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?
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.
As more and more associations work to become data-driven organizations, they keep running into the same problem: integration. Associations have the data. The problem is getting all of that data into one place.
Data integration is tricky in most circumstances. It can be really tough for associations, as the majority of commercial tools don’t work with Association Management Systems (AMS). And integration isn’t just an IT problem either. Without the right data pipelines in place, you can’t run data-driven marketing campaigns or execute member-focused strategies.
That’s why we here at HighRoad Solutions have been working tirelessly to help associations unify their data. Our go-to tool has been the Plus Connector, a neat piece of software that enables fast communication between an AMS and another data source.
Everyone you meet is on some kind of journey. Each person has a goal or a destination, and the lucky ones know how to get there. They have obstacles to overcome, but they also have people who’ll help them succeed.
Ideally, your association should be one of those helpers. When they’re starting out, you offer guidance. When their career is growing, you help them make connections. When they reach the top, you help them become an industry voice.
But what about the member’s journey within your organization? How do they go from discovering the association, to becoming a member, to getting involved with programming?
2020 has been like the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, ripping us all up from our familiar lives and depositing us in a strange new world.
Your members are depending on you now more than ever. They need you to offer support, networking opportunities, and programming tailored to their evolving needs. They also need to know that you’re out there, providing a strong voice for the industry and striving for a prosperous future.
But it’s also a tough time for associations. Membership growth was already a challenge even before COVID-19. How do you get young professionals to invest in their careers when the future seems so hazy?