Tivity targets digital transformation

Tivity Health is enlisting technologists and data analysts to build out a member engagement platform that will be central to the company’s fitness and holistic health offerings. The goal for CEO Richard Ashworth and his team: a digital transformation that will allow the Franklin-based company to grow beyond its traditional partnership model and roll out new product offerings. 

With the weight of Nutrisystem and looming debt deadlines off their shoulders, Tivity leaders are looking to build their future in the broader social determinants of health space by using digital tools, artificial intelligence and data analytics to provide individualized wellness support to its members, the majority of whom — right now — are seniors. 

The platform, tentatively set to launch mid-year, will allow Tivity to draw people to programs outside of the company's traditional partnerships with gyms and payors. This includes a shift in marketing strategy: Ashworth said in a call with investors Thursday that the company does not plan to continue advertising via television ads generally used to connect with its Medicare Advantage population. Rather, his team intends to push its new platform using digital marketing capabilities to target a broader audience. 

“We right-sized the organization to be ready for growth and have folks on the team who are really focused on our digital offering, our virtual suite," Ashworth said. "But a lot of the expertise we are going to get from our partners. As I mentioned, Snowflake and Redpoint, we also have some other companies that are well known that we're bringing on board to help us in our platform capabilities.”

The Tivity team plans to push into virtual personal training, interest-based social connection opportunities, mental enrichment and personalized member content. Their planned transition comes after the company took its fitness service offerings online during the pandemic, which shut down gyms and locked down nursing homes. Ashworth said there was already a trend toward digital fitness and health solutions prior to the pandemic, but a recent survey of Tivity members indicated 80 percent said they will continue using digital offerings once the pandemic fades.

The platform is still in development, and in the meantime, Tivity leadership is focused on fundamentals as the company settles from its leadership shuffle and the recent sale of Nutrisystem.

“We will first focus on stabilizing the subscriber base, then pivot to growth while employing new digital features for Prime. There is tremendous opportunity for further subscriber penetration, and I am confident we will build this business to be even better than before," Ashworth said. 

Shares of Tivity (Ticker: TVTY) were down 5 percent Thursday afternoon to $23.21, which is roughly where they were trading prior to the arrival of COVID about a year ago.

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