Anyone who’s serious about staying fit, does so with help from digital technology. Runkeeper when you go on a run, Strava for the avid cyclists, and a FitBit all throughout the day. The development of health and fitness related apps and wearables has been skyrocketing. Contrary to the athletes themselves, many gyms still haven’t completely embraced these digital possibilities. The new Digital Director EMEA at Life Fitness will change all of that.
ABOUT LIFE FITNESS
Life Fitness produces and sells top quality fitness equipment. The company is the worldwide market leader in commercial fitness. Most of their clientele consists of actual gyms, their products can however also be found in hotels and office buildings. Life Fitness’ brand names are Hammer Strength, Cybex, Indoor Cycling Group, and SciFit.
Currently, the company is still part of the American concern Brunswick, which, besides fitness equipment, also produces boats, boat engines, and pool tables. Next year, Life Fitness will be launched as a spin-off.
Brunswick has a yearly turnover of approximately 4.5 billion USD, close to one billion of which generated by Life Fitness. Life Fitness is active all around the world. More than half of the turnover comes from the United States, 24% from Europe, and 17% from Asia. Especially in those latter two areas the company identifies a considerable amount of potential for growth. In Europe, Life Fitness has its own locations in the Netherlands, England, Spain, and Germany. Other large markets in EMEA, such as Russia, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and France are serviced from the Business Unit Distributor Business EMEA.
THE AGE OF DIGITAL FITNESS
The usage of health and fitness apps has doubled in a relatively short amount of time and it’s crucial for gyms to follow this trend. With customers increasingly capable of achieving their fitness goals independently through apps, why would they still need the services of a gym? Therefore, Life Fitness is going all-in on a digital transformation. The company develops digital solutions offering comfort, insight, and effectiveness, both to gyms and the people visiting them.
One of Life Fitness’ innovative, digital products goes by the name of Halo Fitness Cloud. This ecosystem helps athletes in getting the most out of their workouts and gyms in running their business as efficient as possible.
With help from the Halo Fitness Cloud, athletes can set personal goals, track their progress, link up with the fitness equipment and find routines suited to their personal goals. The app also allows users to register for classes, communicate with trainers, receive tailor-made training schedules, and consult an extensive database on fitness instructions.
Halo Fitness Cloud also provides the gym with many advantages. It allows them to generate insight into visiting frequency, peak activity hours, machine usage, and so on. The ecosystem also tracks the usage for every machine, so maintenance can be adjusted to actual intensity of use. Moreover, Halo Fitness Cloud facilitates the communication, and subsequently the connection with the athletes in a variety of ways.
VACANCY: DIGITAL DIRECTOR EMEA
The Digital Director EMEA is responsible for expanding on the digital solutions offered by Life Fitness to their customers in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Since connected equipment is the base for digital solutions, increasing the connectivity rate for the installed base will be the first assignment for the Digital Director EMEA.
He/she is part of the team led by the Managing Director Strategy & Business Transformation International and manages the digital team comprised of Digital Experience Managers in England, Spain, Germany, and the Benelux.
“With Life Fitness, we plan to go all-in on the digital transformation in the upcoming years. The Digital Director EMEA’s role is crucial in our strategic approach. This is why this position will receive a lot of exposure from both the Vice President International and the CEO.” – Ronald Doodkorte – Managing Director Strategy & Business Transformation International
FROM SPECIFICATIONS TO SOLUTIONS
The digital road Life Fitness has taken greatly impacts meetings with customers. Before, those talks were mainly about the specifications of the equipment, and now they’re mainly focused on (digital) solutions. As the driving force behind the digital transition, the Digital Director EMEA plays a key role here.
The emphasis in Life Fitness’ approach is increasingly focused on customer outcomes. The company discusses with the gyms which goals they want to achieve, for example more members, or realizing a higher rate of retention, or improving the operational excellence. Life Fitness then offers a complete digital solution tailored to those goals.
Hand in hand with a focus on the realization of appropriate customer outcomes, goes a more prominent role for after sales, like employee training seminars, webinars, or site visits. This all needs to help make after sales an integral part of the sales process.
The Digital Director EMEA’s role in transforming the customer meetings is twofold. One the one hand, he/she supports the local sales teams in their new way of working. This requires a differentiated approach for each country. In the Netherlands for example, connected equipment is more the rule rather than the exception, which will require a different pitch than in Germany, where connected equipment is far less common.
Besides instituting this cultural change, the Digital Director EMEA will also be having meetings with customers. He/she will focus on large, complex deals, like with gym chains with multiple locations in multiple countries.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PARTNERSHIPS
The role of the Digital Director EMEA is much broader than merely having meetings with customers and setting guidelines for those talks. He/she is also involved with the development of new business models. Initial ideas here are offering consulting services to gyms, and the realization of new revenue streams by way of advertising.
It’s also up to the Digital Director EMEA to shape local partnerships. Local parties able to support Life Fitness with expertise, a local network, or training seminars. The coordination of the pilot customers is also part of the Digital Director EMEA’s duties. Life Fitness makes use of pilot customers to test innovative products. For gyms this provides a good marketing tool.
The Digital Director EMEA works closely together with the local teams and with the General Managers and Sales Directors in those business units. Here, he/she provides support in realizing the commercial goals. The Digital Director EMEA also works together with Marketing, for example to properly set up the PR for the pilot customers. Because local partnerships are crucial, the Digital Director EMEA will spend 40% of his/her time on the road.
- 10+ years
- Digital (Solutions/Apps)
- Change management
- Affinity with sports
- Strong organizational skills
Life Fitness works with Top of Minds to fill this vacancy. Contact Suzanne Goedhart-Limmen at email@example.com for more information.