Market Focus: Fitness Enthusiasts
Multiple Media for a Diverse Market
Fitness products that are more likely to be purchased via direct channels include fitness equipment, magazine subscriptions, books and videos. Most ingestible products purchased by people in their 20s and 30s, such as performance supplements and vitamins, according to Fishman, are bought at retail stores.
One direct marketer that has successfully tapped the fitness market for the past 17 years is Collage Video. In addition to its print catalog mailings, Collage Video, a direct marketer of exercise videos in Minneapolis, includes in its marketing mix: e-commerce and space ads for prospecting, as well as e-mail marketing to existing customers.
According to the company’s president, Jim Kraft, the space ads it runs in fitness magazines such as Shape and Fitness generate print catalog leads and promote one-stop shopping on its Web site, www.collagevideo.com, where visitors can select from more than 700 exercise videos rated and described by staffers and fitness instructors who actually have done the workouts. Although as much as 50 percent of Collage Video’s orders come through the Internet, the print catalog is the driver. When orders are matched back to the medium used to drive response, 80 percent of its orders are attributed to the print catalog.
Finding the right prospect lists to mail can be challenging, says Kraft, because his customers are not hard-core fitness buffs who pump iron or run marathons. Rather, they are average American women who want to lose 10 pounds. “It’s hard to separate out those who might be inclined to buy an exercise video. The challenge is to find segments within that large pool.”
Direct response television (DRTV) also is a good medium to reach fitness enthusiasts. Most TV viewers are familiar with the plethora of infomercials and DRTV spots of celebrities touting the benefits of various fitness equipment and exercise videos. Who can forget Suzanne Somers and the Thighmaster or, more recently, Daisy Fuentes extolling the wonders of Winsor Pilates? Unlike direct mail or space advertising, DRTV allows the demonstration of the product, which is particularly useful when selling fitness equipment. TV is good at selling “the promise”—how the buyer will look and feel after using the product.
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