How 24-Hour Fitness Lifted Gym Visits 240 Percent

"We worked with Cuebiq to augment our Clear Channel outdoor campaign to create dynamic ads to target SF and LA commuters at different times of the day," said 24-Hour Fitness Marketing VP Mike Carney.

At the start of 2017, 24-Hour Fitness, a chain of 430 gyms across 13 states, wanted to bulk up visits to its San Francisco and Los Angeles locations by combining dynamic digital out-of-home ads and geo-targeted and timed messages.

“LA and San Francisco are our two largest markets, representing about 37 percent of our market share,” said 24-Hour Fitness Marketing VP Mike Carney. “And those are two great out-of-home markets given that so many drive and commute. So we wanted to attract commuters who were on-the-go at different times of the day to boost visits to gyms in those markets.”

The gym company began working with location intelligence company Cuebiq, which has an existing alliance with Clear Channel Outdoor Americas to apply digital analytics to OOH.

24-Hour Fitness used Cuebiq’s analysis to track smartphones that saw its Clear Channel ads

Looking Back And Forward

The methods of messaging on the fly, long associated with digital banners, has become mainstream for traditional billboards in recent years. The idea is to use analytics to look backward and determine the effectiveness of the campaign, while acting quickly to reshape the ongoing work.

Ultimately, 24-Hour Fitness found a 240 percent increase in guest traffic using Cuebiq’s location data platform to analyze those exposed to the ads.

“Clear Channel is a big partner for us, and they’ve been great in working on how to really get a more tighter component around specific audiences, and with the Cuebiq product it’s really allow us to leverage their technologies to do just that,” Carney said.

But was the 240 percent gain a matter of simply getting smarter measurement for its OOH ads? In part, yes.

But Carney adds that Cuebiq’s analysis of the ad exposures across SF and LA freeways and bus shelters helped shape the messaging to ensure the right consumers were seeing the “right” messages at the most optimal time.

“We teamed up with Clear Channel Outdoor exactly to provide and shed light about how our campaign is performing in the physical world,” said Cuebiq CEO Antonio Tomarchio. “We have great precision and the capability to measure location with an accuracy below 10 meters. We are able to understand if a totally anonymous group of users have been exposed to a certain billboard.”

Cuebiq was able to isolate a group of users who came in contact with the billboards and match their geo-behavioral patterns. They could then extrapolate those findings to similar demographic groups and then connect those individuals to 24-Hour Fitness locations.

“We can get a great deal of granularity that the segments that go by a Clear Channel board, and get precise view and perspective of what that audience looks like,” Carney added. “So if that board is in close proximity to our clubs, which nearly all the Clear Channel assets are, and we see certain segments by different day parts and different circumstances. It then allows us to tailor the message around the boards specifically to an audience.”

Cuebiq primarily relies on smartphone data via apps in its network, and OOH is becoming a greater focus for its measurement and insights.

Knowing Your Customers — And Those Like Them

“Brands can know a lot about their own customers, of course, but once that person leaves the store or the gym, the brand doesn’t know that much,” Tomarchio said. “If we can shed light about this kind of insight, overlap with other brands across shopping patterns, brand loyalty and brand activity, we’ll compare the brands and other brands, it helps all our clients in understanding the competitive landscape. And OOH, which is set to double over the next five years, is at the center of that.”

As for 24-Hour Fitness, the company is continuing its work with Cuebiq and Clear Channel.

“As we get into our 2018 planning, both Clear Channel and Cuebiq are huge to our approach and how we’re going to market,” Carney said. “OOH  will continue to be a big part of the channel mix. We’ve had a lot of success so far and its become an integral part of our marketing arsenal.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.