Bodybuilding.com’s Automated Trainer
Motivational workout recaps help users reach their fitness goals.
“What we liked about Ai was the added value of the verbiage — the context that the words gave to the numbers, presented in a form that feels like it was written specifically for each user.”
– Jamie Loehr, Bodybuilding.com’s Senior Vice President of Ecommerce
Weights. Workout gear. A cultural aversion to fast food and soda.
It might sound like your local gym, but it also describes the Boise, Idaho headquarters of Bodybuilding.com, the Internet’s most-visited fitness website.
With the company’s Bodyspace app, users can track their workouts, show their progress, and work towards their goals along with others in the world’s largest online fitness community.
Waiting for Engagement
Even though the Bodyspace app collects a lot of useful data from users, it didn’t always present engaging insights to users in return. At first, the app offered users a relatively transactional record of their most recent workout without aggregating the data and show larger trends.
More importantly, Bodyspace lacked the ability to motivate users to keep a streak going or get back in the gym. The app, says Senior Manager of Retention Marketing Jared LaMantia, “was just kind of sitting there waiting for people to engage with it.”
The Wordsmith Solution
Seeking a way to offer users a weekly digest, Jamie Loehr, Bodybuilding.com’s Senior Vice President of Ecommerce, turned to Automated Insights to augment his company’s own statistical and data warehouse staff.
The goal? Use Ai’s Wordsmith natural language generation platform to create personalized narratives about every user’s week at the gym.
“What we liked about Ai,” says Loehr, “was the added value of the verbiage – the context that the words gave to the numbers, presented in a form that feels like it was written specifically for each user. It seemed like a very good compliment to our in-house skills.”
As Personalization Program Manager Chris Anderson explains, striking the right tone was especially important. Bodyspace users didn’t need to hear from a stilted robot or an overbearing drill instructor.
“It’s just a really positive personal trainer that wants to keep you in the gym and push you to the next level,” he says. “Not really harping on what you did wrong, maybe pointing out where you’re falling short and encouraging you to pick those things up.”
Wordsmith generates over 100,000 workout recaps every week.
Users receive the summary narratives via email and share them on social media with the hashtag #reprecap. “The phrase I keep seeing over and over is ‘This is so great, so motivational, I want to get back in the gym today,’” says Chris Anderson. “I think that’s exactly what we hope to accomplish.”
Looking to the future, Jamie Loehr says his team is committed to building on its relationship with Automated Insights, citing the potential for automated recaps about user nutrition or online activity.
“We have a long roadmap in personalization,” he says, “and the narrative idea is so cool.”
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