"Our stacks are mismatched to our future," said Reggie Henry, Chief Information and Engagement Officer at ASAE.
The controversial albeit thought-provoking statement kicked off our HighRoad Spring VirCon 2021 virtual event last month, where Ron McGrath, HighRoad's CEO, interviewed Reggie in an exceptionally data-forward keynote.
In the talk, the two industry leaders riffed on the definition of digital maturity as it becomes more and more synonymous with organizational success.
Kate Hudson was onto something. And not because she did the 60s style purple sunglasses and cream-colored boa right in the year 2000 Almost Famous film. Rather, in the same film, she coined the phrase, "It's all happening."
That's what comes to mind when I think of virtual event shift.
Whether we're prepared for it or not, virtual events are happening. They're here and they're not going away. While in-person conferences will start to crawl back out of the cave, the sheer flexibility, potential cost savings, and, yes, data traceability afforded by virtual conferences will undoubtedly turn hybrid event models into the norm.
Truth for most associations—you’re sitting on a mountain of valuable data, but it often feels disconnected.
You know a ton about your members—what they like, what they’re good at, what their challenges are, and what they’d like to see more of. But the data you have is disparate across platforms.
So connecting all of this data in a holistic, actionable way is a challenge. You need a bridge to connect your technology platforms so that you, the marketer, can reach out to your members in thoughtful, data-driven ways.
Text messaging enjoyed a cultural heyday back in the early 2000s when nimble-fingered teens used their Nokias to shoot quick messages to each other. These days, there’s a greater focus on digital communication apps, such as WhatsApp and iOS Messages. But if you think that SMS texting has gone the way of cargo pants and ‘N Sync, you’d be wrong.
In the past decade, the number of text messages sent has increased by a whopping 7,700%. SMS texting still has one of the highest engagement rates of any channel, with exceptional open rates. If you have a timely, relevant message, SMS is one of the best ways to deliver it.
Which makes SMS texting ideal for associations. With the right strategy, you can use text messaging to create a first-rate member experience.
You buy a Yeti—a bicycle built specifically for mountain riding. The bike itself touts a light-weight body, trail-friendliness, precision-riding, nimble climbing, among a number of other features that make it ideal for trekking in the mountains.
You have all of these grandiose ideas of riding with the wind against your face, conquering heavy mountainous terrain and immersing yourself in the outdoors.
And then you buy it.
And suddenly, your entire vision seems unachievable and overwhelming. So, you take it for a spin around your neighborhood block and bring it home. It's safe, easy, and you need the exercise, so you rinse and repeat every weekend.
That's what it's like when you buy a marketing automation platform and use it as an email tool. You use a sliver of its functionality and don't necessarily achieve your goals.
From personalized Netflix recommendations to suggested Spotify playlists, users have come to expect a certain amount of customization when it comes to services and subscriptions. Association audiences are no exception.
Organizations spend a great deal of time making assumptions about their members' interests. And there are a number of tools out there to support the collection of behavioral data so that associations can get better and better at getting to know their members.
But sometimes, it's not enough just to build off algorithms that indicate a person's interests. Sometimes the simple solution is to ask.
That's the intention of the modernized Email Preference Center (EPC). To give your members control of the remote.