The Fitness Industry Model

Edan Gelt Communications

At the beginning of 2017, I launched a social experiment, branding myself as a fitness mom and started a blog at http://www.edanjoygelt.com. My brand wasn’t far from the truth – I’ve religiously worked out for decades and fitness has always been a part of my life, I just wasn’t an expert athlete. At the start of my experiment, my goal was to understand the impact of social media and obviously reap the benefits from the exercise but what I also gained was a lesson in the advertising and psychology of fitness.

A communications strategist to the core, I was excited by what I learned and couldn’t wait to share.

Profit Model

It’s well known that the strategy behind the lucrative fitness organization includes a monthly membership fee and attendance. The more people that sign up + the more people that don’t show-up = the more profit the club makes.

This strategy has allowed many basic and full-service clubs to enter the scene at varying costs and still be wildly profitable. Clubs may offer bare bones equipment with long hours or great classes and equipment with an assortment of amenities.

Each club prices themselves low enough and provides sufficient value that members don’t find it worthwhile to cancel when they stop showing to exercise. Basic gyms to locations with more amenities range from $10 per month to $90.

SEXperience

Enter the premium fitness experience; these clubs offer fitness to the “who’s who” of society (or those who want to be seen as such). Just belonging to these types of clubs makes the members feel fitter and sexier without evening taking their first class. The shear elegance and notoriety associated with membership demands a higher membership fee and delivers more amenities, better quality trainers and ancillary benefits such as fancy child care, pools with slides, etc.

These clubs offer exclusivity with a member tag of $90 – $200 per month.

Down, Dirty & Real

These are the mom-and-pop shops dedicated to fitness for whatever reason they hold dear (maybe they were a boxer, dancer, yogi) and want to share their experience and train others. They are typically located in commercial districts where the rents are low and the space is plenty.

Value is in the trainers, owners and sense of community among students. These clubs/studios are about the sense of convergence and if done right, they are profitable, mostly affordable and targeted toward one area of expertise like CrossFit, Yoga, Boot Camps, etc. If they can excel in advertising, these models survive and thrive based on reputation and referrals.

Memberships, class packages or drop in rates – or a combination there-of are offered. Prices average about $60 – $100 per month or about $15 a class.

Designer Duds

Newer to the scene: designer duds. In the fashion world – designer duds are the hottest and trendiest gear. In fitness, these are the “popular kids” on the block and include chains like SoulCycle, Orange Theory, CorePower, Pure Barre, etc.

These are AMAZING CONCEPTS, don’t get the “dud” part wrong but there is something to that too. The clubs/studios are genetically engineered and optimized to mix the physical and mental component with SEXperience. Hyper-focused clubs such as these make fitness sexy, chic and popular. Each fitness experience is spun from a corporate web, which has spent mega bucks perfecting climate, fitness routine, music (even volume), and ambiance.

I call them designer duds for 2 reasons, one – they are super trendy and pricey, second – like fashion, they will likely over-franchise, lose authenticity in time and eventually fizzle (think True Religion Jeans) and live up to the “dud”. After all, how many years can you spin in a dark room without getting the itch to do something else?

I still haven’t figured out the lifecycle for designer duds but I don’t see them having a long-term foothold in the industry. Memberships are priced from $150 – $200 a month, or $20 – $40 per class.

Future of Fashion Fitness

As more Designer Duds enter the scene, the full-service SEXperience clubs are stepping up their game. They are changing their class offerings by emulating designer duds, offering smaller group training classes and enhancing private areas to provide a more intimate training experience.

It will be interesting to see what will survive and thrive and what will sizzle out in the next 5-years.

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Ways to Increase Holiday Sales

Edan Gelt Communications

Start Early

According to Experian, 69 percent of sales teams stated they started planning holiday campaigns by August. You can drive traffic for your holiday programming by building an email list and incentivizing shoppers to sign up for deals and steals during the season.  Maybe even offer an incentive for signing up – the incentive could be a free gift or the promise that they will be the first to know the Holiday season, follow up with your new customers 30-35% of shoppers are repeat buyers so follow up with shoppers, even after the holidays.  If possible analyze what they like and offer them similar items.  The more positive experiences a shopper has, the more loyal they will become to your brand.

Be Mobile Friendly

Mobile devices drive 56% of all internet traffic. Mobile traffic also accounted for 31% of all online sales on Cyber Monday in 2016. Interestingly, 70% of the total conversions in 2015 were made on a desktop. Only 20% were made on mobile devices. This is likely due to slow, un-responsive mobile sites. According to Google, 29% of shoppers leave mobile sites immediately if the page does not satisfy their needs. Some websites saw a conversion increase of 2% after cutting down their load time by four seconds.

A few tips to being more mobile friendly.  1.  Make sure your images are formatted correctly. A large image will kill page load time. 2. Limit the number of checkout steps. Reduce the number of taps required to checkout by including logins through social media. Including an option to log in via Facebook will reduce content that is not related to the purchase at checkout. This simple change can eliminate an entire step of the checkout process. 23% of people abandon retailer sites because they were required to create an account. Allow first-time buyers the option to check out as a guest to move them to the payment information page faster.

Create Urgent Calls-To-Action

A good way to nudge shoppers towards the checkout is to create a sense of urgency. Urgent calls to action provoke the shopper to buy now instead of leaving to comparison shop. Create limited time offers, notices of scarcity, price increases etc.  An effective use of a countdown timer may psychologically encourage a shopper to buy now or miss out. This can also be done with perks – a notice of “Free Shipping” that ends on an upcoming date also requires the shopper to take action to take advantage of the offer.

Another call to action is by creating urgency through scarcity.  If a limited amount of products are available, it pushes the shopper to act now.  This can be done with “low stock” notice or “only 1 left”. A simple “checkout now” button on these pop-ups is beneficial for the shopper.

That’s a Wrap

Holiday is the most important time of the year for retailers. Make the most of it!  And most importantly, track data, you’ll need it next year!

By:  Edan Gelt, MBA, CMD

With more than 20 years of diverse communications experience, including more than a decade at Harlem Irving, Edan Gelt has extensive capability in diverse communication  mediums across various industries, offering insight on communications strategy, research, public relations, advertising, special events, social media, branding and more.

Edan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Elmhurst College and an MBA degree.

For more information visit www.edangelt.com,

 or https://www.linkedin.com/in/edan-joy-gelt/

5 Tips of Starting A Vacation Rental Association

A few years ago when the kids were young, we decided to invest in a summer home.  As big boaters, we wanted something close to a body of water but affordable enough to maintain year round.  Our first venture was a trailer, but due to the cleanliness of the lake it was on, cramped quarters, and only 5 Gallons of hot water, we quickly traded our trailer in for a home along a cleaner body of water

We ventured into Michigan and found a small quaint town.  We couldn’t afford lake side housing so opted for a little cottage a mile from the beach.  It was close enough to home but far away from reality.  As the kids grew, our ability to make it out to our summer home lessened so we decided to dive into the world of renting.  After interviewing several rental companies in the area, we opted to manage rentals ourselves to avoid the hefty 20 – 25% fee.

CONVERTING

If you are in the process of converting a vacation home into a vacation rental some changes need to be made.   Walk through your home and remove any valuable items you don’t want broken or removed from the property. Swap out family photos with artwork. Consider the linens – the quantity and even the color.  Whites may be easier to bleach but may stain easier.   Make sure you have back up towels and two sets of sheets for each bed for quick turnovers or when you don’t have time to have laundry done.

PURCHASING A VACATION RENTAL

If you are purchasing a new property, make sure the economics work. Research the area and figure standard rental rates and the length of the season.  In our case, our rental season is only 12-weeks long so we needed to make sure that renting made more sense than selling, we figured-in the cost of furnishing and updating as well as taxes and utilities.

Edan Gelt Communications Strategist
Edan Gelt Communications Strategist

LISTING

We chose to list our property on both AIRBNB and VRBO.  It takes a bit of coordination to make sure the websites are updated continually so if you rent on one, you need to make sure you block off the dates on the other

You need to create a powerful listing that captivates online viewers so treat the listing as an advertising tool.  Take great pictures and write an honest and detailed description of the property.  Include your distance from key destinations and any added value your property offers.  Research pricing of similar properties and price accordingly, taking into consideration fluctuations for holidays and peak travel times.

RESOURCES

Put a team in place.  Interview cleaning people, get to know your neighbors and find a local handyman.  If your vacation property is far from your main residence, your team is your most valuable resource.  During the summer, our cleaning lady becomes the go-to gal.  She lets us know if there is damage and turns over the property for the next guest in as little as 3-hours.   Our neighbors have also helped when tenants had issues like a new battery in a smoke detector or figuring out cable.  They even  notified us of a burst pipe in the winter.

TAXES

Make sure you pay taxes on your rental income, state dependent.  If you are a vacation homeowner and only want to rent less than 2-weeks per year, you can do so tax-free but anything more is taxable.

It does get a bit chaotic at times managing a vacation rental with schedules, tenants and but for us it’s been fun.

By:  Edan Gelt, MBA, CMD

Communications in Unfamiliar Territory

So an advertiser for years, my main focus has always been on the good old Windy City area.  Recently, I welcomed a client which hosts events nationwide; in areas I’ve never even visited.

Most of the events were repeats so there was a trail of what made up the primary demo – emails, zip codes, income and how attendees heard about the event; but what about new events in entirely new spaces?

Understanding what advertising mediums have worked in other areas for similar events, I approached the new area with the same strategy basics, however, finding the most value in each new outlet was challenging.  My first goal was direct mail and mass distribution magazines, so I searched all direct magazine/mail suppliers in the area.  After receiving media kits from several companies, I sifted through the advertising publications looking for similar organizations.  Then I picked up the phone and called them one by one to ask for opinions.  It was a very long day.

Owner after owner rated the publication I was calling about and told me how they rated the return. They also referred me to other sources and even introduced me to other companies in the area that might make good media partners for the event.

Edan Gelt Communications
Edan Gelt Communications

It was a tedious process, but outside of living in the area, this was the best approach to understand what publications reached my demographic.  I also learned a lot about the demographic.  For most organizations, a trade area really isn’t a circle but instead, an amoeba.

From my calls to the organizations, I learned more about exactly what zips to hit so I could create a valuable digital and mail campaign.  Instead of going in blind, I was educated and confident before writing recommending a media plan.

The event campaign was a success and the client was able to get more than 1 million impressions for a substantially lower CPM than budgeted. We created valuable long-term partnerships for the event and created a viable and sustainable campaign.

Even in the US, the culture in each area varies and what works in one state or even city, may not work in the other.  My advice, roll up your sleeves and start making calls – understand where you’re going and how to make a splash.

By:  Edan Gelt, MBA, CMD

With more than 20 years of diverse advertising experience, including more than a decade at Harlem Irving, Edan Gelt has an extensive capability in diverse advertising mediums across various industries, offering insight on advertising strategy, research, public relations, advertising, special events, social media, direct advertising, branding and more.

Edan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising from Elmhurst College and an Executive MBA degree.

For more information visit www.edangelt.com,

or https://www.linkedin.com/in/edan-joy-gelt/

Kennedy Update and CureSearch

It’s been 6 months since Kennedy has been officially “cured” from cancer, 3 years since her last round of chemo and 5 ½  years since she was diagnosed.  Those are big numbers.  With each day, we step further and further from what could have been to what is, and we are eternally grateful.

We still visit Loyola four times per year for clinic checks but as we move away from our experience with childhood cancer, we can’t forget there are kids less fortunate than Kennedy that are currently losing their battle or just couldn’t win and are no longer with us.

For the past several years, we have fundraised for CureSearch (the organization that backs Kennedy’s chemo protocol) and volunteered on the pediatric floor of Loyola.  This year I was named publicity chair of the CureSearch Walk and hoping to achieve coverage of the event and cause while also raising the funds needed to help the organization do what they do best.  The article announcing the appointment ran in the local papers and, Kennedy personally received a note from a State Representative as a result!

Edan Gelt daughter Kennedy
Edan Gelt daughter Kennedy

I love CureSearch because the protocol the supported saved her from potential heart damage and delivered less-severe side effects.  Most people don’t understand that even though treatment is over and Kennedy is “cured”, the chemotherapy can still wreak havoc and cause long-term organ and cognitive damage into adulthood.  It’s hard to escape the effects of chemicals being pumped into one’s body during key developmental periods.

Kennedy has personally raised $85 for this year’s walk by making and selling slime with her friends.  In May, Kennedy and her friend Angela went door to door and sold slime for $.50 – $3 a jar.  We were astonished by her idea and accomplishment.  While many of her friends were selling slime for personal gain, Kennedy was raising funds for a cause that is embedded in her soul.  As a 10-year old, she has more empathy and understanding than most adults I know.

So with that end – this is where I ask you to walk with us on September 24 or just a donation to a wonderful cause. Our goal is $7,500 and we are almost there!  The link to our CureSearch fundraising website is: http://www.curesearchevents.org/site/TR/CureSearchSuperheroesUnite/CureSearchSuperheroesUnite?team_id=2752&pg=team&fr_id=1461

Thank you all who donated already, this cause means the world to our entire family!

With Love,

Edan Gelt & Gene Khalimsky

Originally posted:  https://mylittlekennedy.blogspot.com/2017/08/kennedy-update-and-curesearch.html

Local Mom of Young Cancer Survivor Joins CureSearch Event as Publicity Chair

Edan Gelt is a communications consultant consultant and mom of two – Kennedy, 10 and Maddox 12. She’s also the 2017 publicity chair for the CureSearch Superheroes Unite! event.

Edan became involved with CureSearch after her 4-year-old daughter, Kennedy, was diagnosed with leukemia on February 2, 2012.

It all began when Kennedy began exhibiting strange symptoms, like coughing, exhaustion, nausea and difficulty urinating, over a 2-month period. Despite numerous trips to the pediatrician, she remained undiagnosed. It wasn’t until the pediatrician ordered a blood draw, and after checking into Loyola Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, that they heard the devastating news – cancer.

“It was a whirlwind – the day after she was admitted, they surgically inserted a port and started chemo infusion,” says Edan Gelt. “We met with Dr. Ricarchito Manera, a brilliant and kind doctor, who patiently sat down and gave us a protocol for her first 29 days called induction. He explained that after induction, she would be put on a randomized study, backed by CureSearch. The study would be based on her risk assessment from a bone marrow test.”

After a 5-day stay, the family returned the next day because Kennedy had a fever that she couldn’t shake. They spent the next month in the hospital, with Kennedy being poked and prodded, swallowing disgusting medication and having several blood transfusions, scans and tests during her stay.

 Edan Gelt Daughter and Husband

“She was so strong, so resilient, and trusting. She morphed into a tiny superhero, and we called her Princess K.”

Edan Gelt and husband alternated stays at the hospital, becoming ships passing in the night. Their son Maddox, who was 7 at the time, cried when they told him about his sister – more so because she got to have a sleepover and he didn’t. He also didn’t understand what leukemia was.

After 2 1/2 years of chemo treatment backed by CureSearch, Kennedy had her port removed and the chemo ended.

“One of the greatest gifts CureSearch gave Kennedy was the lack of cyclins in her trial. The standard leukemia treatment includes cyclin therapy, which has been known to damage the heart. Because of Kennedy’s risk level and the random protocol she received, her long-term effects of the chemo are less severe.”

Then on February 2, 2017, Kennedy celebrated her “cure” date from cancer, and she became Edan’s forever superhero.

While Kennedy was in treatment, Edan fundraised for the local CureSearch Walk and helped raise awareness for the organization. Not knowing about CureSearch, her friends and family would donate to other organizations on Kennedy’s behalf, but the funds weren’t going directly to childhood cancer research.

“The problem is that children’s cancer can’t be treated like adult cancers because most of the treatments can be toxic to a child’s body, damaging their organs, mental health and more. To treat childhood cancer, specialized protocols are needed – like the lack of cyclins in Kennedy’s protocol.”

Edan Gelt believes in CureSearch, not just because of Kennedy’s amazing outcome, but because every dollar donated goes toward funding lifesaving research.

While working on public relations for CureSearch, she personally met and lost superheroes who weren’t as fortunate as Kennedy.

“Ana, Julissa, Tyler, Blake and so many others I met at the hospital while volunteering or while Kennedy was in treatment or no longer here to walk with us. It is for these amazing children, and children like them, that we need to continue to walk and fundraise CureSearch.”

The entire community is invited to join the Gelt family to celebrate Kennedy and all children with cancer – true superheroes – on September 24th at Boomer’s Stadium.

What is Retargeting and How Does It Work?

Have you ever looked for something online to later find the thing you were looking for following you everywhere on the web?  I remember the first time this happened to me, I thought it was a coincidence or maybe a “sign” that I really should purchase that skirt, those cool shoes or take my kids to that cool new play zone.

The ads weren’t a coincidence but instead, aimed at me based on my Internet activity.  The process is called Retargeting and it is one of the more effective digital advertising channels.

How Retartegeting Works

A small piece of code (also called a pixel) is inserted in a web page, landing page, or email.  The user does not see the code but the cookie-based, java-script technology secretly follows the user around the internet and serves up ads based on behavior.

The most unique aspect is that the code can be delivered based on the buyer’s behavior.  If a potential customer visits your site, loaded up a basket and didn’t check out, the item(s) can follow the customer around.  Or if the potential customer just looked at an item on your site, you can still serve up ads.  The code is customizable based on consumer behavior.

Retargeting Ads Edan Gelt
Retargeting Ads Edan Gelt

Retargeting is extremely effective because it serves up targeted ads to a group that has already shown interest in your product or service.  This makes retargeting ads more effective than other digital channels based solely on demographics.

Interested in creating a retargeting campaign?  Reach out on Linkedin.

By:  Edan Gelt, MBA, CMD

With more than 20 years of diverse communications experience across various industries, offering insight on communications strategy, research, public relations, advertising, special events, social media, branding and more.

Edan Gelt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Elmhurst College and an Executive MBA degree.