Sr. Business Analyst Brings Proven Fitness Industry Expertise to MOTUS CI

Blog header image depicting Erin Oncken's headshot and the title "Expert Interview".

1. You started your career with Gold’s Gym. What was your role with them? 

Like many of us in the fitness industry I came up through the ranks, so I have done a little bit of everything from PT, Group Ex, Operations, and Management. I spent a majority of my time in corporate sales though, specifically bringing new corporate clients into the Gold’s Gym Corporate Wellness program. My team and I wanted to shape and improve what wellness programs could be. There are many organizations that claim to offer “wellness programs”, but they are really just discount programs. We were more than that as we went to the table with interest in learning about the business and becoming part of their ecosystem.

It was an interesting time to be in Corporate Wellness because the topic of healthcare cost and benefits was a major focus for us as a society, and the country was experiencing a significant overhaul. I felt proud to be in a position that regardless of the side of the fence you were on, I was supporting an opportunity for organizations small and large, to adopt a proactive approach. Whether a business was Fully Funded or Self Insured, there was an opportunity to put a solution in place specific to their needs.

Clearly, I’m passionate about fitness and the lives we change, so I saw Corporate Sales as an opportunity to take what we were doing in the clubs outside of the brick and mortar and inspire large groups of people. We did some really cool things over the years, and I was lucky enough to be surrounded by several great leaders in our industry that supported the evolution of our department.

2. Eventually, you moved to Les Mills. How did your role change? 

From my perspective, what I did for Les Mills was really quite the same. I remained committed to getting to know a partner, or potential partner, and understanding their business as well as their objectives. With over 20,000 club partners, Les Mills has a vast wheelhouse of experience and knowledge that provided me the opportunity to connect those insights to support partners in every aspect of their business, from marketing, club design, recruiting, and staff training.

I was truly doing what I loved when I could bring that to life through the many webinars, in-person business seminars I presented. Along with the individual conversations and strategy planning sessions I was continuously having with several large brands I managed across the US and so many of the amazing small business owners that make up our industry. With both organizations, data analytics and insight-driven practices played a major role in driving success in the background. This is an area I could often geek out over.

3. What have you learned from working with fitness executives? 

The epitome of “work hard play hard”. Haha

On a serious note though, I’ve found so much value in the time I have spent with organizations like REX Roundtables and the Gold’s Gym Franchisee Association (GGFA).

What I have learned is that no matter how senior you are in our industry, we never stop learning and we all have something we can gain from each other. It’s been both humbling and inspiring when I’ve had the opportunity to join these groups to see the brightest and most successful veterans in our industry, who I look up to, lean in and seek to learn more as well as share their knowledge and experiences so others can grow.

There is so much expertise that everyone brings, and the value of getting everyone in one room together who share the same passion and are willing to “get real” together, share the good, the bad, and the ugly, to be vulnerable about struggles, and to share their knowledge on where they have found success: it’s invaluable. You think about the journey each of us has been on, and the learnings we have picked up along the way, then you put that all in one room…that’s a room I want to be in. I am just grateful they think enough of me to invite me to join them.

4. What have you learned from visiting hundreds of clubs across the country? 

That it is so easy to get lost in the day-to-day grind and lose sight of the big picture. It happens quickly and I think every operator can attest to it. If you let it, the day will run you vs. you running your day. Before you know it you find yourself in that state of running on the hamster wheel. (That’s what we called it at Les Mills). You’re spinning the wheel, but no matter how fast you run, the wheel isn’t going anywhere, and it’s not going to. Thankfully you’re not actually a hamster, so get out of the wheel and be intentional with your daily decisions. Define your goals and create the game plan that gets you there. Then be hyper-focused on the key components of that plan that will have an impact toward your goal. Use your resources! Trying to do everything yourself is often foolish. If there is a trusted partner out there that has mastered the Group Fitness play (like Les Mills), use them, or a company that has a fantastic video streaming platform (like Intelivideo), use them. If there is a company out there that has brought data intelligence and marketing strategies to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL (cough cough…MOTUS CI), use them!

Doing everything yourself is not typically the best formula for how you define a successful brand. It is aligning yourself with the best to make sure the best is what you are bringing to your members.   

5. Why is building connections with other fitness professionals important? 

I am so blessed to have made many professional connections and friendships across the country, really across the world. This is valuable because it gives me and the fitness professionals in my network a nationwide visibility over the industry. We can see what strategies are working and what aren’t. It’s a real advantage that benefits everyone. 

6. What do you see as the unique value MOTUS CI can offer its clients? 

The all-in-one approach. Beginning with the data-driven approach that eliminates the need for saturation marketing practices that waste money. Instead, the proprietary platform that MOTUS uses offers clients the ability to do precision targeting to the right audiences with the right message so every marketing dollar spent goes further. Additionally, the value MOTUS places on providing full transparency to clients. It allows for a collaborative journey that includes accountability and commitment from both sides and ultimately leads to pivotal success. This is what it means to be a partner. 

7. Why do you see data analytics as critical in the modern fitness industry?  

It feels like a choice between going to target practice with a blindfold on, “hoping” you hit your target, or just taking your blindfold off, so you can clearly see your target. I can’t imagine anyone saying they would rather shoot blindly, if they don’t have to.

Now more than ever, we have to optimize our resources, we have to work smarter, and nobody can afford to waste a dollar.

8. What makes a business a great fit to partner with MOTUS CI? 

A business with a great product or brand that wants to elevate its messaging above the noise, so the consumers who need to see it will see it.   

9. If a business operator is interested in MOTUS CI, where should they start? 

Let’s chat! We want to learn about your business, what services you offer, the business objectives you are aiming for, and what your competitive landscape looks like. From there, we can do a Trade Area Analysis and provide you with a free Core Customer Profile to look at where specific consumer segments are located and the types of marketing channels best to optimize your ROI. Finally, we can partner with you to deploy your pre-existing promotions or build a fresh strategy, including creative content that is contextual to your consumer segments and will result in personalized and engaging campaigns. Campaigns that drive consumers to action.

Schedule your free consultation with Erin!