver, what’s been happening.  We catch him in the middle of his day as he’s preparing a marketing strategy for one of his clients. What are you working on today John? This is an annual marketing strategy we’ve been tasked to write for one of our clients.  A few years ago it would…

Is Your Brand Alive?

By Paul Woodford

How passionate are your staff towards your brand?  Is there energy and drive from most of your team to deliver amazing customer experiences and exceed expectations?  Do your managers inspire their teams to want to perform, for the brand, for their colleagues? Creating a brand that lives, breathes and is embedded in all you do is an essential ingredient for survival and growth in 2016 and beyond.  Here are five essential elements in creating a brand that is alive and…
When I was beginning my career in the leisure industry in the late 80’s, the ‘typical’ sports centre of the day was equipped with a sports hall, a few squash courts and a swimming pool (gyms were often confined to a multigym squeezed into an old store room!!!)  We thought we were at the cutting edge of facility programming when we ran after school sports coaching, ‘activity’ birthday parties and of course kids holiday camps. Whilst all of these activities…
Well, the local elections came and went.  If you blinked you might have missed it all, unless you were trying to vote in Barnett this month! I was wondering what the implications of the outcomes might be... It is likely that the financial pressures that local authorities have been juggling with are almost certain to continue.  Had the electorate given David Cameron a bloody nose, I suspect that he and George Osborne might have had to look a bit more…
You only have to scroll through your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed to realise the growing impact that video is having on how we consume content.  Consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014, and YouTube receives more than 1 billion unique visitor every month – more than 20 million Britons every week. So how are you using video in your business?  Here are some ways leisure operators…
(and what it means for the leisure sector) With nearly half of the year gone, Easter is already a distant memory and we've got the summer to look forward to so our thoughts turn to what the rest of 2016 holds for us.  Here are just a few thoughts that should steer your marketing plans over the coming months. Marketing Automation Whether its scheduling email campaigns with auto-responders that reply to specific interaction behaviour, or automated social media responses, marketing automation has been around for…

Online Reviews

By John Leaver

When was the last time you checked what your customers are saying about you on-line?  What value do you place on these reviews? 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star rating So, where do you need to be looking?  Here are our 5 recommended sites to be monitoring for reviews and feedback. Google When…

Facebook Tips

By John Leaver

Here are two Facebook tips you may not be aware of which could help boost your exposure to your followers and allow you to target your audiences more. Verify Your Page Verifying your Facebook page helps your ranking in search results and the visibility of your posts to your followers.  You can tell when your page is verified as you gain a small grey tick icon next to your page name as shown below. To Verify your page just click on the Settings…

Simple SEO Tips

By John Leaver

You don’t have to be a Web Developer with a PhD in Search Engine Optimisation to ensure your website ranks well on Google’s search results. Here are some simple tips for 2015. Content is still King! Create useful, engaging, relevant content for your customers, that is updated regularly. Identify your keywords based on what a human being would search for in Google… Gyms near me Tips for losing weight How do I check my blood pressure Cheap gyms in my…
In a world of self-drive cars, self-check-out kiosks and unmanned drone planes what role does the human being play in the digital world of the future? Let’s not forget that this replacement of workers by robots is not just a recent subject. Throughout the 19th Century human power was gradually replaced by motorised engines and manufacturing soon favoured robotised automation for its low running costs and consistent reliability. Humans have had to adapt to these changes over time and create…
Getting the most from your social media engagement is getting tougher. Facebook growth in the UK has slowed over the last 12 months (although some age groups still continue to rise quickly) and other channels such as Instagram and Pinterest continue to gain market share. With the largest audience base Facebook is still the place to be but you need to start considering your time investment in other social media channels. Here are some top tips to improve your social…
If you fail to plan, then you’re planning to fail. Follow our 4 A plan and you can’t go wrong! Aims Without setting clear target and objectives you will never understand how successful your marketing activity is or what can be done to improve it next time. Consider what you want to achieve at the end of your campaign. What would perfect success look like? Are you looking to gain direct sales, grow your social media audience, generate leads, or…
So you’ve just placed a £500 advert in your local newspaper promoting your Christmas membership campaign. You get 5 enquiries and just the 1 sale (£300). How successful has your campaign been? Looking at enquiries and direct sales is only part of the process when evaluating the success of your campaigns. Here are some other methods to evaluate the effectiveness of your advertising activity. Sales and Walk-Ins ‘Source of Enquiry’ Asking your new and enquiring customers ‘how did you hear…
Sales, sales, sales. After the hush of December comes the rush in January. Sites plan, prepare, promote, sell, chase, prospect, sell again in the hope of smashing that elusive January sales target. But is your attention too focused on the conveyor belt of new sales rather than looking after those new and existing members who’ve been with you through the chocolate-enticing, turkey-filled December? Does your promotion brief for January’s campaign mention retaining these new customers? A member’s lifetime value is…