The Marketing of Marketing is not Telling Us The Whole Story About Member Research

SocialFish

And we focus far more on data and surveys than we do on qualitative market research. Technology promises to give us unprecedented access to our members’ hearts and minds but does it really deliver? When you first step into a marketing role at an organization with few member insights, start with the data. Perhaps you have the tools to segment your audience to figure out who the organization’s biggest champion is, or the biggest user, or most profitable member group.

The Marketing of Marketing is not Telling Us The Whole Story About Member Research

SocialFish

And we focus far more on data and surveys than we do on qualitative market research. Technology promises to give us unprecedented access to our members’ hearts and minds but does it really deliver? When you first step into a marketing role at an organization with few member insights, start with the data. Perhaps you have the tools to segment your audience to figure out who the organization’s biggest champion is, or the biggest user, or most profitable member group.

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Use the 5-Step Idea Process to Become an Association Innovation Ninja

Smooth The Path

Ideas are the root of all innovations. Because ideas lead to innovation we want more ideas, better ideas, THE idea that will excite members. Many innovative associations use a formal or informal idea process which generally has five steps and goes something like this: Step #1: Allow member’s problems spark innovative ideas. Every time something new presents itself to our members, our members have a problem.

Exploring Association Innovation: New Study

MembersClicks

Innovative” is something all companies - both big and small, for-profit and non-profit - aspire to be. But all companies will tell you, innovation is NOT easy, particularly for small companies and non-profit organizations. In fact, Amanda Kaiser, qualitative member researcher and Chief Pathfinder at Kaiser Insights, and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), recently teamed up to put together the 2016 Association Innovation Research Report.

4 Steps to Inspire Innovation in Your Association

Socious

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Many people believe innovation is all about inventing and releasing new products. Innovation is so much more than just revamping products or services. As a society, we thrive off of innovation.

A Cheaper, Faster Way to Conduct Your Member Listening Tour

Smooth The Path

Imagine what you can learn by listening to your members share their thoughts, ideas, goals, and problems. The post A Cheaper, Faster Way to Conduct Your Member Listening Tour appeared first on Smooth The Path. Association Innovation Member Research listening member insights member problems member relationship member research qualitative member research starting relationships

Members Who Share Their Opinions Expect Action (here is what we are going to do!)

Smooth The Path

Our members won’t want to give 45-minutes to hour of their time for an interview is a common worry among many association executives. But I find that members actually do. And there are two caveats: first, the association has to be so valuable or so important members want to give feedback and second, the members who actually want to give their feedback are almost always the best members. Members expect us to act on their insights.

How to Leverage Your Association’s Super-Members

Smooth The Path

The trouble with association boards is they tend to be populated with super-members. Super-members are members who are so engaged, so seasoned, so advanced in the profession or industry they are not like most members. Don’t ask them to guess what new members need or want.

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Case Study: In-depth Member Interviews Feed Association’s Strategic Plan

Smooth The Path

What else should the association do to support members during these extremely challenging times? In preparation for other strategic planning processes the association conducted quantitative member surveys but found the results were not all that actionable because there continued to be so many unanswered questions. With this in mind they decided to test out a qualitative research methodology as input to this strategic planning process. Listening to members.

How to Exponentially Improve Member Engagement at Any Association

Smooth The Path

Wouldn’t it be great if members felt this way every day of the week? At some associations, members do feel this way, and your members can feel like this too. The only thing preventing our association from becoming the top of mind resource, the organization members are trying to figure out how to become more engaged with, and the one members rave to their colleagues about is… Simply, our understanding of members.

Developing My Dream Association

Smooth The Path

If I were to build an association, I would pull the most significant insights from all of the research I have conducted. One of the core staff values would be to be intensely member-focused. We would talk with members often, conduct listening tours, and interview them.

Member Engagement Is Not Convenient for Us

Smooth The Path

In this way, the food analogy is a lot like member engagement work. The friction arises because, in general, the more inconvenient member engagement practices are for us, the more our members love them. Change and innovation are inconvenient. Building member engagement is inconvenient. Providing value-based member marketing is far more inconvenient than promotional marketing. Every day we balance convenience with the engagement work that our members want.

Our Members are Self-Centered

Smooth The Path

Our members are self-centered. Our members have… no time. Only organizations that solve our member’s problems, speak their language, and understand them will get their time and attention. Can you stand in your member’s shoes and do this? Related: Member Engagement Research. Better member retention from frictionless experiences designed for your association. Our point of view is not our member’s point of view.

Our Member’s Decisions Are Not What They Seem To Be

Smooth The Path

Do you ever find yourself wondering why members make the decisions they make? Sometimes member’s decisions seem so irrational. Why are our members so irrational? At that moment, in their shoes, knowing what they know, having the experiences they have had, in the environment, our members are in, they are making the most rational decision possible. Related: When we create a vacuum of information, our members make up stories.

Why Didn’t Our Members Choose Us?

Smooth The Path

It is so frustrating… Industry suppliers launch competitive products and events and our members purchase them. Members have a challenging problem and we have the solution but they do not use our solution. We reach only 14% of the population of potential members. Only 25% of our members come to the conference. Our members are busy. Sometimes members don’t even know they have a problem. We are boring so members tuned out long ago.

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One Thing We can do to Prepare for Change

Smooth The Path

Related: Members need association help when they face change or start something new. The award-winning process for association innovation. Did you know that member surveys can be risky? Association Strategy Member Research change innovation member insights member problems risk strategy technologyThe post One Thing We can do to Prepare for Change appeared first on Smooth The Path.

Study Holds Key to Association Member Engagement

Smooth The Path

For the last year, I have been saying that members who engage with the association within the first 3 days to 3 weeks of joining become more engaged through the life of their membership. I have been shouting this from the rooftops because members have told me this in interview after interview. The link between each new member’s experience and overall engagement is significant news because increased new member engagement does not just benefit the small segment of new members.

Is it Day 1 or Day 2 for Associations?

Smooth The Path

True customer (member) obsession and high-velocity decision making are the most critical but also the most difficult for associations. Think about your members. Think about your best members. Not board members but regular members who are highly engaged. We can develop offerings members love. We can attract high-quality members with our improved marketing. Related: How to exponentially improve member engagement at any association.

Four Untrue Myths of Association Innovation that Stop Us in Our Tracks

SocialFish

Association professionals say their association is not innovating because they are under-resourced, they don’t have the right ideas or don’t know how to prioritize between a bunch of great ideas, or the association’s stakeholders (leadership, staff, board, members) fear risk. These are challenges for sure, these are even the challenges the most innovative associations have had, but these challenges are not insurmountable. Innovation Myth #1: Size Matters.

Mind the Member Gap

Smooth The Path

When I talk to relatively new members there is almost always a 3-5 year gap between when the member started in the profession or industry and when they actually became a member of the association. This is why younger members don’t join our association: Awareness – They don’t know about the association. Value – They know about the association and they know it is for them but they just don’t see the value of being a member.

Peek Behind the Scenes of One Innovative Annual Conference for New Ideas to Use at Your Annual Conference

Smooth The Path

For many new members the annual conference is the first time they get to interact with the association and the community in a meaningful way. Many members also say the conference is the biggest value compared to the association’s other offerings. Conferences are where our members have their first experiences of the association and conferences are where our members derive the most value. We are having to innovate but innovation is new, uncertain and risky.

Industry Study Brings a New Way for Association Professionals to Think About Member Engagement

Smooth The Path

There was one theme running so strongly through each member research project I could not ignore it. It was that members who engaged very early in their membership were more excited about the association than members who reported that “the association just grew on them.” Depending on the association it could be a new-to-the-profession academy, a webinar series, the mentor program, a research report, or any other benefit.

From the Corner Office: Scott Wiley, CAE

Association Adviser

Scott Wiley, CAE, head of the Ohio Society of CPAs , and newly elected Chair of the ASAE board, shares his thoughts about advocacy, millennials, member engagement and the importance of financial literacy in an exclusive Association Adviser interview. . Associations advance America’s economic competitiveness through research and innovation agendas, workforce development initiatives and global thought leader communities. . AA : OSCPA has a reputation for being very innovative.

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Are You Struggling with Unsolvable Problems, Tough Choices and Uncertainty at Your Association?

Smooth The Path

When one of my proposals for member research doesn’t move forward with a perspective client I know that I’m one proposal closer to one that will move forward. Understand our member’s problem but reframe it as a goal. Association Strategy association innovation association leadership association strategy change agent change management future-focusHave you tried reframing?

The 4 Skills Associations Should be Teaching

Smooth The Path

What we are lacking are life skills that can make our member’s lives (and jobs) significantly better. Life skills that can make them happier, more productive; a better professional and a better member. My guess is relationships are actually deteriorating between staff members at most American corporations. Coming out of my own member research, the challenge that comes up nearly universally among members of all associations is the need to influence.

Resources of the Association Community

Smooth The Path

I conduct member research all the time, so I get direct access to the bright spots in our industry. But I also frequently scan and read treasures from our knowledge leaders about membership, engagement, innovation, chapters, governance, trends and more. Where do you get knowledge and insights about the association industry? I am lucky.

How to Recruit and Engage an Entirely New Generation of Members

Smooth The Path

Some associations are seeing exceptional member growth while other associations are seeing a decline. Not all associations are struggling to retain their members, but some are. Focusing on current stale offerings and not on innovations. Focusing on one segment of membership, but not on younger members. Each one of these behaviors can be deadly, but the last one, focusing more on younger members may have the power to solve all the others.

Daily Buzz: How Dark Social Is Skewing Your Data

Associations Now

Membership associations must innovate to stay relevant & grow – simplifying #UX every step of the way. If you’re launching a new website, take a hint from the Healthcare Financial Management Association , says member researcher Amanda Kaiser on Smooth the Path. Without having to say it explicitly, the site shows members that if they join, they will get a ton of value without incessant upselling,” she says.

Daily Buzz: Event Registration’s New Frontier

Associations Now

We see innovative solutions focusing on the one thing companies do exceedingly well and integrating their tech with other best-in-breed solutions,” says Adrien Peterson, chief technology officer at EventCore, in an interview with Smart Meetings. A learning management system, or LMS, can be fundamental to members’ professional development—but finding the software that fits within your organization can be challenging. Meeting registration technology is changing.

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How Are Associations Using Twitter?

SocialFish

While all of these things are important for our members to know perhaps pushing all of the time is not so engaging. Instead of just pushing messages through Twitter here are some other ways to use this social media channel that may help you serve your members. Build relationships with members, vendors and industry influencers. Use your feed to highlight member’s awards, member milestones and great work done by members.

Focus on Members Who Love You the Most

Associations Now

Why one association researcher discounts nonmember feedback in favor of the highly engaged, and how that choice relates to associations’ strategic decisions about what segments to engage. In Friday’s general session, Amanda Kaiser of Kaiser Insights LLC shared her experience in getting inside the minds of members for better recruitment and engagement. Kaiser specializes in qualitative member research, mainly conducting in-depth member interviews for associations.