26 Sep 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Fit Tech
2020 issue 2

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Leisure Management - Ian Mullane

Fit Tech People

Ian Mullane

Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagement

Mullane came to the fitness industry after a career in investment banking and with experience in financial modelling
Mullane has developed Keepme around an intuitive dashboard and an app gives operators insight into on-site details of members
Having access to live customer insight analysis gives operators the opportunity to influence in real-time

Tell us about Keepme
Keepme is a software solution for the fitness industry, designed to help increase membership, reduce attrition and increase secondary revenue spend.

All fitness operators can benefit from Keepme. The tool provides transparency on the actions of members. It translates these actions into insight about the business and how it’s performing and functioning.

Using predictive and machine learning models, operators can hyper-personalise engagements with a commercial and operational perspective and increase response levels to benefit the business.

What tech is Keepme built on?
Keepme is a software as a service (SaaS) platform, available globally. It was custom-built for health and fitness operators. It uses machine learning models that use the client’s everyday data to build highly accurate and predictable models that are then utilised to increase revenue for operational efficiency.

What gave you the idea?
I was the owner of a fitness business in Singapore called Vanda.fit. I became increasingly aware of the importance of retaining more members in an environment that was getting more competitive, while the cost of acquiring new members was increasing between two- and three-fold on an annual basis.

I wondered if I could use my previous experience in modelling and investment banking in the fitness world, by using data that already existed in my business.

I found I could, and realised I had an opportunity to use data to predict which members were likely to leave. What’s more, I could predict this result far enough in advance to change the outcome. This was not data that we previously had available.

What’s your vision for the business?
The ambition for the business is to democratise AI tools so fitness industry operators can take advantage of this technology to increase revenue, engagement and service levels for members.

How has it developed so far?
Keepme was launched in January 2019. Since then, we’ve experienced significant growth. Today, our team operates from six offices around the world to serve customers in eight countries, ranging from large international brands to multi-site and boutique operators.

What are your plans for the company in terms of development and investment?
The opportunity for Keepme is enormous and we’re only just at the start of that journey. Our main objective is to continue to grow, develop and build a sustainable business.

In the coming years, we’ll come to the attention of many trade operators who may like to bring our capabilities in-house. Should that enable us to meet our potential, we would be very open to it.

Keepme completed an investment round in October 2019. This allowed us to bring in the capital that the business requires to resource expansion and continue the development of the platform.

Who are your main clients?
A wide range of operators across the world, including Virgin Active, California Family Fitness, Hockessin Athletic Club in Delaware, Pinnacle in Australia and NuYu, the female-only chain of fitness clubs in Saudi Arabia. In the UK, we’ve recently brought on board Ten Health and Fitness, and Primal.

How have you priced Keepme?
Keepme is priced on an annual subscription basis that depends on how many sites the operator has. A single site starts at US$9k a year, with a declining price per site thereafter.

Who are your competitors?
Combining AI with client data to provide insights is not an offering we’ve seen with other participants in the market.

The primary differentiator is that Keepme provides insights that are actionable and driven by AI.

There are tools available to provide business intelligence and customer engagement data, however, it’s the integration of both, combined with AI, that makes Keepme different.

How are you assisting operators through COVID-19?
The team at Keepme is aware that insights into member retention and the tools to improve them will never be more important than in the post lockdown period.

We’ve come to realise it’s also the time to revolutionise the tools available for membership sales, so we’ve been building a new AI-driven sales module to ensure every prospect is captured, the opportunity understood and a higher percentage of leads converted.

What future plans do you have to enhance Keepme?
Anyone running a fitness business has a great deal of uncertainty about the future, especially right now and we have many future plans to build out new predictive models to support them.

We’ll provide operators with a tool that can fill that knowledge gap about future trading which, in turn, will allow them to act more quickly – both defensively and offensively.

What advice would you give to operators?
We would like every organisation to understand that the resources they have in their business could be worth a lot more than they think. The value of their business is locked in their data.

We can do things today with standard data sets that we couldn’t even think of five years ago. And this opportunity will only continue to become greater over time.

This trend suggests that every organisation should consider the value it has in its data. It could be the most valuable asset you have over the next 5-10 years.

Originally published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2

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