Is your organization hitting the mark when it comes to member value?
Read on for industry trends and tips on how association technology can help you deliver ongoing value that keeps members around long-term.
Keeping members around year after year means providing them with continuous value. Simply put, if members think your organization provides too little value, they’re not likely to renew.
That may seem obvious. But dig a little deeper and things get more complex.
The 2022 Association Trends Study by Community Brands shows that, as in previous studies, there remains a strong correlation between technology and member loyalty. Members who view their professional organization as an early adopter of technology are more satisfied and connected with the organization, more likely to renew, and more likely to promote the organization.
Meanwhile, the study shows, member loyalty is still strong, but might be softening a bit. Forty-eight percent of members say their organization is more important than it was a year ago. That’s down from 53 percent in 2021. This suggests that as the world emerges from the effects of the pandemic, professional membership organizations must continue to prove themselves and not just go back to business as usual.
And, member priorities are shifting, too. According to the study, benefits that impact an individual’s career – including certifications, job opportunities, and help with career advancement – have risen in importance since 2021. These benefits were once top priorities for members early in their career, but today they’re also critical for mid-careerists.
In light of these association trends, what’s an organization to do?
Here are four tips for improving your value proposition using technology.
1. Reevaluate your value proposition.
Technology alone does not deliver value. But it can help. Start by learning more about what your members want. Learn as much as you can about them. And don’t make it a one-time thing. Plan to continually gather information about their interests and needs, and then use it to inform your services and programs. A few tips:
- Read up on industry research around member engagement and loyalty.
- Conduct member surveys and focus groups to identify the challenges your members face each day and what content and tools your members need to be successful.
- Dig into member data for insights on their preferences and behaviors.
- Map out your members’ pain points and how new value propositions might help alleviate those challenges.
Be sure you have association management software (AMS) that allows you to easily capture, track, measure, and report on member data. This will give you insights to help you identify member needs and analyze your member offerings. For example, in addition to dashboards and reports, Aptify AMS by Community Brands includes Composite Engagement Scoring (CES) functionality that allows you to automatically score member engagement based on key performance indicators (KPIs) and then schedule automations and actions based on the scores.
2. Consider the member journey.
When you think about providing member value, remember that your members’ needs and expectations evolve as they move through their careers and their membership with your organization. Be sure to consider your members’ challenges and preferences today as well as how they change through the member journey.
One effective exercise is to create member journey maps. Journey maps are outlines of each step of a member experience – from their first interaction and subsequent engagement to (you hope) a lifelong relationship. You can use your association management technology to help you deliver a great experience throughout the member journey.
3. Deliver targeted, personalized content.
Research by Community Brands indicates that members are willing to provide their information to their organization if they think they’ll benefit from sharing the data. And 79 percent of members surveyed said it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content.
So, once you have a clear view of the value members want from your organization, think about how to deliver that content to the right members at the right time. For example, based on your members’ interests and preferences, recommend new industry reports or new services offered by your organization.
Be sure your AMS allows you to collect data and use it to send targeted messages so that you can deliver a better, more personalized member experience.
4. Integrate your association technology.
To provide value throughout the member journey, the technology you rely on for membership management, learning management, event management, and career development should work well together. Integrated solutions centralize your data and give you a more complete view of your members, allowing you to better understand their needs and provide value on an ongoing basis.
Look for technology systems – including AMS, LMS, event management, and career center solutions – that integrate, bringing together your member data in one place (your AMS). This gives you a complete picture of your members to help you deliver a great online member experience. For example, Aptify is part of the connected network of solutions by Community Brands for associations.
Your association technology can help you close the gaps between the services members value and the experience you’re delivering around these services. Leveling up your technology will increase member satisfaction and ultimately create more loyal members.
Discover more association trends to help you deliver a better member experience. Read the 2022 Association Trends Study.