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Digital Transformation: Disrupting the World of Fitness

Podcast host Tania Salarvand | Podcast guest Craig Miller
August 01, 2019 | 14 min 33 sec

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Brief summary

Putting a transformation plan into action isn't easy. Craig Miller, Chief Digital and Chief Information Officer of Planet Fitness shares his vision for creating a digital wellness platform, designed to expand the member’s experience and connection with their brand beyond the walls of the gym. If you are a business or tech leader needing practical advice for executing an ambitious change mission, this is the podcast for you. 


It is important for a brick and mortar company to have a digital experience because consumers are expecting it. Planet Fitness could continue to operate on our very successful model, but we would start losing members to other experiences they’re looking for. Not only is our digital strategy part of how we continue to grow well into the future, but also how we protect our base given our size and scale. 

Organizations are creating digital experiences at a hockey stick rate because of the significant disruption caused by companies like Amazon, Uber and Airbnb. Planet Fitness had the vision that digital and technology was about to disrupt the fitness industry, so I was brought in to lead the technology transformation and the cultural shift. 

Change is never easy -- technology transformation impacts every single organizational function. In order to shift the culture I start with each function and get aligned on what ultimate goals are, then I begin the methodical process of building credibility and trust through education and incremental wins. 

The way companies measure performance has to change -- we need to think about ROI and business metrics differently. We look at membership, acquisition and retention rate, but if the technology is implemented that doesn’t immediately show one of these things it is hard to get buy-in, so we need to show incremental KPIs.  

We can drive the right outcome, but we aren’t successful unless our main stakeholders believe it to be so. You can deliver the results and still fail. You have to manage the perception of your progress and get your stakeholders as advocates. 

To deliver on the digital strategy, I spend most of my time driving alignment and educating our franchisees, HQ and key vendors. It would create a restraint on us if our key vendors each implemented their own digital strategy so we told them to plug into us and use our standards and platform. If it wasn’t for our size and scale we wouldn't be able to do that. 

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