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HCM People: Andrew Grill

Practical Futurist

Your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. These digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 8

Practical Futurist Andrew Grill spoke at Technogym’s 2019 Digital Transformation Event recently.

He shares insights with HCM
everyone in this industry wants to improve things for the consumer,” says Andrew Grill. “I’d like you to consider three benefits to embracing digital: efficiency, effectiveness, and disruption. With just a few changes, you can start using digital to create better experiences for customers, so they stick with you longer.”

“Disruption happens when there are profits to be made, when there’s new tech available, and consumer demand forces change,” he says. “Every company needs to disrupt itself if it wants to adapt.”

Live Customers Or Digital Agents?
Our smartphones already know about our preferences and our routines. Grill predicts we’re not far away from having “digital agents” in everyday life.

“Smartphone data plus developments in Artificial Intelligence will lead to the creation of digital agents,” he said. “These will take over the mundane, replicable chores of life. Your customers will soon use digital agents to book classes, or to ask about membership, for example.

“This means your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. Digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it.”

Big Changes In Data
“Thanks to APIs, we can give other systems access to our data and let them process it. Make sure you can share data with anyone you work with. Do you have an API, and do you ask if partners and suppliers have an API strategy?“

“On the data front, GDPR is forcing us to sift through data to see what is relevant,” he said. “Think about the value exchange – why should customers give you their data? They have to trust you and know you’ll offer them something in return.”

The Customer Journey
“Data is powerful, and the customer knows it,” he says. “They can leave a gym any time, taking their data with them. This gives them the upper hand. Forward thinking facilities will use data to create a consumer experience that keeps people coming back.”

“Operators capture an enviable amount of data, but not everyone knows what to do with it - or even how much they have,” says Grill. “It goes beyond which products are popular, how long people stay, and what time of day different areas of the gym are busy.

“At the end of 2016, Transport for London carried out a trial, tracking travellers’ wifi use on the tube network. In just four weeks, they captured valuable data about journey times, routes, and commuter decisions. What could you learn from analysing wifi use in your facility?”

“A lot of data is proprietary, and you can only access it by asking the customer’s permission,” he explains. “This is a compelling reason for gym owners to buy digital. How can you work with fitness kit, and digital platforms like Technogym mywellness cloud, to access data and make it work for you and your customer?

“The more you can know about your users between gym visits, the more you can give them a reason to stay. Use data to make the entire customer journey work seamlessly, so they have no reason to go anywhere else.

“With a focus on increasing the length of gym memberships, data offers us a powerful way to create personalised customer journeys to extend retention and encourage loyalty.”

Four things to do right now
Andrew Grill’s checklist

1. Digital Diversity
Make sure your business hires people with digital skills at management level. They need a fundamental understanding of how digital can change your business, and can tell you how millennials (and older customers) are thinking about digital innovations.

2. Educate yourself
To get digital, you need to be digital. So get curious about this stuff. Don’t be put off by it. Challenge yourself to learn more about upcoming trends and digital terms, rather than getting scared off by the hype.

3. Data Audit
Data is powerful, and you can probably be making more of it. Understand what data you have, what you need, and what your customers have.

4. Futureproof your business
Make sure you have connectivity between your own systems (apps, fitness platforms, CRM) and those of your partners and suppliers. You need an API for easy data transfer.

Gallery
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Soft power

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Christopher Ruddock, INCUS

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Sony and Precor are collaborating. Henrik Bengtsson, head of business at Advagym, tells Wendy Golledge about Sony’s latest foray into fitness
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Markos Kern

Founder & CEO, Fun With Balls
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Tesqua upgrades its in-club experience

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Jean-Michel Fournier

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Sight & sound

The audio visual aspect of your club is one of the biggest factors in keeping members motivated and engaged with your offering. So how can you optimise this? We asked four of the top audio visual suppliers in the industry for their tips

Artificial intelligence

When you hear the words ‘artificial intelligence’, do you think of talking computers and helpful androids? Think again. We find out how AI can be used in fitness
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José Teixeira

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Featured supplier: Gympass partners with Wexer to launch on-demand workouts for operators
Gympass has launched Gympass Plus - including an on-demand platform powered by Wexer - for its 2,200+ operator partners. The platform comprises more than 500 workouts from 18 content providers including Zumba and Gaiam.
Featured supplier: myFitApp launches branded live-streaming as part of its COVID-19 support package
Innovatise, the company behind myFitApp, has announced the immediate availability of its customer- branded live-streaming solution.
Company profile: Stages Indoor Cycling
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Technogym mywellness app
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Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Fitness software
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Book4Time Inc: Software
03-05 Aug 2020
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Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
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07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France

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features

HCM People: Andrew Grill

Practical Futurist

Your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. These digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 8

Practical Futurist Andrew Grill spoke at Technogym’s 2019 Digital Transformation Event recently.

He shares insights with HCM
everyone in this industry wants to improve things for the consumer,” says Andrew Grill. “I’d like you to consider three benefits to embracing digital: efficiency, effectiveness, and disruption. With just a few changes, you can start using digital to create better experiences for customers, so they stick with you longer.”

“Disruption happens when there are profits to be made, when there’s new tech available, and consumer demand forces change,” he says. “Every company needs to disrupt itself if it wants to adapt.”

Live Customers Or Digital Agents?
Our smartphones already know about our preferences and our routines. Grill predicts we’re not far away from having “digital agents” in everyday life.

“Smartphone data plus developments in Artificial Intelligence will lead to the creation of digital agents,” he said. “These will take over the mundane, replicable chores of life. Your customers will soon use digital agents to book classes, or to ask about membership, for example.

“This means your marketing department will have to start writing ad copy for robots, not for humans. Digital agents will be gatekeepers, a bit like a PA. It’s already happening, so get ahead and start using it.”

Big Changes In Data
“Thanks to APIs, we can give other systems access to our data and let them process it. Make sure you can share data with anyone you work with. Do you have an API, and do you ask if partners and suppliers have an API strategy?“

“On the data front, GDPR is forcing us to sift through data to see what is relevant,” he said. “Think about the value exchange – why should customers give you their data? They have to trust you and know you’ll offer them something in return.”

The Customer Journey
“Data is powerful, and the customer knows it,” he says. “They can leave a gym any time, taking their data with them. This gives them the upper hand. Forward thinking facilities will use data to create a consumer experience that keeps people coming back.”

“Operators capture an enviable amount of data, but not everyone knows what to do with it - or even how much they have,” says Grill. “It goes beyond which products are popular, how long people stay, and what time of day different areas of the gym are busy.

“At the end of 2016, Transport for London carried out a trial, tracking travellers’ wifi use on the tube network. In just four weeks, they captured valuable data about journey times, routes, and commuter decisions. What could you learn from analysing wifi use in your facility?”

“A lot of data is proprietary, and you can only access it by asking the customer’s permission,” he explains. “This is a compelling reason for gym owners to buy digital. How can you work with fitness kit, and digital platforms like Technogym mywellness cloud, to access data and make it work for you and your customer?

“The more you can know about your users between gym visits, the more you can give them a reason to stay. Use data to make the entire customer journey work seamlessly, so they have no reason to go anywhere else.

“With a focus on increasing the length of gym memberships, data offers us a powerful way to create personalised customer journeys to extend retention and encourage loyalty.”

Four things to do right now
Andrew Grill’s checklist

1. Digital Diversity
Make sure your business hires people with digital skills at management level. They need a fundamental understanding of how digital can change your business, and can tell you how millennials (and older customers) are thinking about digital innovations.

2. Educate yourself
To get digital, you need to be digital. So get curious about this stuff. Don’t be put off by it. Challenge yourself to learn more about upcoming trends and digital terms, rather than getting scared off by the hype.

3. Data Audit
Data is powerful, and you can probably be making more of it. Understand what data you have, what you need, and what your customers have.

4. Futureproof your business
Make sure you have connectivity between your own systems (apps, fitness platforms, CRM) and those of your partners and suppliers. You need an API for easy data transfer.

Gallery
More features

Pivot to digital

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a huge pivot to digital right across the industry, from sole traders to large chains and trusts. Kath Hudson looks at some of the offerings pulled together in lightning fast time to keep members active and sane

Soft power

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing gyms across the world to temporarily close their doors, staying connected to your members digitally has never been more important. Software suppliers tell Steph Eaves how they’re contributing

PureGym scales up Funxtion’s digital integration

With the spread of COVID-19 forcing more people into isolation, PureGym worked with FunXtion to rapidly include a digital on-demand workout offering to support members at home

Wattbike partner on world-first group cycling software

Wattbike has partnered with Intelligent Cycling to transform indoor cycling with innovative new technology that enables automatic personalisation for riders in a group cycling class
interview

Changing the game

We cannot lose sight of the most important people in this equation – the athletes. We must ensure this data and technology delivers benefits to them

Get smart

A new, smart exercise mask will analyse breath for a wide range of performance-related indicators, as Tom Walker explains

Class action

Jean-Michel Fournier, CEO of digital fitness outfit Les Mills on Demand, envisions the future of group fitness tech
interview

Toni Knowlson, Amazon Web Services

We see this technology as an enabler in ensuring sporting organisations remain relevant
people

Motosumo

Kresten Juel Jensen, CEO and co-founder and Nick Coutts, incoming chair
Everyone’s on their smartphones, so we saw this as a massive opportunity to gamify group fitness

Lover app

Sexual wellness enters the mainstream with the launch of new Lover app
interview

Krissy Cela

I’ve never tried to cover up my imperfections, I’ve been as authentic as I can be throughout my influencer journey
people

Sri Peruvemba

BeBop Sensors: VP of strategy
Our gloves allow users to have digital hands in virtual reality, and to manipulate objects as though they existed in real life
Core/Stairmaster
Core/Stairmaster