Interview with Daniel Newman of Pocket PT

Recently I caught up with Daniel Newman from Pocket PT. Pocket PT is a web-based service that combines exercise instruction with online support from certified Personal trainers.

I fired off some questions to Daniel to find out more about how this new company came to exist. This is what Daniel had to say.

Question 1: What was the ‘light bulb’ moment when Pocket PT was conceived

‘As a Personal Trainer (PT) I wanted to shatter the glass ceiling of 20-30 sessions a week and £20,000 per annum, so myself and a friend that had just sold a business to Virgin came up with the idea of doing downloadable content for all the pocket video devices that were coming out. It was only as we started designing the website that the download service would sit on, that the health club operators features came together. From there it was like tugging on a strand of thread, the whole strategy pretty much fell together. What would the correct online service do for retention, and sales? Even the biggest clubs are massively limited in terms of their marketing grasp no matter how far it reaches and 7 out of 10 people would use a PT if they could afford, it but only 1 in 10 can.’

Question 2: What is the ‘big cause’ that your company is embarking on?

‘Our cause is ‘bringing gyms into the digital present’.

Health clubs have only just got their relationship with software started since the recent wave of retention tools. It amazes me that fitness staff are still writing programmes on paper instead of printing them off from a terminal and linking that member to their online programme so that the member can record progress, read articles, meet PTs, watch videos etc.

We can already place the gym brand onto the mobile handset in a way that the user regularly interacts with – making the health club membership a daily part of that person’s digital life, next to the messaging, Facebook, shopping, banking and music apps’.

I believe a good online product can support sales, retention, PT revenue, as well as produce direct revenue and enable new marketing partnerships.’

Question 3: What 3-5 words describe your company?

‘Do not accept yesterday’s limits.’

Question 4: Fast-forward three years. What is your company’s legacy so far?

1 ‘Pocket Innovation leads a new ‘online’ fitness sector serving, gyms, retailers, PTs, training providers and direct customers. Mobile phones are being sold with the value add of – ‘comes with your own Pocket PT tailored workout’, as this is a strong unique selling point USP) compared to tired and non-user specific content such as music and video that the customer can get anywhere.’

2 ‘We operate a bespoke variation of Pocket PT technology for 3-4 international gyms which each have unique USPs and brand offerings.’

3 ‘We have introduced one product that directly impacts sales, retention, PT revenue and secondary spend.

Question 5: If your company closed today (hypothetically), how would it be missed?

‘Technology is expensive to develop. It is far more beneficial for chains to have us operate a bespoke service for them under their brand than it is to build from scratch. So we would be missed because it would take another company two years to build something that we can deliver now! While the iPhone is exploding onto new networks and the App’ store is changing the way people consume digital products.