This is probably a good place to point something out: Associations do not need to get rid of membership. At least not right away. First of all, the reality is that associations simply can’t shift that far that fast. They won’t—and shouldn’t—attempt to just suddenly dump membership for many, many reasons, not the least of […]
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5 Myths About Association Membership. #4: It is realistic for associations to plan for long-term membership growth.
For many associations, the markets they need to sustain long term membership growth are rapidly disappearing—and they’re gone for good. Although, overall, associations appear to be regaining some members since the recent economic crash, it’s at a much slower pace than expected. As a result, most associations have adjusted their expectations for membership and revenue […]
This myth is actually partially true, but not in the way that associations think it is. In general, associations are not maximizing the return on their marketing investment because they are not constantly identifying and refining their value propositions and audiences through continuous and accurate testing and adjustment. So, there is plenty of room for […]
5 Myths About Association Membership. Myth #2: Millennials will somehow, someday, morph into Baby Boomers
Associations’ ongoing struggle to attract and keep younger members is a perfect illustration of the consequences of their focus on selling membership rather than serving members. There is a pattern to association membership, which is that members join as students because they are looking for jobs. Once they find a job, they disappear for five […]
5 Myths About Association Membership. Myth #1: Associations are actually in the business of serving members.
“Membership” is one of the defining characteristics of associations. It is the reflection of an association’s mission and value proposition and the vehicle through which associations deliver value and engage with their markets–the ultimate fusion between association assets and capabilities and member and industry needs. And yet, for many associations, membership isn’t exactly booming these […]
Every once in a while, an organization like the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), which doubled its membership in the face of a worldwide recession, comes along and confounds all conventional wisdom and market trends. Although, for the past 10 years, this type of growth within a traditional association has been rarer than a confirmed […]
“If we can just get more members engaged,” associations say, “our membership retention problems will be solved! Members will find so much value in our membership, renewal will be automatic! We’ll grow and, we’ll have all the volunteers we need to staff our boards, committees, task forces, advisory boards and whatnot! It’s a win-win!” Need […]
We conduct a lot of needs assessment surveys for associations. We almost always find that most members don’t use most benefits and, thus, are not fully realizing the value of their membership. Many associations respond to this finding by “communicating” more—pushing out more features-based information about association products and services and leaving members to figure […]