Using a Day in the Life of Your Members to Deliver Relevant Value

Many thanks to Joe Rominiecki for highlighting Anna Caraveli’s and my ideas about member value and engagement in his recent article in Associations Now: Experience a Day in the Life of Your Members. We agree with Joe’s conclusion that employing both quantitative and qualitative research gives an association the best possible understanding of their members. However, we disagree that the type of in-depth understanding of your members we’re advocating is simply one option among many Read more…

Why Association Membership Marketing Doesn’t Work

If you haven’t read Joe Rominiecki’s recent Associations Now article What Political Polarization Tells us About Membership Marketing, you should (and not just because he mentions Anna Caraveli’s and my article The Demand Perspective). He shares some fascinating insights and connections between America’s increasingly polarized political climate and the challenges of convincing nonmembers to join associations. While I agree with most of it, a couple of things in Joe’s article–and some of the comments on Read more…

Mapping Member Value #2: The Two Questions Every Association Needs to Ask its Members

FROM THE ARCHIVES  Recently, I was following an online discussion about what question you would ask if you could only conduct a one-question survey. Several people responded with variations on the so-called “Ultimate Question.” No, not the one in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy , which is where my mind always goes when I hear that phrase. (Sad, but true!) We’re talking about Fred Reichheld’s “Ultimate Question,” the answer to which determines an organization’s Net Promoter Read more…

Mapping Member Value #1: Answering the Fundamental Questions

FROM THE ARCHIVES “Please take the time to READ everything we send you. If you do, you will learn about the many benefits of your membership. You’ll never question the value of your membership. And you’ll be able to do your job better and more effectively because you’ll have all the information you need.”* You’ve done the surveys, studied the benchmarking reports, scanned the environment, analyzed the competition. You’ve asked members point-blank what they want, Read more…

Putting the “Member” in Member Communications: How to Listen, Recognize, and Communicate Value

FROM THE ARCHIVES Why don’t more associations use the true voices of their members as a tool for defining and communicating value? Buying decisions—including membership—are most strongly influenced by the experience and opinions of peers. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say it again: Association members are talking to their associations every day, telling them what they value and need. They’re handing the association the messages that will resonate, in the Read more…

Associations and the Jobless Future

Is the “jobless future”—and the true end of traditional association membership—just around the corner? If it’s true, as scary as that prospect is, it may also usher in a new “golden age” of association growth, relevance, and influence, even as membership as we know it disappears forever. According to Michael Fertik and Vivek Wadhwa in their Washington Post article What We’ll Encounter on the Path to the Jobless Future, in less than 20 years the Read more…

Leaning in to Member Worldviews: How Smart Associations are Refocusing Value & Engagement

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Does your association give members orders about engagement and value? “As the number of choices in every marketplace increases, the power of the consumer to indulge her worldview increases just as quickly. To go to market without understanding your audience’s various worldviews is like trying to pick a lock without bothering to notice whether it uses a key or a combination.” Although Seth Godin is talking about marketing, this concept succinctly illustrates what we’ve Read more…

Free Online Communities: Problem or Opportunity for Association Membership?

FROM THE ARCHIVES Despite what many associations believe, association members (even next generation members) are engaged—daily, passionately, and in growing numbers. Increasingly, however, they are not engaged with association membership. The rules of engagement have changed and failure to accept and act on those changes is the crux of the problem facing associations today. Consider the case of one association we’ve come across in our research on the mindset and practices that enable some associations Read more…

Will Associations Go From Good to Great to Gone?

FROM THE ARCHIVES. “The key to success in such a fast-changing environment isn’t developing clairvoyance. It’s being open to numerous possibilities, having the discipline to experiment with conflicting strategies and moving quickly to embrace one of them when the direction of the market becomes clear.” In his article, In Tech World, Good to Great to – Gone? in Sunday’s Washington Post Business Section, Steven Pearlstein was talking about the rise and rapid fall of several market-leading Read more…

7 Ways to Lose Members—Right Now!

FROM THE ARCHIVES Have you ever thought your association’s retention woes may not be so much a question of what you are not doing, but of what you are doing? We’ve worked with a lot of organizations over the years, and we’ve found that, in almost every case—even now, when associations are focused on membership like never before—when an organization stops growing and starts losing members, it’s “implementing” at least one of these seven ways to lose members—right now! Read more…