I think membership numbers remained relatively stable for a couple of reasons. First, during the recession, where so many other things seemed out of control, I think many people turned to exercise as a way of establishing some positive control/outlet in their lives. Second, comparatively speaking, joining a fitness club versus the expense of buying a piece of fitness equipment or other potential entertainment/activity options can be a good value.
A lot of the shift between commercial and consumer has to do with how consumers were buying fitness equipment before the recession. Many people were using funds from a home refi to buy/install fitness into their home. When the refi market dried up, the consumer fitness market got hit hard.
Use of analytics will be huge but we're very early in trying to figure out "Big Data". I think this is the next big frontier for us, technology being the latest frontier, and now "data" as a big, complex oppoertunity/challenge.
That's interesting, about the Cooper Clinic. I was going to ask you about your use of analytics, too: Seems you could get some interesting data points based on people's exercise habits, outcomes, etc. Are you using big data or analytics?
BTW, Precor is an example of a trend we've been looking at for a while: Old-line companies becoming technology companies. Walmart with its @Walmart, GE building out the Internet of Things for its manufacturing equipment, and so on.
Question about working with healthcare and/or P/T. This is an evolvling market for us. We recently signed a deal with the Cooper Clinic in Dallas to both provide the fitness equipment to their facility but also to find ways we can integrate their research/content into our platform to help provide support/guidance to exercisers. This is just one example.
Our global HQ is in Woodinville Washington. We have about 500 employees, that include a large manufacturing organization that builds our commercial cardio equipment. We outsource our console production.
That brings up another question: Does Precor work with healthcare providers and P/T firms? And did it do any specialized software development -- either for the exercise equipment or the supporting software apps -- to support this market?
I would think that's a very fine line for Precor. As Brent said, if people are subscribing to a service they probably don't want to get hit by ads -- especially if they're exercising. Although they may be open to getting value-add info, coupons, discounts, etc., on brands they already like.
You've heard the expression, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Amazon lives in the fire. The e-tailer wins by keeping things hot for its competitors, employees, and itself, according to a new book.
Positec, a manufacturer of power tools for homes and commercial applications, achieves greater customer service flexibility and cuts hold times in half by using a cloud-based service to manage its call center.
Big-data and analytics tools enable marketers to understand customers as individuals, identifying unmet needs and addressing each customer as a "segment of one," says John Kennedy, VP corporate marketing, IBM.
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