The COVID-19 Coronavirus has escalated into becoming a global pandemic. We all share natural concern for the health and wellbeing of all human beings. Economy wise, the fitness industry must begin to consider the unavoidable impact that this virus will continue to have upon our businesses and marketing efforts. We must now more than ever adapt to the situation and reassess the needs of the people.
Gone are the flitting thoughts of yester-week when we believed that this was nothing more than an overzealous cold which could be cured with a facemask and a warm cup of tea, not necessarily in that order. However, we now stand in stores with stacks of shelves deprived of toilet paper and hand sanitiser, multitudes of businesses from independent firms to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation closing the shutters, and events worldwide left vacant of any cheering fans.
For those of us in the fitness industry, we have been hit hard with cancelled conferences, such as the Arnold Classic being called off only 2 days before opening with many vendors hit deep into the pockets with the thousands spent on booth rental, accommodation, transport, and shipping promotion materials. The competitions of both the Strongman and Bodybuilding events went ahead, though in an eerie atmosphere filled only by coaches and close family.
Is it time now that we look beyond such face-to-face interactions to fill our marketing requirements? Here are three ways which we here at I2Media look to adapt marketing tactics to not only succeed during the epidemic, but also help fight against it.
On Demand Fitness
This trend is nothing new, but with many workers taking precautionary self-isolation stretches of 14-days home bound, and further government support for statutory sick pay currently being discussed to ensure that this is endorsed in densely populated centers such as London, it is not too much of a stretch to consider that many of those at home may begin missing their energy release.
For those wishing to avoid the hot, damp, bacteria filled boxes that are commercial gyms, there is no better way to get in your daily activity than the plethora of home fitness apps currently available on the market. Many focus on simple movements such as star jumps and push-ups, and even one of our publications, TRAIN magazine, is currently offering a free workout challenge with home-workout options.
There is no better time for those in fitness to band together in online groups to share their daily workouts, trials and tribulations, as we all suffer together as the ones who can.
Make Use of Wearable Technology
Fit-tech has been the dominant in force in fitness for quite a while now, and epidemics such as this start to shine a light on why such wearables are taking over the fit-scape. We can now track our base-levels through technology such as the apple watch, thus allowing us to see any change in the status quo.
It has already been highlighted that those with heart conditions and predispositions should in particular be taking extra precaution to prevent contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, and what more convenient way can there be to keep tabs on one’s own heart health than a permanent monitor which can track any deviations in your body stress levels at the tap of a button, all without the need to venture into the minefield risk that is a doctors surgery or hospital while we’re all on lockdown.
For those without an apple watch, Fitbit, or similar – there are even mobile apps which can track your pulse to assess your stress, and even my out-of-date Samsung Galaxy has a built-in sensor able to track blood oxygen saturation! This is a prime opportunity to jump on board with the new wave of wearable fitness technology to make sure you’re tracking everything you can to avoid that looming fever…
Immunity Boosting Products
Although it doesn’t take much for many herbal brands to jump on the ‘detox’ brand wagon, one cannot deny that there is certainly a need to increase public education and access to immune promoting products.
Although the shelves may be cleared of soap and sanitiser at a rate unable to be controlled by store managers, all current advice points toward simply washing hands as a precautionary pastime. However, one can further benefit their self-preservation through adequate education on rest, recovery, supportive supplements, and good ol’ fruits and veggies.
For those wishing to spin a quick buck, we can foresee a continuing rise in immunity products hitting the sponsored social media ads, but here at I2Media we will be sticking to our guns by firing soundly researched and good quality information to educate our readers on the best practices to toughen those defenses.
Although there are many more trends to come, and many more which we have not mentioned, this is a simple outline to consider that there is always another door opening when one begins to close. This virus, like any other viral trend, will pass and the status quo will resume, but when? Only time will tell, so for now, we must adapt to survive.