Leisure marketing: What’s the best time of year to market to fitness fanatics?

Research confirms New Year’s resolutions do lead to an increase in exercise.  But more people get back into the habit of regular exercise later in the year.

According to the most recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the number of people getting regular exercise increased by about 4% from December to January.

But that number rises about 5% a month for the next few months until it reaches its peak in June and July.

Motivation seems to change with the seasons.

Every night for years, Gallup has called 1,000 American adults and asked them how many days in the past week they have exercised for  30 minutes or more.

Over the years, the results have remained fairly constant:  People’s motivation and exercise habits rise as the temperatures and hours of sunlight increase, and fall with the…well…the fall.

Percentage of Americans Who Exercise 5 Days a Week or More

1 in 5 people who exercise in the summer will stop in the fall.

In fact, 20% of all people who report exercising at least five days a week at the peak of summer will lose their motivation sometime during the fall.

Then, beginning in January, each month an additional 4-5% of Americans will join the ranks of people getting at least 5 days of exercise a week, until their numbers peak in the months of June and July.

The best months to market your brand depend on your target audience and their favorite sport.

So when is the best month to advertise a travel brand that appeals to people who are exercising frequently?  That depends.

If you’re the marketer of a travel or leisure brand that appeals to people who start and stop their regime every year, a holiday campaign reminding them of the sport they love makes sense.

But you might want to reserve some powder for a Q1 message that speaks to the rising numbers of people returning to a more regular regime.

On the other hand, if your brand is geared to the 80% of people who exercise regularly all year round, your strategy might be different.

Here in Colorado, those of us who are daily disciples of running, cycling, rock climbing and other various sports like to buy our new gear at one of two points in the year:

Either at the start of the season, when our resolve and our wallets are fatter; or at the end of the season, when our wallets and your prices are leaner.

Here’s some more information about theGallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index

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