How Planet Fitness Delivered a Modern, Digital Experience for Its Customers
As a company grows and changes, its digital experience must evolve as well. At Acquia Engage 2017, Chris Lavoie, vice president of information systems, and Kate King, digital marketing manager, at Planet Fitness explained how they relaunched the company website to provide members with a more engaging, modern experience.
Since its founding in 1992, Planet Fitness has grown to become one of the largest fitness brands in the U.S. The company’s digital needs changed drastically as it grew to serve more than 10 million members at 1,400 locations in four countries. The site had to offer a more tailored user experiences than ever before.
“Our original website was static,” Lavoie said. “There were no opportunities for member engagement. It featured limited content and was not optimized for mobile. If a franchise manager wanted to promote a flash sale at midnight, someone needed to get online and push out the content at midnight.”
The digital team partnered with Acquia to address the three major challenges with its digital presence: member experience, content creation and franchise customization.
The website was highly transactional and offered little to no opportunities for members-brand engagement. Planet Fitness needed a new site that was optimized for multiple channels and could accommodate the growing number of members who engaged with their brand via mobile devices.
Using Acquia Lift, Planet Fitness was able to deliver targeted messages to prospects and members. After noticing many prospects abandoned the signup process midway through, they could house that data on Salesforce and use Acquia Lift to send targeted messages to those early abandoners.
Additionally, when designing the new website, the digital team studied the flow users followed when signing up for a membership. Based on these patterns, Planet Fitness crafted a registration process that was more intuitive and user-specific.
Members wanted the website to better highlight the benefits of joining the gym, and drive home their idea around “fitness for everyone.” The digital team wanted to create a localized content section to engage members and incorporate the brand message. Planet Fitness members valued community, so the new site needed the ability to help members find workout buddies and offer support to fellow gym-goers. However, the content creation system they had in place was difficult to use and time-consuming.
The solution: The Drupal 8 content management system allowed the company to build a non-transactional content section that provided fitness information delivered in a “judgement- free” tone. As King mentioned in the session, Planet Fitness serves pizza on Mondays and they wanted to be sure that the content on their blog was reflective of their unique brand.
To cater to their members' interest in community, Planet Fitness needed to empower local franchise managers with more autonomy over their landing pages. That way, each branch would have content and promotions that catered specifically to its community, while maintaining cohesion with the Planet Fitness brand.
The solution: Planet Fitness leveraged Drupal 8 to build a new site that was easier to navigate, more responsive and channel-agnostic. Utilizing the Drupal CMS tools, franchise managers could make changes to their branch page without going through headquarters. Now, they could easily change their “about us” section, upload local photos and highlight the amenities specific to their location.
“We kept our members at the center of focus for this project,” King said. “We wanted to ensure the Planet Fitness website serves as an extension of the friendly atmosphere felt in our physical locations.”