For many membership organisations, long-term strategic digital transformation may not have been at the top of the priority list for a while.
The effect of the pandemic is likely to have shifted focus to incremental changes and digital enhancements that could support events, CPD and qualifications during a challenging period for members. While continuing to improve your offering is imperative to success, today could be a good time to consider the foundation of your organisation’s strategy with a member-centric review of these products and services.
Meeting the demands of Generation-Y
Research has shown that when making a purchase, the buying experience is now considered as important as the product itself. This is especially true for those 13.8 million people born between 1980 and 1994 that currently make up the Gen-Y demographic.
Demanding an interactive, engaging online experience, this age group adapt quickly to new channels, devices and technology and can be easily disengaged by just one bad experience with an organisation or brand.
Asking members what they value
According to the Memberwise Digital Excellence Survey, 41% of professional membership organisations report not having a clear membership proposition. Taking an “outside-in” view of your organisation is the starting point to identifying products and services that your members truly value.
As an example, Millertech worked with a renowned professional body to understand the types of products and services that would most be of value by asking potential members in their professional sector three simple questions:
- Can you name any established professional bodies that support your profession?
- What types of products and services would you value from a professional body?
- If you already belong to a professional body, what do you value most about this relationship?
The replies yielded some fascinating findings
Comparing the responses and the strategy
Firstly, 60% of the professionals we engaged with via email and social media had never heard of the professional body with which we were working. This was despite 46% of them belonging to a competitor.
When asked what they would value from a professional body, the responses included the following:
While non of these requests were particularly revolutionary, at the time of the survey however, most did not form a part of our professional body client’s strategy. Their focus was more on developing a broader range qualification, perhaps without necessarily grasping its members’ real CPD needs.
Another lesson learned here was how many respondents wanted to participate in virtual coaching and conversations with other practitioners. However, the client offered no facilities for members to identify or engage with their peers other than their single annual conference.
Adopting a member-centric approach to your transformation
Combining this understanding of member needs together with the user experience demands of the Gen-Y population gave our client clear guidance on where to focus their efforts. And the same might be true for you.
Collecting this information and using it to inform your organisation’s member value proposition is the vital first stage of any membership strategy. It provides a foundation upon which to build the processes, channels and technology to support the products and services you have defined.
This member-centric approach should be at the heart of your organisation’s transformation. And while incremental improvements are always an essential part of remaining competitive, taking the time to refine or confirm your core proposition is never wasted.
After 38 years building CRM software and solving membership for trade unions, professional bodies and non-profits, we at Millertech have a prestigious track record in digital transformation. Scheduling a brief call with one of our product experts could help your project get started the right way.