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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.

More features

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
people

Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media
In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence
people

José Teixeira

SC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience
People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more
interview

Paul Juris

Director of sports science, Brooklyn Boulders
We’re trying to help people understand exactly how much effort they need to apply in order to get the best outcome, so they can do it over a long period of time and not burn out. The overall training effect is then much better
people

Rachael Blumberg

Platefit: creator and founder
People know yoga, Pilates, HIIT and Barry’s Bootcamp, but many don’t know vibration training and it’s my intention, passion and purpose to make it available and bring it to the world

Body image

Will the body image debate define the future of fit-tech? Becca Douglas looks at the evidence
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

The middle man

Many industries have aggregators so it makes sense for the health and fitness industry to have them too. Are they a force for the good, or could it become a case of the tail wagging the dog? Kath Hudson reports
people

Ben Keenan

SUF Cycling: commercial director
This isn’t a spin around the park: SUF Cycling requires participants to dig deep, which can push some people not used to HIIT out of their comfort zone

Activelab 2019

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups that are using technology to help people become healthier and more active
celebs

Chris Hemsworth

I believe we all have untapped potential. And we all need support to achieve our goals. Centr puts the world’s best in the palm of your hand, to help you develop a healthier body, stronger mind, and a happier life - CHRIS HEMSWORTH

Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates

Tech upgrade

New technology is transforming the way the health and fitness industry functions and interacts with customers. Liz Terry catches up with operators around the industry for an update

Get upgraded

HCM asks the industry’s leading software suppliers about the new tech and software features you can look forward to getting your hands on in 2019

Body Insights

Want to know your biological age or your bone density, or maybe get a 3D model printed showing your hard-won new biceps? The latest tech enables this and much more. HCM does a roundup of the new kit on the market for fitness testing and body scanning

In-club Tech

What’s happening in the world of health club management software? We get the inside view from some of the best-known tech companies in the sector

How can clubs get the most out of virtual?

HCM’s Steph Eaves gets tips from our panel of experts

Body composition analysers

Body composition analysers are an excellent way to differentiate your club, as well as help your members get results. Kath Hudson reports
interview

Matthew Allison, Space Cycle

I want to build a social lifestyle brand that combines music and wellness to create something that inspires people. I want to change the way people think of working out, so it’s like going to a club or a concert

Cycle revolution

A new age of indoor cycling is upon us, characterised by a more diverse range of bikes and consumers. Steph Eaves breaks down the options in this two-part series

ActiveLab 2018: Meet the startups in fit-tech

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups seeking to solve some of society’s biggest challenges through technology designed to get people active

Smart and flexible member payments

Providing customers with the best member experience, while maximising revenue, is vital. We look at the latest in customer centric payment solutions

Health club management software

We asked some of the biggest names in health club management software to share their predictions for the future
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
Company profiles
Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Software
Book4Time Inc: Software
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Diary dates
03-05 Aug 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
30 Sep 2020
Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
Exhibition Centre, Cologne, Germany
07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France
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.

More features

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
people

Jean-Michel Fournier

CEO, Les Mills Media
In the long term, the fitness industry will utilise technological advances in augmented reality and holographic telepresence
people

José Teixeira

SC Fitness, Portugal: head of customer experience
People often assume that those who pay more stay longer, but we don’t see this. What we see is that if you have PT you stay longer because you use more, not because you pay more
interview

Paul Juris

Director of sports science, Brooklyn Boulders
people are together on the climbing walls, cheering each other on, coaching each other, interacting, laughing and enjoying each other’s company. It’s a completely different environment from anything I’ve ever seen
people

Rachael Blumberg

Platefit: creator and founder
People know yoga, Pilates, HIIT and Barry’s Bootcamp, but many don’t know vibration training and it’s my intention, passion and purpose to make it available and bring it to the world

Body image

Will the body image debate define the future of fit-tech? Becca Douglas looks at the evidence
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

The middle man

Many industries have aggregators so it makes sense for the health and fitness industry to have them too. Are they a force for the good, or could it become a case of the tail wagging the dog? Kath Hudson reports
people

Ben Keenan

SUF Cycling: commercial director
This isn’t a spin around the park: SUF Cycling requires participants to dig deep, which can push some people not used to HIIT out of their comfort zone

Activelab 2019

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups that are using technology to help people become healthier and more active
celebs

Chris Hemsworth

I believe we all have untapped potential. And we all need support to achieve our goals. Centr puts the world’s best in the palm of your hand, to help you develop a healthier body, stronger mind, and a happier life - CHRIS HEMSWORTH

Bio Hacking

Silicon Valley hacker Dave Asprey used his tech skills to gather the latest fitness kit to create a bio hacking boutique. Kath Hudson investigates

Tech upgrade

New technology is transforming the way the health and fitness industry functions and interacts with customers. Liz Terry catches up with operators around the industry for an update

Get upgraded

HCM asks the industry’s leading software suppliers about the new tech and software features you can look forward to getting your hands on in 2019

Body Insights

Want to know your biological age or your bone density, or maybe get a 3D model printed showing your hard-won new biceps? The latest tech enables this and much more. HCM does a roundup of the new kit on the market for fitness testing and body scanning

In-club Tech

What’s happening in the world of health club management software? We get the inside view from some of the best-known tech companies in the sector

How can clubs get the most out of virtual?

HCM’s Steph Eaves gets tips from our panel of experts

Body composition analysers

Body composition analysers are an excellent way to differentiate your club, as well as help your members get results. Kath Hudson reports
interview

Matthew Allison, Space Cycle

I want to build a social lifestyle brand that combines music and wellness to create something that inspires people. I want to change the way people think of working out, so it’s like going to a club or a concert

Cycle revolution

A new age of indoor cycling is upon us, characterised by a more diverse range of bikes and consumers. Steph Eaves breaks down the options in this two-part series

ActiveLab 2018: Meet the startups in fit-tech

Following the ActiveLab Live! finale at the recent Active Uprising conference, we take a look at startups seeking to solve some of society’s biggest challenges through technology designed to get people active

Smart and flexible member payments

Providing customers with the best member experience, while maximising revenue, is vital. We look at the latest in customer centric payment solutions

Health club management software

We asked some of the biggest names in health club management software to share their predictions for the future

latest news

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Unlimitech, a tech startup linked to University of Cambridge, is looking to bring to market a face mask capable of ...
More news
Company profiles
Company profile: Healthcheck Services Ltd
Here at Healthcheck Services, we want to empower you, your clients & your staff to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Video Gallery
How to use the MZ-Bodyscan
MyZone
The Best Product for the Best Clubs Read more
Get Fit Tech
Sign up for the free digital edition of Fit Tech magazine and the free weekly Fit Tech ezine
Sign up
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Spa software
ResortSuite: Spa software
Software
Book4Time Inc: Software
Fitness equipment
FunXtion International BV: Fitness equipment
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Diary dates
03-05 Aug 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore
30 Sep 2020
Exhibition Centre Cologne, Cologne, Germany
01-04 Oct 2020
Exhibition Centre, Cologne, Germany
07 Oct 2020
Palais Brongniart, Paris, France
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd