Understanding the Digital Experience in the Fitness Industry
The health and fitness industry uses the words “digital” and “technology” frequently, but they also seem to be used interchangeably. This isn’t necessarily wrong in normal conversation, but as the industry seeks to find clarity and direction in an evolving world, having a unified definition helps us use common language and better understand the journey ahead.
I’ll explain how to differentiate the two. (Source: Oxforddictionaries.com)
“Machinery and equipment developed from the application of scientific knowledge.”
“Involving or relating to the use of computer technology.”
In health and fitness terms, we see a clear separation between the two. Technology is the hardware, the machinery and equipment. Technology would be a treadmill, a treadmill console, a circuit board in a treadmill console, Bluetooth, Ant+, a smartphone, a heart rate strap, etc. The bottom line: Technology is the hardware.
Digital is how we make use of and interact with technology. Generally, this is software or a number of applications seamlessly integrated to create an experience. This would be the app on your smartphone, the software on your treadmill console, or the reporting software for your door access system. Digital is the experience.
When you separate digital and technology to change their definitions in conversation, it becomes clear how the two work together. For example, a smartphone is the technology but its apps create numerous and varied experiences. Consider a modern smart treadmill as a technology that creates numerous and varied workout experiences with its integrated digital. You can also connect to other third-party technologies like smartphones or tablets to reshape the current experience.
These examples show how the two interact to achieve an objective.
Your business is valuable when investigated in reference to your digital and technological vision. Customer experience is key—we live in an age of empowered consumers and they demand consistently positive experiences. What experience are you looking to maintain and how will it delight your customers?
The next steps are to ask yourself:
What part of the customer experience could you either replace or enhance with digital?
What technology will enable your business to meet exerciser expectations and deliver their sought-after digital experience?