7 Top trends and how they affect your wellbeing business

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Change is happening faster than ever before and whereas changes used to take months or years, these days they are happening in a matter of weeks. This guest blog from Neil Fellowes at TotalWellnessClub looks at seven trends that are happening right now and how they are changing your client’s needs, wants and expectations as well as your approach to marketing.
Trend one: Proliferation of information
Go back to the 1970s or 1980s and you will notice that wellness information was very restricted. You could only access health information from a doctor, maybe a gym and from a few books that publishers deemed marketable. This restricted what the public could independently research and apply.
But the 21st century is turning out to be very different. These days it’s all about information.
We can research almost anything we want, whenever we want, wherever we are. Anyone can self-publish an e-book and can easily access information – be it mainstream or underground, amateur content or commercial. Ideas, opinion and recommendations are now shared freely and it’s as easy to live-stream content to an audience of thousands as it is to an audience of one.
Did you know? Every day 350 million images are uploaded to Facebook and 80 million are added to Instagram. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and 6,000 tweets and 2.4 million emails are sent every single second.
There are two consequences to this proliferation of information
1. Cost barriers are being removed and reduced.
2. We have become overloaded with information.
The consequences of this trend filter into the next…
Trend two: Unique to me
Because we can get our hands on almost any resource, anytime, anywhere, more evolved questions have surfaced:
‘What do I really want?’ and ‘Where shall I give my attention?’. This leads us to discover a world that is more unique to us, tailored to our interests and views.
As a result, we are now moving away from demographics as a predictor of behaviour. In many scenarios age and gender are no longer the important factors they once were, and behaviour is changing from predictable moulds towards the construction of an individual identity and uniqueness.
What this means is that demographically people are becoming less materially focused and therefore less likely to be defined by what they own and more likely to be defined by who they are and what they are interested in. Social media fuels this trend as we all share what we’re up to through pictures, videos and short messages.
This trend leads people towards inspired, tailored experiences that capture their enthusiasm, excitement and passion. You audience will seek out special classes, experiential holidays, unique experiences and personalised information that nurtures their wellbeing.
This moves the wellbeing industry away from the mass market towards niche nation. Therefore, wellbeing professionals would do well to look at how they can tailor and personalise their offers to meet clients’ evolving needs.
Trend three: The healthcare bypass
The present healthcare system is focused solely on caring for the sick. You enter the system when you’re ill. Governments have said for decades how the health service has too much pressure on its resources and even today there are generally long waiting times and lists. As a result, people have started to question the relevance and sustainability of this system.
At the same time the wearable market has begun to take off. As it explodes, more wellness information will become available and assessable. As more advanced health apps are developed, they won’t just give us information, they’ll even communicate with us.
This might help shift people away from NHS waiting lists. People are sharing alternative ideas with friends and family and awareness of what’s available is growing. This means that the population are slowly, but surely starting to move from cure to prevention. We are thereby seeing more and more people being driven away from the NHS and right down the path to wellness professionals.
Are you ready for them?
Trend four: Worthwhile workplace wellness
For a number of decades, corporations have looked at employees’ health. However, the main focus has always been how to get people back into work once they are signed off sick. Workplace wellbeing therefore has worked in a similar fashion to our healthcare system, i.e. you only become part of this work based health system through illness.
Like individuals, corporations are slowly recognising that it’s not all about dealing with causes (which also happen to be costly on resources), and instead focus on prevention. The new solution here is ensuring there are plenty of resources available that aid wellbeing. For example, I know one leisure company that developed a couch to 5k programme, led by a fitness instructor through two weekly sessions, that initially started with a short walk and gradually worked up to a 5k run.
Trend five: Attention retention
Twenty years ago, marketing was relatively simple. Catching a new customer’s attention wasn’t that hard. All we had to consider back then was whether we used brochures, flyers, phone calls or newspaper adverts to generate leads.
Today, it’s changed again… Attention can no longer be bought. Now you need to earn peoples’ time. If you can’t catch their attention amid the other businesses and publications vying for their time, they most likely won’t buy from you.
Put simply, the market has moved from ‘funnel marketing’ to ‘follow marketing’. With the most successful businesses able to nurture a community with valuable content, engagement and experiences. The most avid followers are likely to take the next step and become your clients.
Trend six: The downward cost of content
As we touched upon earlier, content is now widely available and people are looking for experiences. The problem this creates is that you can no longer sell content in the way you could before. We’re now seeing content moving towards zero cost, and more businesses are moving their income models towards experiences, engagement, ease of use, exclusivity and expertise.
People may come for the content, but they will stay for the connection. That connection can happen through a personalised programme or an upgraded experience.
Trend seven: The supportive sale
This trend is perfect for those who like attraction marketing.
We live in a time where global trust is lacking. Only 15% trust their government, while only 27% say they trust their banks. We’re dealing with mass migration, massive inequality, vast changes through technology and automation, and a lot of polarisation due to the anxiety that comes from not knowing what to do about everything and not trusting big corporations.
As a result, we are increasingly looking for information that develops trust and transparency, especially when it comes to purchasing. When we are supported throughout the sales process, we are more likely to build trust. Amazon, Tripadvisor and Airbnb all meet this need for trust and transparency thanks to an extensive use of user reviews. Within the wellbeing industry, this transparent review service is what TotalWellnessClub is working to replicate for health businesses.
Reviews act like recommendations. They build confidence and trust in the buyer’s mind. They also provide social proof – unlike a testimonial, it’s easy to check if a review is real and unedited. Customer reviews can also say things that business owners simply can’t because of advertising standard limits.
Make the most out of this trend by allowing existing clients to tell new clients what they think about you. As with all these trends, the key is to give people what they are looking for and make it easier for them to find and trust you.
Bio
With more than 15 years’ experience in the wellness industry, Neil Fellowes has worked with hundreds of start-ups and multiple million pound businesses. He developed TotalWellnessClub to help wellness professionals by giving them tools and mentoring that helps them attract new clients. Join the TotalWellnessClub community today.