Undoubtedly, membership is the hot topic for every association. It keeps them alive and allows them to grow, but as many associations operate in very dynamic environments, what do they really need to do to stay relevant?
The answer lies in the evergreen benefit of creating long-lasting relationships and keeping up with the latest trends which affect their market. Technology, politics, competition and the socioeconomic environment have a major impact on the way associations function, hence staying relevant for members comes as number one priority. Identifying the right solution is no easy feat, but there are steps an association can take!
Devise a plan for future growth
Even though it is sometimes challenging to plan beyond the next few months, the hard reality is that associations cannot survive today’s competitive and rapidly changing landscape without a long-term vision. Not only do they need a comprehensive marketing plan, but also they must have a strategy for growth in place. Therefore, working closely with an association management partner can be of great help in developing a strategic roadmap and offering tools to achieve growth.
From re-branding to attracting younger audiences and incorporating innovative technologies into your marketing strategy, the ways to stay relevant may vary, but at the end of the day they are worth the investment to instil new life into the association.
Survey your stakeholders and members
You will never be able to know exactly what your stakeholders want or think, unless you ask them directly. Get around the trap of assuming what their expectations are and send them surveys to get the full picture. What are they currently not happy about? Is there a specific type of content they want to have access to? Are there appropriate communication channels to start conversations? If you want to remain relevant for your members, you need to know the answers to these questions.
Be open to outside perspective
Associations may sometimes get stuck in rigid ways. While it is easy to become insular, don’t underestimate the power of active listening. As there are numerous aspects that have an unswerving effect on your association, from processes and communication to content and marketing, try to collect as much feedback as possible both from members as well as non-members. Don’t settle in ways steeped in tradition; seek fresh ideas and designs to stimulate your members’ interest.
What tactics are you employing to stay relevant for your members?
If you are looking more insights, our association experts can help you solve your challenges and unlock opportunities, so visit us at association.mci-group.com to explore your options.