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Using Data to Get Fit – in Life and in Event Marketing

Show-to-Show: Thoughts from the Show Floor by James Morris

It is that time of year again. It is the time of year for crazy shopping, Santa lists, celebrations of lights and finishing out the year on a high note.  It is also a time when we make resolutions to do better in the coming year.

An always-popular resolution is the perpetual “Be more active” (a.k.a. “Go to the gym more.”) Admittedly, I have been an absent member of my gym and my running shoes have collected dust. High on my holiday wish list is a wearable fitness tracker.  If you are not familiar, these devices generally track steps taken, floors climbed, amount of calories burned, and even sleep patterns.  Ultimately, the data collected can be reviewed, shared and downloaded into a fitness plan app.  One such device maker is the popular Fitbit. In fact, Fitbit was a trailblazer for wearable fitness devices. The company’s IPO was one of the more successful of the year. Reading this recently left me wondering why such a concept would be so popular?

The reality is, we love to measure our progress.  Even at the most simplistic level, we love to know where we stand.  The social aspect of fitness trackers allows us to share with friends…to create competition.  This is the time of year where I sit with my customers to review “how we did” this past year.  It is a measurable line.  What was the investment and how did we fair against expectations?  This examination is not just about ROI; it is a rewarding process to see how far we have come in the past year.  My customers measure themselves, they measure me and they measure how they fared against their competition. 

Tracking progress also keeps us from losing sight of advancement.  I’m hopeful that when I wear my new wrist accessory, my shoes will not collect as much dust, I will be seen around my gym more and my waist size will shirk a bit.  I will be motivated by a desire to not fall behind or lose to the newly found competition within my circle of “Fitbit friends.” At the end of the day, it is much better to track stairs, steps, sleep, calories, etc. than to wait until you are faced with a health crisis that you didn’t see coming.

And so, as the end of the year approaches, it is a great time to examine the health of your marketing program too. It is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the successes of the year past, look for ways to improve and hit the ground running in the New Year with measurable and actionable data.