5 keys to successful digital transformation


With COVID-19 gym closures, slow re-openings and widespread uncertainty, the temptation clubs face to rush into digitalization is strong. While offering a complete digital solution is essential to being future-ready and meeting the demands of technology-immersed members, jumping in unprepared can be costly in many ways.

So, where does a club begin? The following guidelines are useful whether enhancing and enriching current digital offerings or co-creating new ones.

Find the right partner

Digitalization is a dynamic process with many interconnected parts. Throw in the relationships between the acronyms – API, CMS, UX, App and more – and, picking the right partner to help navigate it all becomes crucial. Track records with similar projects, technical expertise, depth of fitness industry knowledge and responsiveness are but table-stakes in the selection process. The right partner also should think with the club to enhance, enrich and join the dots where necessary – creating a solid foundation on which to build and prepare for whatever the future brings.

Start with the end in mind

Technology is rapidly evolving. So, defining an overall vision and strategy at the outset of a digital transformation that capitalizes on the club’s environment, member base and existing technology – while envisioning what can be – is imperative. Moving ahead without a vision and strategy is like building a house without a basement, then deciding to add one later.

Digital Transformation

Define the member fitness journey

A member’s fitness journey is about all the healthy behaviors they engage in throughout the day. And, the club can become a vital part of it through its digital transformation process if they assess it early in their planning. Clubs can begin by defining member touchpoints and deciding what value they can add throughout with their offerings. Once the ideal member journey is mapped, they can connect each touchpoint with content and software providers to make it a reality.

Appoint a digital manager

Clubs without in-house technical knowledge can underestimate digitalization, especially those that haven’t assigned “digital” as a management team member responsibility. However, when enhancing or creating a digital offering, leadership is required to account for the entire member digital fitness journey and evaluate what platforms should be speaking to each other.

Resist one-size-fits-all solutions

Without an understanding of technology, digital transformation can be intimidating. Pressure to act fast might make an off-the-shelf solution seem appealing. But there’s no magic bullet. Don’t let a lack of understanding lead to no digital solution or the wrong one – both are bad for business.