Health clubs and urgent care can be a match made in heaven for mutually beneficial promotion of services.

Both facilities—the urgent care and the gym—have core messages of wellness and overall health. To succeed in marketing through a nearby health club, you need to position the urgent care center as a go-to place for injury care, accessible preventative services (such as flu shots), and possibly physical therapy.

Other opportunities may exist for the urgent care staff to provide mini-wellness seminars at the gym, static displays, and a wellness flyer library.

Consider the target audience: Many health club users are young, active people who are subject to sport-related injuries. The “regulars” tend to be technology savvy, with a high discretionary income—and many also work in jobs without full benefits and aren’t established with a primary care physician. Another subset of users are overweight and out of shape—and this population has a higher rate of urgent care utilization across all issues (not just sports-related).

To optimize promotion through a health club, make sure it’s a location in close proximity (within 5 minutes) to your urgent care center. Since the gym manager is interested in increasing membership and retention, pitch your center as providing added value to members and increasing the club’s business. Also, make sure the center is open extended hours (at least until 9 p.m.) and at least one weekend day to be available to gym members.

Strategies:

  • Distribute literature at larger health clubs where traffic may even merit a manned display table. In smaller gyms, which are typically located in strip mall storefronts, educate the owners and staff about urgent care services so they can make referrals.
  • Explore partnerships with seasonal camps, competitive leagues, and tournaments offered through some of the larger health clubs. Some of these will require pre-participation physicals, your center could offer injury or illness care during the events, and the collaboration will raise brand awareness leading to future visits. To coordinate for participation physicals, make contact with the program director 4-5 months prior to get information included in parent mailings.
  • Consider having staff from your urgent care perform a demonstration at the health club, perhaps using training dummies or other illustrations. Take pictures and submit to local media.
  • Target nearby businesses that cater to those using the health club. These may include health food stores, tanning salons, massage therapists, and sports equipment stores. Operators of these stores are usually known and trusted by customers, so explaining your services and fostering a positive relationship could lead to referrals. Ask to display brochures or other materials at the business.

Check back all this month for marketing tips and strategies we’re offering for Urgent Care Awareness Month. And send any specific marketing questions or topics you’d like to see addressed to dwallheimer@practicevelocity.com.