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Digital Data Discovery: Sweating Out the Health and Fitness Audience

This month, we continue the series of blog posts dedicated to highlighting important audience data. The second installment in our “Digital Data Discovery” series focuses on audience insights involving consumer health and fitness.

At the end of January, Gathr Lab conducted a study using its Living Audience data management platform and found that 4.3 times more health and fitness apps had been installed in those past 30 days (the month of January), than in December. This data reflects the healthy new year’s resolutions people had set and the actions they were taking to achieve them.

Then, COVID-19 hit. The pandemic shuttered gyms and fitness studios across the country, and forced coaches, trainers, and instructors to take their services online―many for the first time. Consumers with newly altered schedules and budgets found themselves adapting as well. In fact, leading healthcare organizations, such as WHO with its #HealthyAtHome campaign, encouraged in-home exercise not only as a way to help flatten the curve, but also as a way to maintain physical and mental well-being.

Despite the obstacles presented by the pandemic, people were keeping up with their health and fitness resolutions. Many people downloaded health and fitness apps when the lockdown began as gyms were closed. Health and fitness app downloads jumped 47 percent in the Second Quarter as COVID-19 continued to spread. While gyms, yoga studios and other work-out facilities gradually opened up, the recent boom in the related digital platforms is creating an opportunity to turn in-home health and fitness into the same kind of experience that video games, movies, television and sports have become―and a big opportunity for mobile advertisers!

We conducted a study to determine more in-depth audience insights by examining data associated with devices that had popular health and fitness apps installed, such as Calm and Strava. Our results quantified an estimate of 8 million devices and 42 million IP addresses, including only those devices that had been in the United States in the last 90 days and had been active within the last 60 days. Then, we analyzed data using the point-of-interest (POI) filter to observe gym visitations during that same time period in which states were slowly reopening.

Our findings included:

The typical health and fitness app user was a male, who used an Apple device and subscribed to Verizon Wireless as his mobile carrier. As a whole, these health and fitness app users had other similar interests associated with food and drink (especially non-alcoholic beverages) and household supplies (most likely disinfecting wipes, paper towels and toilet paper like the rest of us). They also collectively shared similar interests in these top-three apps: Pinterest, Facebook, and Strava.

Additionally, we compared the POI data associated with gym visits in three phases after lockdown restrictions began to gradually ease. When restrictions were first lifted in the end of April, we saw gym visitations increase and peak mid-May. Afterward, they settled and began slightly decreasing. While food and drink (including non-alcoholic beverages) and household supplies remained the top interests throughout each phase, we gradually saw an increased attraction to home appliances and auto parts.

In today’s current environment, the health and fitness industry has transformed its services to happen anywhere, in any form, at any time―and may well continue running down that road well into the future. Digital marketers can keep up the pace by tapping into the multitude of audience attributes, insights and behaviors these consumers share.

Be sure to check out our other Digital Data Discovery installments and stay tuned for future audience intelligence that you can use from Gathr Lab.

Digital Data Discovery: Sweating Out the Health and Fitness Audience
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