Prepared for: The Pulse; Laura Rietmuller and Lauren Neal
Prepared by: Mac Consults; Adriana Campagnolo, Summer Martin, Alex Yang, Gowshihan Yasotharan, Shelly
November 26, 2014
The Pulse is McMaster University’s official fitness centre with over 20,000 square feet of active space, making it
one of the largest university fitness centres in Canada.1 The Pulse provides fitness-focused services for members
by providing fitness equipment, fitness classes, personal training, education, and more. The services are provided
for McMaster Students as well as the general Hamilton public. The Pulse strives to educate and empower the
community to discover their personal best in body, mind, and spirit.2
While The Pulse memberships are high, the speciality classes including: yoga, martial arts, dancing etc.;
personalized training sessions and fitness assessments; fitness programs such as: TRX, Women on Weights,
Resistance Training 101; are not being used as frequently by members. The Pulse have tried to market their
services and continue to see no participation incline. Our plan is to recognize this issue and implement steps
through social media participation, re-branding, and more events. The Pulse hopes to receive a $600,000 revenue
by the end of April 2016. To help us with our plan, we surveyed a sample-size of 100 McMaster students on their
participation and experience with The Pulse. Through these initiatives, The Pulse will be able to identify better with
students’ fitness needs and create a more effective way of advertising their specialty services.
The strategic summary will outline the goals and objectives of The Pulse Fitness Centre for the 2015-2016 school
year. By recognizing these key goals, this consultant plan will be able to implement ideal initiatives for The Pulse.
The overall goal of this consultant plan is to raise awareness of specialty classes and programs to McMaster
students which will then ultimately increase sales. Increasing brand awareness and having viable social media
channels to disseminate The Pulse’s information will be a key factor in communicating to the public.
1. Enhance The Pulse brand with their own tailored logo, slogan, and website.
2. Increase social media and online presence by 30% by the end of the 2015 fall semester.
3. Increase fitness initiatives on-campus through holding larger events by the end of April 2016.
4. Acquire higher participation in personal training, fitness programs, and instructional programs by April 2016.
1 "The Pulse Fitness Centre Overview." Marauders. Accessed November 21, 2014. http://www.marauders.ca/sports/2011/4/4/
In order for The Pulse to reach their goal of increasing fitness program participation, it is imperative to recognize
target audiences in order to determine how to communicate these initiatives effectively. This includes two main
groups: primary and secondary audiences. The primary audience includes students who already have a Pulse
membership and may be unaware of the services The Pulse provides, as well as students who may not want a
Pulse membership, but still want to benefit from selected specialty classes. The secondary audience is any
individual who is not a student at McMaster at The Pulse and would like to partake in the speciality fitness
programs available to them.
The primary audience intended for The Pulse Fitness Centre can be divided into two categories: students who
have already purchased a membership and wish to participate in additional speciality classes, and students who
are not members, yet still wish to purchase selected fitness services available without a membership. Out of the
students surveyed, only 20% have ever taken a paid-instructional class, and an even lower participation rate in
personal training at 2.30%. However, more than 70% of students surveyed say they live less than fifteen minutes
from campus while attending McMaster, which means a large population of students require accessibility to fitness
classes and personal training while away from home. More than 30% of students said they did not know about the
personal training services and more than a quarter of the students did not know about the instructional classes
offered. Therefore, although current participation is low, there is a huge opportunity to reach more students close
The secondary audience would include the Hamilton community surrounding the McMaster campus. Currently, the
membership rates for non-McMaster students are higher than student memberships. However, there are many
faculty and administrative personnel living in the surrounding McMaster areas and may not want to travel a huge
distance for specialty programs.
STRATEGY AND TACTICS
By targeting students and the community, this consulting plan is able to implement the following strategies and
tactics which will allow the goals of The Pulse to be reached. Strategies include the creation of The Pulse’s own
original logo and slogan, social media marketing, new events, and extending current events.
The logo (see Appendix 1) will be the new image that brands The Pulse. We believe that The Pulse needs to claim
their own brand under the huge umbrella of McMaster Athletics. By doing this, people are able to identify that The
Pulse is separate from McMaster Athletics which includes all athletics and recreation on campus. However,
keeping the grey and maroon colours allows people to still associate The Pulse with McMaster.
‘Get Pumped’ is a short phrased motivational slogan that encompasses the underlying values of the fitness centre
and correlates nicely with The Pulse. Also, this phrase encourages members to push themselves.
The McMaster Athletics website is too busy for The Pulse to have its own identity. It is difficult to navigate and The
Pulse is easily lost within it. We propose The Pulse creates its own website to be able to identify itself as its own
fitness centre while still being associated with McMaster University. The new website will be easier to navigate,
clean, organized, and have all the essential information for prospective and current members.
The Pulse presented a great opportunity to strengthen social media presence considering their current state with
social media platforms. They have already implemented accounts through Facebook and Twitter, and do so
excellently via Twitter. However, their Facebook account has not been used to its greatest potential. The Pulse
should actively update their Facebook page consistently. This is a great way to reach a wide audience since more
students are Facebook users than Twitter users. With only 644 likes, an easy way to increase this number is to
have Facebook contests, for example, create a post that says, ‘Share or like for your chance to win a free personal
training session with one of our personal trainers!’. Encouraging people to follow these social media accounts will
increase their chances of reading about promotions and classes happening at The Pulse.
Another social media platform we believe The Pulse should utilize is Instagram. Instagram has been a favourite of
athletes and body builders to promote healthy lifestyles. The Pulse could post inspirational quotes, progress
stories, personal trainer tips, promote classes, and more through Instagram.
Additionally, The Pulse had a great idea by starting their fitness blog. However, it was difficult to find on the
McMaster Athletics website. If The Pulse launches their own website, the blog would be easier to find. Promoting
blog posts on their other social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) would allow a larger audience
to be reached. Blog posts like workout videos, healthy recipes, personal training tips, and more would motivate
students to get to the gym more often. During December, a blog series called “Holiday Boot Camp” will be posted
and can focus on workouts, healthy holiday recipes, and more.
Lastly, after researching many fitness centres around McMaster, The Pulse and their classes are one of the most
inexpensive options. Students are on a tight budget and enjoy finding deals. If The Pulse was to promote their
inexpensive classes via social media and posters, more people would be inclined to participate. For example, a
typical 10 week instructional class is $46 which is less than $5 a class. If The Pulse was to advertise, ‘Sign up for
our 10 week Ballet course for less than $5 a class!’ people would be more inclined to participate because of the
The Pulse posters are highly concentrated in The Pulse itself. Expanding their visibility on campus would help
reach a larger audience.
This is already a marketing initiative that The Pulse uses annually in September. Try Mac allows students to try
yoga, pilates, and other fitness classes for free. This is an excellent marketing strategy that should continue to be
pushed by The Pulse. However, the promotions for this event was not as visible enough. More promotions through
social media and posters will be able to make this initiative thrive. Also, during the Try Mac week, giving students
the opportunity to try a three-day free pass to The Pulse would attract new members. To promote personal
training, the first 100 people to purchase a 12-month Pulse membership will receive a free one hour group
personal training session. According to our survey 33% of student did not know about personal training at The
Pulse. By giving a group personal training session rather than a one-on-one, The Pulse saves money, students
may feel more comfortable working out with a friend, and the more people who have these training sessions, the
more they can spread it word-of-mouth.
Just Pulse It
This is already a marketing initiative that The Pulse uses annually in November. However, it is only a one-day event
and should be extended to a week. Scheduling conflicts may prevent people from attending the one-day event,
but extending it to an entire week would make the event bigger and attract more people.
Shake it Off
Frost Week is the best time to sell classes because people are wanting to get their body back after relaxing during
the holidays. By having a “Shake it Off” promotion, students are able to familiarize themselves with Pulse courses.
The first 100 people to buy courses will receive a 10% discount on their purchase.
Encouraging Change will be a social media contest where people will log their fitness goals during two months of
personal training. During the competition, people are encouraged to upload their workout pictures online and
receive likes. This competition will motivate more people to attend personal training classes. It is advised to seek
for sponsors which will reduce the expenses of prizes.
The Pulse has done an excellent job at creating a huge member following of 13,000 members. For their members,
they provide an astonishing amount of fitness programs and machines to take advantage of. Also, they have a
large Twitter following and update it daily.
Although The Pulse offers a huge range of programs, many of the clients are unaware of the services offered. Also,
there is a lack of social media presence on other social media platforms like Facebook. Additionally, the current
Marauder website for The Pulse is not user friendly and hard to navigate.
Being the only gym on campus and being one of the most inexpensive options for students provides huge
opportunity for a successful gym. A lot of the students want to work out and live a healthy lifestyle and many of the
staff members want to use the gym on their lunch breaks. The gym also attracts members from the nearby
Dundas and Westdale communities.
The Pulse does face some threat from other gyms in the Hamilton area. Although there might not be any gyms
within the immediate approximate of the gym, students who live farther away from campus have other choices.
Another threat is girls who choose to go to an all girl’s gym rather than a co-ed gym.
TIMELINE AND BUDGET
Our consulting proposal mainly focuses on social media promotions, website design, and events. The client can
choose from the following activities and adjust the cost according to their needs. The Pulse should take advantage
of the effect of social media. By updating latest courses, events and promotions via social media (Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram), they can keep a close connection with members.
Allocated Budget and Revenue
• Total Pulse Revenue 2013-2014: Approximately $1,000,000
• Advertising and promotions: Approximately $2000
• Salaries (including part and full time): Approximately $500,000
• Major expenses (including major equipment, maintenance and wipes): Approximately $50,000
• All other expenses (includes uniforms, training, supplies, etc): Approximately $35,000
• Final Revenue 2013-2014: $447, 965
Allocated Budget Used
• Advertising and promotions: $5325
• No change in salaries, major expenses, all other expenses.
We believe that by expanding the advertising and promotions budget we will see an increase in participation and
therefore an increased revenue.
August: New Website Design
The Pulse needs its own neat and informative website to create its own original brand separate from McMaster
Athletics. This website would include basic regulations, introduction videos of classes, latest events, etc. One
personal hour per one week is required to maintain the website.
• Design a new website: $30003
• Annual fee (5-10 years): $400
• Domain name: $10 per year.4
• Web hosting fee: $120 per year.5
• Total cost annually: $530
September: Try Mac
By following Facebook and Twitter, people can get a free 3 day pass during Try Mac week (valid for first two
weeks) which can stimulate them to follow The Pulse’s social media accounts and bring them to purchase a
membership and specialty fitness programs. Meanwhile, during the Try Mac week, The Pulse will have set up
booths in areas with higher flow of population to attract new students’ attention. At these booths The Pulse can
publish a series of sales promotions, including: gifting a free one personal training session with the purchase of a
12-month membership, free introductory classes, and handing out guidebooks.
3 ATILUS. ”What does a website cost? Web Site Development Costs”.http://www.atilus.com/what-does-a-website-cost-web-site-development-
4 4Thesitewizard.com. ”How Much Does It Cost to Set Up a Website”. http://www.thesitewizard.com/gettingstarted/cost-setting-up-website.
5 See note 2
• Guidebooks: 5000*$0.36(20 pages) = $1500
• Posters: 50*0.757 = $45
• Group personal training fee: 100 session*$258 = $2500
• Total cost: $4045
October: Maintain Active Promotion
Host different types of activities to attract public attention. For example, invite a sports or nutrition specialist to host
a group talk, running for charity events, and stress relieving classes.
• Posters: 100* $0.759 = $75
November: Just Pulse It
Extend the Just Pulse It event from one day to one week. Include a draw for a free group personal training session.
Expanding this activity will not only offer more people a second chance to know and try these classes, but also
increase donations for charities.
• Posters: 40* $0.7510 = $30
• Group personal training fee: 5 groups *$2511 = $125
• Total cost: $185
December: Holiday Bootcamp Series
Set up a blog series “Holiday Bootcamp” around the December holidays which will include workouts, recipes, and
• Cost ignored
January: Shake it Off
This is the best time to sell classes because more people want to get their bodies back in shape after the holidays.
The first 100 people to buy courses get a 10% discount.
6 Estimation from historical cost
7 MSU Underground. “Price List” Accessed November 23, 2014. https://www.msumcmaster.ca/services-directory/22-underground-media-design/
8 See note 6
9 See note 7
10 See note 6
11 See note 7
• Posters: 40* $0.7512 = $30
• 10% discount for classes: 100* 10%* $46 (average) = $460
• Total cost: $490
February-March: Encouraging Change
Hold a promotion competition titled ‘Encouraging Change’. The Pulse would award candidates who have the most
significant change after the two months of personal training. During the competition, people are encouraged to
upload their workout pictures online and have students vote for the pictures they like. By promoting this game
through social media, it can motivate more people to attend the training classes. It is advised to seek sponsors,
which largely reduces the expenses.
• Prize (sponsors provided): (5 changes winners)* $8013 (price of protein powder) = $400
• Posters: 40* $0.7514 = $30
• Total cost: $30
April: Maintain Active Promotion
Promote summer classes and hours, create a ‘Bikini Body Bootcamp’, relieving exam stress classes, etc.
• Posters: 100* $0.7515 = $75
In conclusion, this consulting plan will meet the objectives and goals The Pulse has by the end of the 2016 school
year. With its own brand identity, The Pulse will be able to identify their fitness services more effectively with
students. Additionally, people may be hesitant to spend money on services they are not sure about, by offering
free trial periods, students will be more inclined to purchase these services. For further success, The Pulse should
focus on promotions throughout the campus for more visibility.
13 Amway.”Nutrilite® Whey Protein Powder - Chocolate”. Accessed November 23, 2014. http://www.amway.com/Shop/Product/Product.aspx/
14 See note 7