3 Association Growth Strategies

3 Association Growth StrategiesSluggish global growth and U.S. growth, the race for talent, and disruptive innovation create opportunities for Associations and Professional Societies to become more essential. It’s all about alignment with industry and professional outcomes that your members care most about. Those organizations who utilize these 3 Association Growth Strategies can help impact member outcomes and as a result better position their members and their organizations for long term success.

3 Association Growth Strategies

1. Secure Actionable Research

Securing forward looking data is essential. Utilizing “Impact” Surveys instead of member satisfaction surveys will help your organization determine the desired future outcomes that members seek to address their “up at night” issues. These issues must also be examined segment by segment.

The Global Cold Chain Alliance, GCCA, utilized both qualitative and quantitative research in order to align itself with its stakeholders. Through this process the organization aligned its internal team and they have transformed themselves into strategic partners for the Global Refrigerated Warehouse Industry. In doing so, GCCA is helping its members drive future outcomes.

3 Association Growth StrategiesAccording to Corey Rosenbusch, President and CEO, GCCA, the organization is taking its partnership a step further. The organization conducts qualitative research with their member’s customers to help align GCCA and their industry with the business outcomes their customers seek. Here again the organization impacts member outcomes.

Association revenues have grown by 25% in the last year and a half.

2. Demonstrate Strategic Alignment

Strategic alignment with your member’s industry and its professional outcomes is key to your organization’s long term durability and growth. Without a recognized level of strategic alignment members will not perceive the important connection between your organization and their business outcomes.

3 Association Growth StrategiesAt the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association, Brent McClendon, President and CEO, continually seeks ways in which he can help accelerate member engagement. He does this by making sure that NWPCA listens closely to its members and then aligns its resources with the appropriate company and industry outcomes. One example of aligning its resources is through its software platform. Their proprietary software, “Pallet Design System” is both a product specification and engineering design tool as well as a professional marketing tool, and educational tool to serve the wood pallet industry. This platform accelerates member engagement and it’s a concrete example of how a product can drive future outcomes.

NWPCA has experienced 60% revenue growth over the last three years.

3. Design the Industry’s Future

Serving as a leader and convener for your industry creates the strongest possible link between your organization and the member’s your serve.  The link is reinforced when you provide a safe space for your members to collaborate and design their future together.

3 Association Growth StrategiesThe Smart Electric Power Alliance, SEPA, brings companies together in all aspects of power generation to design and build the industry of the future. Julia Hamm, President and CEO, and the SEPA team link the industry’s all stakeholders to develop, share, and build future focused solutions for their industry. The organization facilitates important conversations, doesn’t take sides, and serves as an industry convener. SEPA is all about helping members determine how to best drive future outcomes.

For example, SEPA created a 51st State Initiative that creates ongoing opportunities for experts and industry leaders to share, test, and provide feedback on direction and innovation to support an evolving utility sector. Through the 51st State initiative, all stakeholders have can participate in designing “Sustainable market structures from the ground-up, rather than attempting to make wholesale or partial changes to something that has been in place for decades.”

The Smart Electric Power Alliance has seen annual revenues grow 23% (2015 to 2016) and also in 2016 experienced a 62% increase in total staff (to 35 employees from 22).

3 Association Growth Strategies

In a September 2016 interview in Fortune Magazine, GM’s CEO Mary Barra was asked “What would you tell your younger self to do differently?” She replied “Focus more on speed. Time is not our friend.” These 3 Association Growth Strategies will give your organization greater speed and help your organization impact industry and professional outcomes that your members care most about.

3 Association Growth Strategies

 

Free eBook “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” is available upon request for all Association Executives at Potomac Core – Association Consulting

 

active innovation

Data Fuels Active Innovation

In a growing trend, Association CEO’s and their Board Members are utilizing economic data as important context for their strategic deliberations. Jobs data, Housing StartsInstitute for Supply Management Index (ISM), Oil Prices, Consumer Spending, and U.S. Dollar Performance against other currencies is a more frequent topic at Association Strategic Planning Sessions. Although Strategic Plans cover 3 year windows, Boards encourage their CEO’s to be flexible and to use trend data to meet shifting demands to help their industries. In essence, economic data fuels active innovation at Associations.

Positive Association Disruption

Positive Association Disruption

Can positive association disruption reverse the fortunes for industry professionals and an organization? In a weak economic growth environment, it’s a daunting task. According to the 2016 PWC U.S. CEO Survey concerns “over volatility and over-regulation are rising.” What’s more, Reuters reported that retail sales slipped in a recent report and fourth quarter U.S. economic growth was only 1%.  How can an Association overtake an economic cycle and put its members and itself in the driver’s seat? The answer is its possible and for one Association it yielded a $1 million turnaround in operating performance.

Disruptive Advocacy Strategies

Disruptive Advocacy Strategies

Can Disruptive Advocacy Strategies unlock industry growth and cost saving opportunities for your members in a slow growth economy?  While the possibility of a recession seems unlikely this year, growth remains a challenge for many industries. According to the Conference Board, U.S. growth in 2016 is forecast at 2.0% while Global growth is forecast slightly higher at 2.5%. As increasing regulatory oversight dominates the federal and global landscape, building an agency focused strategy on behalf of your members can pay dividends for the industry and for your association.

disruptive innovation

Disruptive Innovation Creates Association Opportunities

Disruptive Innovation “describes a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses.” In a slowing and uneven global economy, are your members looking somewhere else for lower cost and innovative solutions? Are your members less confident about their growth opportunities than they were a year or two ago? Does your membership perceive your association as being aligned with their business and professional goals? Having actionable data that answers these questions is more important than ever for associations in a world of disruptive innovation.

Driverless Associations

Driverless Associations

Ring in the age of Driverless Associations. It’s 2016 with Medical, and Pharmaceutical breakthroughs, Driverless cars,  and industries that are busy producing a new wave of technological breakthroughs. Slow U.S. GDP Growth  and modest improvement in Global Growth appear to be the bellwethers of even more technology advancements. These innovations help capture consumer imaginations, elevate company operating performance, and grow market share. Innovative Organizations who reach outside the box to help their member’s develop growth solutions can transform themselves into Driverless Associations.

Innovative Workforce Solutions

Innovative Workforce Solutions

Associations are increasingly well positioned to help members and industries build innovative workforce solutions through their professional development and certification products. As waves of innovation, millennials, and baby boomer retirements alter future workforce design, forward thinking organizations can transform themselves and become professional development partners for their members.

what we do for you

Here is What We Do for You

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that if the current trend continues, Data provider Dealogic estimates that Global Mergers and Acquisitions will climb to and exceed $4.58 trillion in 2015. In a low growth economic environment, corporations seeking growth are actively pursuing the best merger combinations. Although associations don’t control the external business environment, they do have the ability to move away from a “here is what we do for you “posture to a “together we succeed” posture.

losing large association members

Improving Association Retention Performance

What Association doesn’t want to slow down its Member Resignations and improve retention performance? Member losses are difficult especially when an Association loses larger members. Yet the painful lessons from these resignations can help your organization reposition itself and drive accelerated member engagement and achieve improved operating performance. Since member companies are disrupting their industries to stay ahead of the curve, today’s associations are expected to be nimble strategic partners or members will vote with their feet and go somewhere else.

association bored meetings

Association Bored Meetings

Are your board members laser focused on their mobile devices during board meetings? Is there a sense of restlessness at your executive committee and full board meetings? Odds are high that your board members are either preoccupied with business challenges or just plain bored with discussions on Association strategies. One way or another, they might be tuning out and if they are, your board meetings might be perceived as association “bored” meetings.