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ROR Drives Real Growth for Fitness Brands
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ROR Drives Real Growth for Fitness Brands

Leveraging data from 262+ million U.S. adults, ROR helps fitness brands market to individuals who are actively considering joining a nearby club

Any gym or health club investing in marketing knows that it can often feel like casting a wide net only to yield a few fish. Perhaps the prime fish aren’t swimming in the exact area where you’ve dropped the net, or maybe those near your line aren’t hungry, resulting in wasted time and resources. But how can fitness brands correct this?

With the most robust data set in the industry, AI integration, first-party modeling, and an elite digital marketing team, ROR Partners can identify with incredible accuracy individuals who are about to make a fitness decision and consider joining a nearby club, thereby eliminating those who aren’t “hungry” or gathered near your net.

ROR – which stands for Return on Relationships – was formed in 2020 by the former CMO of 24 Hour Fitness, Tom Lapcevic. and Greg Dowd, President (Local Division) of one of the largest data aggregators in the world, Epsilon.

With data from 262 million Americans in hand, the ROR founders hand-picked a team of elite data engineers, highly practiced marketing executives from top global agencies, and health club owners with years of industry experience who collectively have built the most successful performance marketing company in the fitness and active lifestyle sector. 

“It’s the unmatched comprehensive amount of data we have combined with the team that’s in place to maximize and utilize that data that sets us apart,” said Steve Ayers, Senior Vice President of Business Relationships. “No other digital engine in the fitness space has this.”

Steve Ayers (credit: ROR Partners)

Data Makes the Difference: Inside ROR’s Approach

ROR’s “HUB” of data – what they refer to as their identity spine – consists of over 262 million U.S. adults with over 700+ Demographic/Socioeconomic attributes.

When working with a health club, ROR takes that club’s client data, such as member name, club activities, etc., cleanses it and pins it to the spine. Proprietary modeling then uses client data, third-party data, and established algorithms to create precisely defined marketing trade areas within each advertising platform. This means a club’s net won’t be cast in the wrong area and the line won’t be dropped near non-interested fish.

“Traditional media platforms will define a targeted marketing area such as a three-to-five-mile radius around your club’s zip code,” said Ayers. “But if your club is located next to a mountain that prohibits easy access, you’re wasting the dollars and efforts focused on that area. ROR’s rich data pinpoints direct pockets of target audiences – people who can easily access your club, and based on our predictive scoring model, who are also displaying the desire to join a club.”

In short, ROR effectively scales down geographically, demographically, and with optimal activation across hundreds of channels to reach prospects at the right time, on the right channels, and with the right messaging.

“ROR’s precise audience targeting has had a huge impact on conserving our paid media budget,” said one ROR client. “Our ROR audiences perform as well as retargeting audiences because they are so finely tuned.”

credit: Ground Picture/shutterstock.com

Putting AI to Work – Differently

When it comes to ROR’s use of AI, Ayers says they work a bit differently than other firms. 

“First, we only lightly use AI to generate ads and perform creative testing. We use AI heavily for the data mining and operational outputs,” noted Ayers. “The platform ingests billions of data points to build these incredibly targeted audiences, so our clients aren’t spending time and money marketing to those who are not interested, or those on the other side of the mountain. This yields phenomenal overall results.”

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Ayers goes on to explain that ROR is developing AI solutions daily that will unveil additional critical data for health clubs.

“With our forthcoming enhancements around natural language AI, we will soon be able to run variances among data points that will tell us why one club is not performing at the same rate as another club,” he said.

The Right People in the Right Place

Asked what makes ROR stand out even further, Ayers pointed to the carefully curated team, including several highly experienced fitness industry executives.

“Anyone can pull data, but if the individuals looking at it don’t understand the fitness space, it’s a lost effort,” he said. “You need people with deep experience in the industry who can help apply it.”

“They ask a lot of questions and turn over every rock,” said another ROR client. “The ROR team loves to geek out with clients – exploring new ways to drive better results. I love their industry-specific knowledge that helps clients gain qualitative analysis for the data.”

In the end, Ayers believes that delivering exceptional value to clients is the only path to long-term success.

“That’s the real definition of Return on Relationships,” he said.

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