In today’s society, if it’s not hyper personalized, relevant, and quick… you’re 10 years behind. This is the beast that many associations have found themselves coming face to face with recently. I had the opportunity to attend Higher Logic Super Forum in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of last week, and from the numerous breakaway presentations and demonstrations I attended, there was one underlying message that was overly apparent-- marketing automation is key. We are coming into a time where we have the ability as marketers to gain more information about our members than ever before. The million-dollar question that everyone is wondering “What do we do with this information?”.
I spent the beginning of my week surrounded by the orange army at Higher Logic Super Forum. While there was a tremendous amount of buzz surrounding Higher Logics new acquisitions, communities remained the unwavering showstopper at this year’s conference. What is it that makes these online groups so valuable to associations? Some value-adds are the ability of these channels to act as an avenue for support, feedback, and generating lasting relationships. However, the true value-adds of communities (in my opinion) is in their effectiveness for sales enablement and their ability to help with prospecting and engagement.
With any good omni-channel marketing campaign there is the planning stage, execution stage, and evaluation stage. As we near the end of the year, executing on our plan for 2017, it is interesting to begin to evaluate how well we responded to key trends for 2017. From last year’s Forbes article on 2017 Trends, I have pulled out the topics most relevant for associations and wrote in questions to ask and reflect on as an organization. Starting well before winter should help to gain insight for planning and preparing for new trends to account for in 2018.
Banner ads are still an up and coming topic in the association space. Currently many associations are using banner ads as ways to promote their vendors and sponsors and their products or current promotions. So the first thing to ask is: do you leverage your own banner ad program to promote your organizational activities and generate leads?
This message should make you take notice: Instagram has surpassed 700M users as of June 2017 and is growing faster than ever before. The social site also boasts that of those 700M users, 60% are daily users. The stories alone draw over 200M active daily users. If your top initiative this year as an association is to draw the millennial crowd, Instagram is looking like a big party of young potential professionals wanting to share on a kinder site (more on that later).