This essay will be examining how Fitness First uses marketing, finance and human resource management to continually be an effective and sustainable sports organisation. Fitness First is the largest gym, health and fitness group in the world with more than 1.5 million members and over 550 fitness clubs. (www.fitnessfirst.co.uk, 2009)
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as “…the management process which identifies, anticipates and supplies customer requirements efficiently and profitably. Ace (2001:2) The first part of this essay will focus on the ‘four P’s’ of the marketing mix in relation to implementations taken by Fitness First in these areas. The four P’s of the marketing mix are product, place and promotion. Shaw (1998:230) defines the marketing mix as, “The mix of marketing inputs that affect customer motivation and behaviour.” The product which Fitness First offers its customers is more of a service than a tangible product. This means that customer care and satisfaction pays a large part in the success of Fitness First. “None of our worldwide success as a gym, fitness and health club would be possible without our fantastic Fitness First management and executive staff, gym instructors, fitness instructors and personal trainers.” (www.fitnessfirst.co.uk, 2009) Fitness First’s objectives are customer orientated, they state that their main objectives is to help their members set and achieve their goals in fitness and to inspire people to lead a healthy lifestyle. This is Fitness First’s official mission statement, “To be famous for making the world a fitter place; like minded staff and like minded members work together to make that difference.” (www.fitnessfirst.co.uk, 2009) Fitness First offer fitness classes and training programmes as well as personal trainers for one to one guidance. The staff are part of the product which this health and fitness organisation offers along with the gym equipment. For Fitness First to be successful in their ‘product’ they will need good human resource management, maintenance and market research in finding the customers wants and needs in terms of staff behaviour and technology of gym equipment. Fitness First are a modern company who develop their equipment when technology changes, offering customers with the best experience that they can offer. Fitness First has health and fitness centres in 17 different countries, so it is important that successful market research has been undertaken in demographics in order to situate their buildings in an ideal place for an active environment where people are likely to sign up for a gym. Fitness First offers many different promotion schemes, from student discount memberships to over 55’s memberships. There are classes running at various times focusing on particular aspects of fitness to meet customers expectations and desires. Fitness First offers free one day trials to attract people to try out the services that they have to offer.
Cornelius (2001) highlights that it is important to use a strategy-centred human resource management in relation to employees in modern management. Fitness First take employee relations very seriously and employ people from all backgrounds so that they can gain a full understanding from all of their customer’s wants and needs. “Human resource management is directed mainly at the management needs for human resources to be provided and deployed.” Torrington and Hall (1987) taken from Cornelius (2001:9). This definition doesn’t necessarily relate directly to employees, but the implementations and the activities made by the management in order to maintain a structured organisation and to meet customer and employee needs where possible. Guest (1987) highlights the main dimensions of human resource management, these are; “integration, employee commitment, the goal of flexibility/adaptability, and the goal of quality.” Taken from (Cornelius, 2001:9) This definition however relates more to the...
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