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4 Ways Data Will Impact the Wellness Industry in 2019

Whether you realize it or not, you’re collecting a ton of information on the people you serve every day. You know what products and services they use, their personal information collected from surveys and entrance assessments, what pages on your website they’ve visited, and if they opened the last newsletter you sent.

Data is the new currency. But, what does that mean for one of the fastest growing industries in the world?

Recently, we sat down with Nancy Smith, former CCO of Sounds True, and product owner at Gloo, and she shared her thoughts on how data is impacting the wellness industry in 2019.

Here are four key takeaways from our conversation:

1. Data will provide organizations with more complete and holistic views of their clients

Everyone in the personal growth industry understands the importance of the eight dimensions of wellness, yet many only have 1/8th of the view when looking at their target client. If you’re limited by your physical, spiritual, or mental assessment of the people you serve, you’re missing out on important data that can inform your program.

One recent data-driven insight has even led to the emergence of an entirely new industry. According to a 2012 survey conducted by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, 74 percent of people surveyed said that their debt negatively impacts their mental health. In response, a new field of financial therapists has emerged to address this growing correlation.  

“People will often know that they should do better, but can’t do better. So I recommend financial therapy if their disorders start to leading to significant impairment in their lives,” says psychologist and financial therapist Bradley Klontz.

Nancy notes that data gives you a holistic view on how to serve people in their whole-person wellness. This allows organizations to get a 360-degree view of their people to better increase engagement, drive retention, and make decisions with confidence. Proprietary models and analytics are built on this cumulative data to identify and predict behaviors, attitudes, and personal growth outcomes.

2. Data will reveal more customers in your own backyard.

Everyone does target marketing, but data-driven targeted marketing allows for precision that helps you get the most out of your budget. With data, you can build more robust profiles that identify demographic, geographic and motivational attributes. As you refine your target audience you’ll reduce costs by focusing your ad spend on the right people with the right messaging.

But, targeted marketing isn’t just for connecting with the people you know are looking for your products and services. Organizations miss out customers in their local community because they lack the insight that data provides.

Nancy provides an example, “If you could find out that people in your neighborhood over-index in suffering from anxiety or propensities toward opioid addiction, you could connect them to the support they desperately need.”

Before you look to expand, the right data map can help you scale your reach from the locations you already have.

3. Retreats will get a lot more niche.

The global wellness economy is worth a staggering 4.2 trillion. And everywhere you turn, you’re hearing about retreats to restore the exhausted, overworked, and spiritually deprived. But, retreats are about to get a lot more personal. Why just have a women’s retreat, when you could have a single moms retreat? Why just have a yoga retreat, when you could have a yoga and goat lovers retreat? Ok, that may sound a bit silly, but if you have the data to set the perfect atmosphere for an intimate group getaway, why wouldn’t you?

“This stuff is a no-brainer. It’s all about knowing your people and what they need and then optimizing your programming and services accordingly” says Nancy.

Here are just a few ways you could make your next retreat a lot more personal:

Price your Retreat

Data provides helpful information about the financial demographics of your people. Knowing this will help you determine the right price for the retreat you are offering to your targeted audience. Once you determine the right price, you can make key decisions on your venue and speaker selection that match your budget.

Choose the Right Speakers

Data provides insights into trends amongst your targeted audience. Trends can include who they follow, topics that interest them, and areas of growth they look to engage with. Using data of this sort makes it easier to select the right speakers for your audience.

Select the Perfect Venue

A supportive environment is just as crucial to a community’s well-being as anything else. That’s why it matters to select the correct venue for hosting your retreat. Data gives you insights as to where your target audiences live. Using mile-radiuses, proximities, and geolocations, you will be able to find the venue that’s most ideal. Filter by area (e.g., zip code, city, or state) for a visual representation of how health and well-being attributes spread across a specific location.

4. More organizations will share the data they collect with their users.

Every day, people interact with products that track their progress like popular fitness trackers, Fitbit or Garmin, and they use that data to inform their choices. These products serve their users first by helping them identify their baseline, but over time, they increase awareness of which activities create the best-desired results.

“The idea of mindfulness sits on the premise that we can become more self-aware. Data just supercharges our ability to possess that self-awareness,” Nancy tells us.

Every wellness organization from yoga centers to recovery treatment facilities should consider the benefits of this kind of cumulative information. As you take a look at the landscape of products offering valuable wellness data to your clients, you have to ask the question, what unique data could your organization provide?


Headspace, a guided meditation app, gamifies its user data and keeps a running score of total minutes and days in a row that a user meditates. This is a great way to share data with users, but it also encourages them to return to the app. How could you better engage the people you serve by providing cleverly disguised data reports on their activities? 

Data is a powerful and at times intimidating tool. But the most inspiring use of data is when it’s used as a force for the advancement of people growth. When organizations work together by sharing data, or co-serving, it serves as a multiplier effect and allows the two realms to benefit each other.