The mainstreaming of social media has made it increasingly easier to network or find like-minded individuals that share our interests. If you are in a city of at least 100K, I guarantee there is a group that meets regularly to discuss the latest toe rings or an even rarer, acute pastime.
This is great for recent graduates who need to start building connections, but not so great for associations that have to fight for attention in this crowded networking arena.
Simply put, your organization needs to plead its case to each member and non-member. If someone has to choose between Netflix or your association dues when planning his or her budget, your dues may be on the chopping block if he or she has to pause to figure out the last meeting he or she attended.
When it comes to membership value, it really comes down to people wanting to be informed and educated while having a good time with peers, or better yet, members who are higher up the food chain and have a great influence within their industry. Your organization needs to be the in-crowd—the lunch table everyone wants to eat at but never has the opportunity to.
The following questions are meant to guide you in successfully executing your next membership drive (of course, you could always let the DJG team do the work for you!).
- Who are your members? Who do you want to be your members?
- Are you inclusive and exclusive? People love exclusivity, but it may not be worth it if it is alienating your target audience.
- What kind of ROI will your members experience? Why should a member allocate a portion of his or her budget to your organization?
- Is your organization's mission statement timely? With respect to history, it may not even be relevant.
- Would your members say your organization is more focused on heritage and history (the past) or establishing trends in your industry (the future)?
- Where do you succeed where you competitors fail, and vice versa?
So tell us—what has worked for you in the past in terms of membership marketing? What do you find challenging?