Keeping members around long-term by continuously providing value.
If members think your organization provides too little value, they’re not likely to renew.
Keeping members around year after year means continually providing them with 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.
Most loyal members place more importance on technology in their lives and feel their organization delivers a better technology experience.
Consider this: The 2019 Community Brands Digital Evolution Study shows that technology plays a critically important role in the lives of today’s members. In the study, most members of professional membership associations say technology helps them be more efficient, has transformed the way they live their lives for the better, and makes life more fun.
The study also shows that the most loyal members place more importance on technology in their lives and feel their organization delivers a better technology experience. This suggests that a lack of emphasis on technology in some organizations could leave many of their members questioning the value of membership – which, in turn, could impact retention and the long-term outlook for their organizations’ success.
So, what’s an organization to do?
Here are four tips for improving your value proposition using technology.
1. Re-evaluate your value propositions.
Technology alone does not deliver value. So 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.
Map out your members’ pain points and how new value propositions might help alleviate those challenges.
TECH TIP: Be sure you have association management software (AMS) that allows you to easily capture, track, and report on member data. This will give you insights to help you identify member needs and analyze your program offerings. For example, in addition to dashboards and reports, Aptify AMS includes Composite Engagement Scoring (CES) functionality that enables organizations to gauge their constituents’ engagement by assigning a score specific to the organization’s criteria. It accommodates a variety of inputs that drive the aggregate score and allows for changes in its calculation method over time – all while providing a mechanism for historical comparison.
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’ needs and expectations 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 that illustrate the member experience – from their first interaction and subsequent engagement to (you hope) a lifelong relationship.
TECH TIP: Learn more about how to deliver a great member experience from recruitment to renewal, for students to retirees – and everything in between. Read: Supporting the Lifetime Member Journey.
3. Deliver targeted, personalized content.
The Digital Evolution Study indicates that members are willing to provide their information to their organization if they think they’ll benefit from sharing the data. Seventy-nine 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.
TECH TIP: Be sure your AMS allows you to collect useful data and use it to send targeted messages to deliver a better, more personalized member experience.
Seventy-nine percent of members surveyed said it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content.
4. Integrate your association technology.
To provide value throughout the lifetime journey of your members, the technology you rely on for membership management, learning management, event management, and career services should work well together. Integrated solutions centralize your data and give you a more complete view of your members, allowing you to more fully understand their needs and provide value on an ongoing basis.
TECH TIP: Look for technology systems – including AMS, LMS, event management, and career center solutions – that integrate, bringing together all 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.
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.
Take the next steps
Aptify by Community Brands is a membership management solution built on a scalable, flexible platform for large associations, international organizations, and unions. It’s part of the integrated software suite for associations by Community Brands that includes solutions for membership management, learning management, and career center. They work better together to help you provide value throughout the member journey.
Join the Digital Evolution Study Reveal webinar on October 3, 2019 at 11:30am ET for a look at findings from the study plus recommendations on how to use the study’s data to more effectively employ technology to better serve your members. Attendees will earn 1 CAE credit for attending! Save your seat now.