Are aggressive work calendars and well-stocked office parties destroying client progress on employee wellness? Before the craziness sets in, update your seasonal corporate fitness marketing strategy to help cement your club’s value to enterprise clients. For corporate fitness clients, the holidays represent a significant threat to the progress of wellness program objectives. A year’s worth of results can be lost in the stress, emotional eating and packed schedules that are common during November, December and January. This is when the need for your products and services is strongest.
Here’s how to capitalize on this opportunity:
1. Acknowledge seasonal wellness needs
Recognize and acknowledge specific seasonal challenges up front in your web, social, and email communications with your corporate fitness customers.
With three holidays in as many months, many corporate wellness program managers feel the crosshairs on their backs. Programs that worked during the off season are often stressed to the limit over the holidays. Employees at manufacturing and logistics companies often work overtime at physically demanding jobs to ensure goods are delivered on time. Sales and service businesses are trying to lower stress and keep a focus on customer service while their customers seem to have less and less time to explain issues or tolerate delays. Other industries have their own seasonal challenges.
It’s one thing to set up stress management, weight management, and healthy eating programs during the spring and summer, when folks are working on goals and people are getting outside and active.
With the fall and winter chill, shorter days, stressful family visits, and the focus on food, the holidays are often a make-or-break time for wellness programs and their clients. Outcomes, and sometimes entire programs, are at risk as attendance drops off and distracted employees disengage.
2. Focus content on season-specific challenges
Keep your communications focused on your clients’ need to get a quick handle on wellness commitments rather than the long-term benefits of healthy living. Right now, they’re not thinking long-term!
The stress your corporate customer is feeling is about whether their program will hold up to its promises when all Halloween (and Thanksgiving, Christmas, Eid and Hannukah) breaks loose is foremost in their minds right now. If you don’t have seasonal marketing copy focused on specific business benefits, wellness program objectives, and results for your clients, start developing it. Especially critical during this period: techniques to keep their employees engaged in healthy lifestyles despite the rush to wrap up personal and professional year-end priorities.
3. Drill into seasonal health concerns
Use online surveys to uncover seasonal health and wellness concerns. Are your customers’ employees in a physically demanding logistics or manufacturing business that’s overrun with hard work, tight deadlines and overtime hours that go along with the holidays? A high-stress retail operation where poor customer service and lost business can result from cranky, overworked employees? Or are they just trying to help office workers not put on an extra 10 pounds over Thanksgiving?
4. Focus on specific objectives
Communicate your programs, plans, and recommendations to program participants in small, doable steps that don’t add to the stress they’re already feeling about the holidays. This kind of content is perfect for text messages, push reminders or brief, action-oriented emails. That last thing you want employers or employees to do is to pack away their wellness program just when their employees need it most. And you don’t want frazzled employees saving long email newsletters to “read later.”
5. Reach out to decisionmakers, not just members
That means blog posts and email newsletters aimed at corporate decisionmakers, not just end-users, plus LinkedIn and Twitter posts to reach prospective clients. For example, offer tips on how to plan corporate holiday parties so that they support, rather than sabotage, employee wellness efforts. Seasonal corporate fitness tips may draw more eyeballs than ordinary copy throughout the rest of the year, so if your message is spot-on, people will be waiting to read it.
Corporate clients can also be much more focused on particular objectives than consumers, and often scan LinkedIn forums to see how others have addressed specific situations. LinkedIn articles are a great way to contribute to prospects’ progress and establish your wellness business as a go-to resource. If you’re not already publishing content on LinkedIn, this this article will get you started.
6. Segue gracefully into January
December’s the end of the calendar year — but that’s all it signifies. Don’t let it turn into the default end of the wellness initiatives you’re encouraging. After all, not everyone needs to reboot their wellness commitment in January. A better strategy is to bridge the old and new years. Those employees who backslid will be ready to jump back on the healthy living bandwagon in January. Start reaching out to these members through email marketing beginning in late December.
7. Emphasize victories achieved, lessons learned
That said, December’s a natural time to encourage employees at your corporate fitness customers to reflect on their health and wellness knowledge, behaviors and feelings. What worked well for them during the past year? What have they learned? What will their focus be in the new year? This kind of discussion is especially well-suited to online platforms.
8. Tis the season to be trendy
The beginning of a new year is the ideal time to schedule a webinar and write a whitepaper for your corporate fitness prospects that updates them on health and wellness developments — important trends, the latest research, relevant new developments in science and medicine. You’ll reinforce your firm’s brand and encourage prospects to look to your company for guidance.
The needs of corporate fitness clients ramp up strongly before and during the holidays. Staying engaged and focused on their specific goals before the workplace gets hectic will keep your fitness business top-of-mind throughout the holidays and well into the coming year.