In 2015, Association board rooms should be filled with expectations of membership growth, improving retention, and conference revenue growth. After a punishing downturn, the economy is growing and volunteer leaders seek stronger advocacy efforts or they want to restock Association reserves.
Sell louder, Really?
Are aggressive short term marketing gains worth long term risk? Short term marketing campaign investments can deliver revenue increases. However, could today’s new member and conference revenue gains translate into next year’s revenue loss? In an era of disruptive innovation and global economic uncertainty, is short term gain the right play for your Association?
Is Long Term Positioning More Prudent?
Realizing the severe financial impact of the great recession, will boards expect associations to balance revenue growth and durability? In 2014, the Strategic Member Engagement Survey (http://bit.ly/1g8g1J2) highlighted how long term positioning, was driving stronger financial performance. The data demonstrates how better performing Associations are helping their members overcome obstacles and play a role in achieving their business outcomes.
Notably organizations with upward trending 3 year operating results are far more likely to better understand member “up-at-night” issues and to engage members in acting upon those needs. In terms of long term positioning, successful Associations had attributes which connect them with their member’s business outcomes:
- Regularly conduct member impact surveys (not merely “satisfaction” surveys)
- Very highly engaged boards who are strategic in focus
- Very high degree of board understanding and strategizing about the needs of the average member
Should Your Association Sell Louder?
The “up-at-night” research and connecting with member business outcomes shows an industry and it’s Association “moving toward a more compelling future for their industry together.” This pathway minimizes short term risk while it maximizes your Association’s long term revenue growth.