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Economic uncertainty is a phrase we’re all tired of hearing.

But with an energy crisis and cost of living crisis wreaking havoc on our finances, we’re teetering on the brink of a recession – in which the fitness, leisure and hospitality industries could be worst affected. 

Gyms, health clubs, fitness studios and more need to start concentrating on their marketing to give their cash flow some stability in the coming months. But how can you do that sensitively at a time when spending is at a minimum?

Marketing Gyms During a Recession

Focus on building trust when marketing.

Depending on who your ideal customer is, there’s a chance they won’t be interested in committing to a gym membership right now – no matter how much you try and sell it to them. That’s why it’s important to concentrate on building trust through your marketing. Add value wherever you can, so you’re the first choice when they’re ready to buy. Being strategic about the content you produce will set you up for an excellent retention rate in the future; share information around habit building, the benefits of maintaining an exercise routine and so on.

Remember, marketing is the best way to build community and trust with your audience before they make a purchase with you. Get them to buy into your club’s values and you’ll garner a much deeper connection with your customers.

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Look after your staff and they’ll look after your customers.

You’re probably thinking, what does staff retention have to do with marketing? Well, the answer is simple: happy staff that are excited by what they do and feel a sense of purpose are more likely to go above and beyond for your customers. A pool of satisfied customers gives you the perfect opportunity to run referral schemes to join more members and generate social proof that you can use in your marketing strategy. Let’s face it, there’s no better marketing tool than members that love what you do and are happy to sing your praises to others.

 All of the above help to increase your bottom line – which all helps to provide your club with a bit of stability amongst all the uncertainty. Read our staff retention tips here.

Marketing a gym during a recession

Be quick to adapt.

We discussed flexibility and your club’s ability to adapt in our previous post, but it’s so important that we’re mentioning it again. Take the pandemic, for example. Gyms had to close their doors for months on end, so we as an industry had to find a new way of operating or face thousands of gyms permanently closing. If gym memberships are suddenly no longer a priority, how are you going to serve your audience?

Selling club merchandise is a great place to start because it offers people the chance to support your business financially without committing to a membership. Plus it’s free advertising when they wear their club clothing out and about! 

Use member feedback to your advantage here: communicate with your customer base and tune in to what they really want. Then, implement the quick wins for fast results.


Hopefully, these steps gave you some added tips on how you can market your club when times are tough. If things are quieter than usual, take this time to step back and assess how things are going. Review your spending, processes and other internal matters. What’s slowing you down? What do you wish you could do better?

Are you struggling to communicate with your members, or maybe you’re tired of spending your time on admin when you could be on the gym floor helping your members to achieve their fitness goals? ClubRight can help with that.

We offer the best value gym software on the market created by people that understand the day-to-day challenges faced by people that run a business in the fitness industry. No other provider out there can match ClubRight’s level of functionality at our price point. In fact, a typical gym open for 15 hours a day in October would pay as little as 15p +VAT per hour for our Core subscription. 

Book your free online demo today to see ClubRight in action, or give us a call on +44 (0)203 884 9777 for a no-pressure chat about how we can help you.

Best value gym management software