In yesterdays post, it was mentioned that associations need to undergo a “change of paradigm” in order to be seen as valuable in a market flooded with more and more free content. At one point in time it was a given that association membership brought value; today, that assumption is no longer true.
Every good association and business knows that they need to have a fundamental understanding of their own numbers: how much does it cost to acquire a new member? What is the average length of member retention? What is the cost of member retention? All of this will lead to determining what return the association will yield for scouting and keeping new members. In today’s market, in order for an association to maximize its ROI, the first question it should be asking is: What is the ROI for its members?
On the face of it, membership to an exclusive association can seem costly. If you’re an association that caters to, say, a specialized medical field, such as an association for adolescent psychiatrists, then the cost of membership is already in competition with hefty student loans, not to mention other cost of living expenses. That is why it is so important for associations to start by asking what value they bring to their members. The more value you can demonstrate to your members, the more likely that person will be to join your origination, and the more you re-enforce that value, the longer that person is likely to stay a member. Some of the ways to demonstrate the value you add as an association, which was covered in yesterdays post, and will be covered more in-depth in the upcoming days include:
Providing an environment for reliable information
Teasing what membership offers
Technology is changing the world faster than many of us feel we can keep up. Those that are left behind face an almost certain extinction. The most powerful first step in keeping up with the curve is to simply turn your head in the direction technology is advancing. Free content is here to stay. Student debt is sure to rise. But offer something valuable, and actively demonstrate that value, and people are sure to flock in your direction.
Over the next few days we will be going over ways that associations can actively demonstrate the value they provide to their members, starting with one of their most long-lasting powerful tools: being a haven of reliable information.
We’d love to hear your thoughts. Join the conversation in the comments below!