Marketing ASEP

By Doris Harrison,2014-01-20 22:01
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Marketing ASEP

    The New Marketing of ASEP

    Jesse Pittsley PhD, EPC

I must state immediately something that will become obvious while reading this essay. I

    know nothing about marketing. But, nevertheless, being grossly ignorant on a topic has

    never stopped me from ranting before, so I see no reason to start now. My marketing

    knowledge is completely from a consumer perspective. Like most others, I‟m exposed to

    ads in magazines, newspapers, on billboards, on internet sites, on radio, and on television.

    (I must admit I don‟t own a TV but I do encounter one occasionally). Advertising is everywhere and it seems everybody has a product to push. Using everything from humor

    to nostalgia, all companies attempt to alter your perception. Marketing is a cornerstone

    of a consumer driven economy, and it is fun to watch companies demonstrate their

    creativity when trying to beat the competition.

The concept of professionalization

    of Exercise Physiology proposed

    by the American Society of ASEP (has created) a public means Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) is to discuss the professionalization of like any other sellable idea or exercise physiology. Clearly, this is a product. It is a novel and, it is

    beneficial. However, it is product very significant accomplishment since

    with, unfortunately for ASEP, a it permits nearly any discussion substantial amount of ignorance related to exercise physiology to be and competition for it to overcome.

    reflected through the prism of Not all great ideas and products

    always catch on immediately. professionalization. Potentially, this

    Furthermore, any idea or product could result in a subtle and nearly that encounters competition must subconscious “paradigm shift” within be substantially marketed to

    the field. establish a solid consumer base. In my opinion, ASEP is embarking upon a new

    marketing phase where strategies must evolve from the traditional and informative to the

    more strategic and assertive. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explain my opinion on

    the next phase of ASEP marketing.

Up Until Now

    During the initial years of ASEP, the organization established an informative and

    consistent knowledge base. The creation and maintenance of the online journals (the

    Professionalization of Exercise Physiologyonline and the Journal of Exercise

    Physiologyonline), the ASEPNewsletter, and a battery of legal and administrative prose all lead to the current, and rather overlooked, conceptual base of the organization. This

    foundation has created something nonexistent prior to ASEP, a public means to discuss

    the professionalization of exercise physiology. Clearly, this is a very significant

    accomplishment since it permits nearly any discussion related to exercise physiology to


    be reflected through the prism of professionalization. This could potentially result in a subtle and nearly subconscious “paradigm shift” within the field.

    Accompanying the establishment of this base, ASEP advanced in its public persona. The ASEP homepage moved from deep inside the web domain of the College of St. Scholastica to the more user-friendly The ASEPNewsletter shifted to

    both a web and e-mail based publication. The presidency of the organization moved beyond occupation of its founding and charter members to new exercise physiologists that are outside the ivory towers of academia.

    From the theoretical to the concrete, ASEP now exists beyond the daydreams of a couple academics. As a boxing coach would say, “good fighting starts with good footwork.” Although not a glamorous as the current status of several major professional organizations, the past seven years were needed for ASEP to last more than a couple rounds in this bout.

From Here Forward

    Getting in the ring was a great start. But throwing the right punches during the right moments is the new struggle for ASEP. For example, consistently presented at ASEP national meetings is the astounding number (roughly 300) of certifying agencies related to exercise. Therefore, ASEP is not alone in its desire to promote exercise certifications. ASEP would argue that its board certification is the moral choice for exercise physiologists and it is “above” the whims of consumerism. But, frankly, I don‟t think

    the other ~299 organizations care. Everybody is out trying to sell a product that few in the public and many in the field

    can actually see a difference or

    differentiate between. I would

    argue that ASEP has an ethical and

    novel product, but how do we sell


I am not in front of a television

    very often. But, when I am, it is

    usually during a major sporting

    event. After distancing myself

    from this medium for several years

    I am amazed at the number of car

    and beer commercials. Every few

    minutes somebody is either

    cruising the open road or downing

    the suds (occasionally, an ad will

    air reminding you not to do both

    simultaneously). What is more

    interesting is the theme to the

    commercials. For example, beer

    has been around for a while and,

    Is now the time to talk about wage loss?

    Broach the topic at


    since I can remember, Miller Lite and Bud Lite have been taking shots at each other.

    What is interesting is that neither company bothers with ads stating simply that they exist

    and that their product is good. Both companies spend most of their resources exploiting a

    perceived difference between the products. Similarly, rental car companies (with slogans

    like “not exactly,” “we pick you up,” “there‟s us and then there‟s the „other guy‟), fast

    food companies (the classic, “Where‟s the beef?”), credit cards, (they take ______, but they won‟t take American Express), and many other companies have evolved far beyond

    announcing their existence. Rather, they concentrate on exploiting a difference between

    their products and their competitors.

In some cases there is little difference between the products and, therefore, the companies

    must work to create a perception of one. While in other cases, which is ASEP‟s category, there is a significant difference between the products. As a result, the companies must

    work to make sure everybody knows that there is a difference. In the end, though, it is

    about stating that that the other guy is wrong and that your product is the best choice.

    More than just eccentric! The ASEP accreditation and certification programs have

    novel characteristics that

    many exercise physiologists

    would consider advantageous.

    The task is to catch the

    attention and interests of the

    exercise physiologists in the

    U.S. Informational brochures

    and newsletters are a great

    foundation, but it is likely that

    something a bit more edgy is

    in order?

    Although uncommon thinking

    in the realm of professional

    organizations, why not use

    humor, wit, and a pinch of

    sarcasm? The world occupied by the academic exercise physiologist is, at times, viewed as a stuffy room just waiting for a window to open up so

    that the bright sunlight can shine in. Personally, I‟m poor at blindly respecting authority. I‟ve always found happiness in making those who are comfortable shift around in their seat with a little sweat running down their brow. What‟s wrong with a little banter?

The New Generation

    It is my proposal that the ASEP leadership begins a series of advertisements that take

    advantage of the differences between products in the market. The board certification

    (EPC) offered by ASEP is an exclusive certification that other health care professional

    can not obtain. This could theoretically prevent other, licensed professionals from


    providing similar services and establishing a strong employment sector for exercise

    physiologists. It is exactly this type of difference that must be illuminated. Furthermore,

    in terms of academic accreditation, ASEP‟s accreditation requires departments to standardize the academic degree (and, thus professional title) to fight the excessive

    variance currently present throughout the college and university system. This, and other,

    significant differences must be communicated to the public. Now, one must ask, “how?”

My personal opinion is that few people read. Yes, there are the diligent and thorough

    exceptions. But, overall, few people sit and read beyond a couple paragraphs of most

    emails (that are not from close friends) and articles. If you don‟t believe me, simply

    examine the format of many online news items and articles in popular magazines. Go to

    a popular news site like and

    read a few items. The articles are

    composed of short paragraphs, roughly . . .once at the webpage, ASEP

    one to three sentences, with the purpose must hold their attention with of making a point. The reader is quickly techniques beyond the traditional rewarded with quick bits of information

    article. For example, the use of with minimal effort. It is the same with

    television commercials, magazine ads, slide presentations, audio files

    and movie trailers; they all follow a and video files should all be similar theme. Each uses few words and available to explain the ASEP employs memorable phrases and images

    perspective. to capture attention. People are accustomed to others working for their attention. I

    understand that this is not ideal. I understand that many academics, including myself,

    cringe at evolution of reading in our culture. But, with the exception of a few individuals,

    most professionals do not dig deeply into text.

The new advertisements created by ASEP need to contain the traits of modern marketing.

    Clever slogans, edgy sarcasm, and subtle humor all should be used to illuminate the

    unique traits of ASEP and its services. The ads should be short and colorful. They

    should make a simple point. ASEP must concentrate on catching the attention of exercise

    physiologists in ways that inspire them to visit the ASEP webpage. Then, once at the

    webpage, ASEP must hold their attention with techniques beyond the traditional article.

    The use of slide presentations, audio files, and video files should all be available to

    explain the ASEP perspective. There are many members that are excellent speakers and

    maybe even more than a few who would look good in front of a camera! Or, why not ask

    a few to read a quick 30-second “spot” as a background audio track for a slide presentation. People are often willing to sit back and listen (or watch) a media file more

    frequently than they are willing to read the same material in text form. In other words,

    why not be more creative in getting the message out?


    With a professional foundation well designed within the infrastructure of the ASEP web

    pages, ASEP must now alter its marketing approach from the informative to the strategic.

    ASEP, as a professional, non-profit corporation, must now accept the fact that there are

    many products available to the exercise physiology consumer. Therefore, ASEP must


    distance itself from the competition by broadcasting its unique features. I should state

    that I believe the foundation of any professional organization is its academic literature.

    Unfortunately, if few read the literature, then its effectiveness is minimal. ASEP needs to

    employ new marketing strategies to capture the attention of exercise physiologists. It is

    with only their attention can the organization begin to convince that professionalization

    should be the path of the future.

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