Blueprint For A Digital Strategy
In 2021 ukactive alongside Sport England partnered to create Digital Futures to improve the application of digital within the leisure and fitness sector to enhance consumer experiences and value to operators. This partnership led to the implementation of the first ever fitness and leisure sector Digital Effectiveness and Maturity Toolkit that provided operators with a score for their own digital maturity and a benchmark for the industry as a whole.
This sector wide consultation resulted in the publication of the Digital Futures Report in 2021 and since then ukactive, in collaboration with its digital partners have been canvassing many operators on what is required to achieve the objectives of the Digital Futures programme, one of which is creating a digital strategy.
It was acknowledged that digital transformation can take many forms and what is the right approach for one may not be for another. This provided a conundrum for the newly formed sector wide Digital Futures Advisory Group as to which out of the hundreds of open-source models for digital transformation do we advocate whilst being true to the vast experience already within the leisure and fitness sector.
The conclusion, following engagement with operators and suppliers, was not to be prescriptive in defining a single strategy but to share best practice and provide practical blueprints to support development. The guide linked below is the first of these blueprints, it provides an outline of how to approach a digital strategy and shares experiences of operators who have used the consultation to assess their own digital maturity and effectiveness and that have gone on to design a digital strategy that complements their overall core leisure strategy.
Whilst many are at the start of the digital journey there are many operators who are already moving through the digital percentiles described within the overall report. To reflect the requirements of those organisations we have provided some useful references and resources within the blueprint.
As a collective the Digital Futures Advisory group, having experience working with multiple UK and Global leisure operators, are in complete agreement on starting a digital journey. That is, with an understanding of both the consumer and their experience and expectations and an assessment of your own business technologies, practices, and people to ensure you can effectively meet consumer goals as well as your own commercial ones.
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