We’re already bombarded by too much marketing, right? But…

business and consumers, marketing and advertising

Ads on buses, ads in school gyms, ads on urinals nowadays, for goodness sakes. Isn’t all the marketing and advertising a bit much sometimes?

Yes. But yesterday, I was nonetheless thinking of missed cross-promotional opportunities. See what an MBA does?! 🙂

Within half-a-block of one of the gyms I frequent, there’s a Jamba Juice. For those in the un-know, this is a chain that offers delightfully quick, healthy, refreshing, and yummy drinks… fruit and yogurt smoothies and the like… for about $4 each. Perfect for after a tough workout. And no, they didn’t just pay me to write that 🙂

So anyway, as I was enjoying a particularly delicious peanut butter / banana / chocolate / yogurt / fiber smoothie (can you tell I’m hungry tonight!?) after the gym at Jamba Juice yesterday, I wondered why I didn’t see more fellow gym folks there.

And that’s when something clicked. Wouldn’t it make sense for my gym (“24 Hour Fitness”) to do cross-promotions with Jamba Juice? Heck, one of the 24 Hour Fitness locations already has a Jamba Juice in-house; why haven’t the others made the connection?

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At any gym, after all, you have a lot of rather health-conscious and thirsty people. At Jamba Juice, I’m sure one’d find lots of generally health-conscious folks who also like to (or at least tend to) exercise.

And yet, I see most of the 24 Hour Fitness branches dumbly trying to go about cross-selling other stuff directly. Buy this overpriced supplement here at the gym. Check out this paltry selection of (similarly overpriced) clothing, along with a rack of stuff we’ve had to discount because it’s collected dust for 18 months.

Wouldn’t it be smarter for my gym to offer $1 coupons to the Jamba Juice one block away, and a 10% coupon for the Nutrition/Vitamin store down the street? Heck, why not a Healthy Discounts card for members… get 10% off shoes, Powerbars, mineral water, etc…? Or, to keep it simpler, why not just cross-promote with a nearby store like Jamba Juice? Why try to (unsuccessfully) supply all of members’ needs directly in-house?

In return in my scenario, the stores featured in the discounts would then feature corresponding marketing initiatives inviting people to check out 24 Hour Fitness. Buying some new cross-trainers at Footlocker? Wear ’em in at some great kickboxing classes at 24 Hour Fitness with this free day pass and $50 off your initiation fee. Purchasing a smoothie? Now that you’ve fueled up, clock some miles on the bikes or relax in the hot tub at the 24 Hour Fitness down the block!

With such targeted cross-promotions, many folks would come out ahead, and of course, both 24 Hour Fitness and the participating partners would acquire quite a bit of awareness and likely new customers.

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In contrast with the above-described cross-promotional ideas, intrusive marketing and advertising is annoying and often fruitless. All the damn mortgage telemarketing calls I regularly receive (during dinner hour, of course) are of no use to me, since I rent. And spamwise, my female roommate does NOT need a larger penis. Really.

Unfortunately, it’s crap like this that gives the rest of marketing and advertising a bad name, even when it’s creative, innovative, and thoughtfully targeted and executed… perhaps giving some large chains like 24 Hour Fitness cold-feet when it comes to extended marketing initiatives.

And that’s a shame. I’d much rather my gym throw some coupons at me than sic their uber-annoying sales droids at any guest I happen to bring through the door.

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