|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this study is to investigate the promotional strategies employed by a range of private health and fitness facilities in a specific area, Stourbridge in the West Midlands. Three commercial facilities, one independent and two 'chain' facilities which belong to a larger group, were chosen for the investigation.
The literature review identifies several key themes for this research: the strategic objectives used to promote the facilities, the effectiveness off different promotional methods, the successfulness of specific target markets/segmentation, and the impact of the current economic climate on health and fitness facilities.
A mixed-method approach to obtaining data, using both qualitative and quantitative techniques, was used to gather appropriate information based on the themes identified in the literature. Semi-structured interviews, qualitative in approach, with marketing professionals within the facilities explored detailed information on promotional strategies. In addition, questionnaires completed by consumers of the facilities were designed to allow conclusions to be drawn about the effects of the promotional methods employed by the facilities, and whether these are noticed by their consumers.
On analysis of the data, it was evident that when delivered effectively, marketing strategies help facilities to differentiate themselves from competitors. The strategies employed should balance satisfying existing customers with attracting and recruiting new members. A major finding of this research was that such facilities do recognise the importance of keeping customers satisfied, since referrals were quoted by every participating facility as a significant aspect of their marketing strategy. Despite the difference in promotional methods and targets, they were consistent in changing their marketing message in the current economic climate, rather than making economies in their promotional budget.||en_GB