Workout Anytime, a 180-location fitness franchise, is embracing a lot of new technologies to make the system more efficient—like just about every concept in the franchise space. 

COO Mark de Gorter said the brand has a lot of irons in the fire as it brings in more and more technology. 

“What were really going though now across the organization, is a number of initiatives designed to increase the technology application in our business utilizing technology to be more efficient. We’re focusing on three key areas, training and education, customer satisfaction and local-store marketing,” said de Gorter. 

There are a number of initiatives within those three buckets that have been working great to drive up satisfaction scores and drive down membership cancellations. But he said he was especially thrilled by a test of a new algorithmic local-marketing program that slashed CPMs, or cost per mille, a measure of ROI in digital advertising. 

“This algorithm allows us to put in whatever data we put in from a KPI for actions, it will optimize the creative so we can get the highest ROI,” said de Gorter. 

He said in those test markets, franchisees saw some major marketing savings. 

“Just on a CPM basis, we’re generating CPM under $5, less than half of what we’ve experienced. Now you’re talking outdoor CPMS, which is unheard of. And we’re getting the right conversions when they get to the website,” said de Gorter. 

But like all technology updates, it’s a question of will it actually be utilized. That shiny new gizmo or software could work great, but if nobody has the time to use it, it could be wasted money. De Gorter said the ease of use might be the best part. 

“The real cool thing about it, not only is it effective, but the way the owner interacts is super simple. It’s a couple clicks on their cellphone, set up a radius a budget and they’re running,” said de Gorter. “The problem is our owners our busy, they’re running a business, they have staff issues and especially now with respect to digital marketing, it’s complex. A lot of times if the owners don’t understand it, they say, ‘I’m just not going to do it. So now that it’s easier, it’s being used and being shared with other clubs.” 

He said the program is rolling out right now, and the best practices are already being generated for a potentially even more efficient local marketing budget. 

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