One of the obvious and most critical objectives of any association is to retain membership. Retention is a key performance indicator that impacts brand reputation, member satisfaction, and conclusively—financial statements.
The issue, however, is that generational and cultural landscapes are constantly evolving—yielding new consumer-buying behaviors, content-consumption preferences, and desired communication channels.
As market demand is rewired, businesses are all seeing a natural need for remodeling, restructuring, and/or rebranding so that they're lock in step with audience expectations and needs.
Associations, and certainly memberships, are no different. Naturally, member-based organizations have to be extraordinarily proactive when it comes to identifying and dissuading member exits.
Content is even more meaningful for associations because the general value prop for most organizations comes down to the 3 Cs: communications, communities, and most importantly, content.
From this perspective, content becomes the fuel for the entire operational engine, from marketing to sales to programming.
For most associations, adopting a new technology—particularly omni-channel marketing automation platforms—is all about shepherding legacy mindsets out the door. The biggest challenge comes down to large-scale adoption of new methodologies and practices that organizations may have never used before. Or even worse, failed to successfully implement in the past.
With any major adjustment, there are common pitfalls: expectations aren't accurately set; adaptation is rushed; or the organization isn't culturally and mutually owning their newly acquired technology.
As you, your fellow executives and board members gaze into the future, you may be throwing around or even “test driving” ideas of new models to diversify your revenue streams and change how you monetize your content. This could be due to revenue declines, or just the need to adapt to new market drivers.
Whatever the reason, you're not alone. Over the last few years, a majority of associations have reported difficulties in membership engagement and growth, and have turned to innovation before degradation.
Associations, non-profits, and societies tend to find themselves in the perfect storm of resource-deprivation and program decentralization.
This equates to small marketing teams with lean operating budgets working as in-house agencies to a suite of program managers. The fall-out from this often comes down to inefficacy, lack of focus, and inevitable burnout among team members.
So what can marketing team leads and managers do to shore up scope with resource reality?