Trade associations play a critical role for professionals that are seeking to network, make a new career move, or just keep up on the latest trends in their industry. Yet many associations struggle to deliver the value that’s needed to keep members coming back year after year, paying dues and attending paid events. As a result, many professional associations are looking to technology and publishing to help create a more compelling member experience. Here’s a closer look at how associations are using improved infrastructure as the launch point for increasing both revenues and membership.
Enhanced Data Management
Many associations have multiple databases that don’t communicate effectively or even integrate. Membership lists, mailing contact databases, and email newsletter subscriptions aren’t managed in a centralized way. As a result, members get conflicting and duplicate communications that frustrate them and lead to membership declines and plummeting revenues. When your technology is upgrade, it’s possible to centralize your membership data into one area that’s effective across platforms. Enhanced data management allows your association to streamline communications, provide effective analysis using the latest analytics platforms, and better engage your members.
Members connect with your association across a number of different platforms, ranging from mobile channels to printed newsletters. What communication formats are most popular? What publications do they consistently read and derive the most value from? What content, events, or services do they rank as the most valuable feature you offer? The ability to track and measure engagement is essential to improving on your current service offerings, as well as developing offerings that align with future needs. Upgrading your technology allows you view the analytics associated with your email marketing and web publishing; monitor what strategies are effective calls to action to drive renewals; and which marketing channels bring in new members.
Many associations find that the single most demanded service is up to date information and industry leading content. Whether you’re delivering that via regular blog posts, an email newsletter, or webinars and face to face events, members are relying on you for the latest cutting-edge industry information. The right technology can make it easy to publish, curate, and share this information. It’s also helpful to have a content delivery system that allows your team to measure what’s working and what’s not. Strategic technology upgrades have enabled many organizations to rethink their delivery methods. For example, are non-members attending your seminars? If so, effectively segmenting attendees allows you to grow revenue streams from those groups while also increasing your efforts to recruit.
As a professional association, you’re serving important groups of professionals and having an impact on an entire industry. But staying relevant and keeping members engaged is an ongoing challenge and one that you must successfully meet in order to stay in business. By upgrading your core technology, you’re investing in your ability to better manage your information, track performance, attract new members, and deliver high-value training and services at will. Start the process of growing your association by evaluating whether or not your current technological systems support your organization’s plans for growth. If not, now’s the time to begin planning an upgrade.