3 Goals Transform an Association Business Model

 association business model3 Goals Transform an Association Business Model. It’s never easy to embrace the hardships of a historic recession or its aftermath.  However Tom Dobbins, President at Arlington, Virginia based American Composite Manufactures Association (http://www.acmanet.org/)  (ACMA) seized a key moment in time. Dobbins and his team succeeded in closely aligning their organization with its small and large composite manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. Three year overall 9% revenue growth and 10% annual conference growth after suffering through the downturn signals the Association is on track.

ACMA Embraces Core Focus

Reinforcing a widely accepted approach among growth minded CEO’s, ACMA reformulated its Mission Statement reinforcing its commitment to their manufacturer and supplier member base. Moving forward the Association would provide direct ROI for dues dollars invested:

  •  Relevant education and information.
  • Expertise and representation in legislative and regulatory affairs.
  • Market growth and development.

3 Goals Transform an Association Business Model

 Associations like ACMA narrow their focus reflecting clear cut deliverables for dues payers. The  Board of Directors renewed its commitment to support their members in all 50 states:

  1.  Provide resources for managing and growing businesses that are utilized    by a significant number of the membership.
  2.  Provide resources that a significant number of the membership find useful in educating and training their employees.
  3.  Develop multiple communication channels to disseminate information to the greatest number of member companies and other stakeholders.

Upping Their Game

Increasing their Advocacy efforts through a Federal Agency Forum, launching a new online learning platform and in October 2014, the launch of CAMX produced by ACMA and SAMPE. This event will provide educational programs and networking opportunities for sharing product innovations and establishing key industry contacts.

3 Goals Transform an Association Business Model

Dashboards reflecting data and metrics keep Tom Dobbins and his team focused and executing the 3 key goals that helped realign ACMA and transform its business model (http://bit.ly/13zCQkw).

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association business model

1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement

association member engagement1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement.  Implementing a board mandate, Security Industry Association (http://www.securityindustry.org), CEO Don Erickson encourages industry collaboration throughout the Association’s landscape.

The strategy is reflected in programs and services and visibly connects the Association’s business model to member business objectives.  Financial performance metrics reinforce this approach: retention, new members and event participation are all net positive.

What is the 1 New Strategy? 

Breaking past traditional political & legacy issues, SIA’s utilization of industry collaboration is opening new windows of opportunities. It’s also identifying new ways to support their member business growth objectives.  Some examples of the Association’s outreach includes:

            • Membership Diversification
            • Alliance Building with Other Industry Associations
            • Community Building

Member Objectives and SIA Business Model

Another key element of SIA’s transformation is the increasing their levels of company support. Building past primary membership contacts within an individual company, SIA is achieving member depth through reinvigorated strategies implemented by the membership team to reach General Counsels and C Suite officers and engage them in their areas of interest. The end result is higher levels of participation and strong member retention.

Collaborate & Grow

Under the umbrella of Alliance Building, CEO Erickson & his team methodically work to deliver programs that move the needle for their members. Increasing investment in online and in person training are just one example for what’s on tap for SIA members in 2014.

1 New Strategy Revolutionizes Association Member Engagement

As membership climbs, SIA’s almost 500 members who comprise the value chain of the electronic and physical security industry view the Association as a necessary strategic business partner. Key metrics confirm growing industry support too, retention consistently over 90% and average growth of almost 10% per year.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association member engagement

 

Association CEO Nails Critical Member Engagement Question

member engagement questionAssociation CEO Nails Critical Member Engagement Question. As the economy grows at what some economists call a “snail’s pace,” an Association CEO who knows the right question to ask is worth their weight in gold. Just ask Julia Hamm, the energetic and passionate President & CEO of a dynamic enterprise, the Solar Electric Power Association www.solarelectricpower.org. In the three year window,  between 2009-2011, SEPA membership grew 50%.The industry Trade Show (SEPA partners with the Solar Industry Association) blossomed from 1,100 attendees in 2004 to 25,000 in 2010.

One Critical Member Engagement Question

“From a member perspective, does your Association bring together constituencies creating new solutions; driving member value that shapes both industries and professions?” Serving a combined national membership of Solar Industry Companies (manufacturers, project developers and finance firms) and Electric Utilities, SEPA leverages its strategic plan to deliver products and services shaping Solar Industry acceptance and business success.

Listen, Learn & Lead

Annual member surveys and “going deep” inside member companies to best understand how the organization can deliver value aligns SEPA closely with its dues payers. Programs including: Solar Power International, The Solar Industry Member Advisory Council (SIMAC), The Utility Solar Conference forum for utilities, One Hour Monthly webinars & Fact Finding Missions attract strong participation and reinforce the Association’s solid value proposition.

Association CEO Nails Critical Member Engagement Question

With her strong staff team, board of directors and 900 members , SEPA Chief Executive Julia Hamm knows the one critical question. More importantly, the strong performance confirms she also knows the answer.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

Member Engagement question

3 Critical Member Engagement Questions

Member Engagement questions3 Critical Member Engagement Questions. While CEOs and senior managers define member engagement differently, they all agree it’s an important component of their future strategy. With ongoing Washington, DC gridlock and a low growth economy, Associations and Societies see member engagement as an opportunity to best connect members to their organizations.

Have You asked the 3 Critical Questions?

Peter Drucker notes “My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” When it comes to Member Engagement, knowing the right questions to ask is mission critical to accelerating participation and growing revenue:

  1. Has your Association surfaced linkages between its member engagement practices and its business model?
  2. Does your organization track contribution and collaboration behaviors that are predictive of even stronger levels of future engagement?
  3. From a member perspective, does your Association bring together constituencies creating new solutions; driving member value that shapes both industries and professions?

Answers to these three questions could provide key data that could better link organizations with their market place. However, knowing what the broader Association community is applying effectively would also be useful.

3 Critical Member Engagement Questions

member engagement questionsThe recent Federal Government shutdown is a reminder on how complex the Association marketplace is nowadays. Asking the right questions and having survey data will provide clarity as senior managers prepare and finalize their 2014 budget proposals.

 

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

 

Member Engagement: Call to Action

Member Engagement Member Engagement: Call to Action. Three organizations, Potomac Core Consulting, Vertical Leap Consulting and icimo are joining forces to conduct a Member Engagement Strategies Survey. Unlike any other to date, the survey focuses on Member Engagement as a game-changing growth strategy. The primary objective of the survey is to identify innovations and leading-edge practices in member engagement.

Define Future Member Engagement Levels

Potomac Core President & CEO Daniel A. Varroney notes “we’ll surface linkages between member engagement practices and an association’s business model.” Vertical Leap President  Steve Lane adds “we’ll also discover examples where associations are tracking contribution and collaboration behaviors that are predictive of even stronger levels of future engagement.”

Member Engagement: Call to Action

The online survey is being conducted during October and sent electronically to more than 5,000 Association and Society Executives around the United States.

Bryce Gartner, CEO of icimo notes: “The survey is built around core principles.  At the heart of these principles is the Association’s value premise.  Associations are positioned to bring together constituencies creating new solutions; driving member value that shapes both industries and professions.”

Potomac Core – Association Consulting, www.potomaccore.com, is a Washington, DC area custom focused one stop shop delivering highest quality growth strategies and solutions to U.S., National, and International Associations and Professional Societies. We help your Association surface actionable, market-based data. Then we create discussions about your member’s business outcomes to align your Association with their business outcomes.

Vertical Leap Consulting, www.verticalleapconsutling.com, is all about growth and positioning strategies for associations and healthcare organizations. Founded in 2002, we are headquartered in the Montgomery County, Maryland suburbs of Washington D.C.  We assist executives and boards who face tough challenges and compelling reasons to enhance their organization’s impact.

icimo, www.icimo.com, headquartered in the North Carolina Triangle Area offers software and services that gets any size organization using their data quickly.  Our tools combined with training and best practices give clients a jump-start to being data driven, transforming “big data” from buzzword into successful real world strategies for driving results by turning insights into action.  

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

Organizational Culture and Mission Drives 66% Growth

organizational culture and missionOrganizational Culture and Mission Drives 66% Growth. Associations and Societies are busy revisiting their strategic plans and business models. After all, new paths to member engagement and revenue growth are essential nowadays. While CEOs employ different approaches, one in particular applies culture as a growth accelerant. A.S.P.E.N., the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition and it’s CEO Debra S. BenAvram leverage culture and their mission to operate a functional and thriving community ( http://bit.ly/1GWhVgL). A strategically engaged board combined with an energized and innovative staff are consistently hitting on the right cylinders.

Imagine a Different Future

A.S.P.E.N. works to insure that all patients receive high quality nutrition. They reinforce their vision by trumpeting the best evidence based practice for support to patients in need of specialized nourishment. Starting her career as the organization’s Director of Education, BenAvram developed leadership values and strategies that would best support the board’s goals and motivate a high performing team. Moving into the CEO role, she applied years of thought and study to develop a strategic plan and an “outside the box” staffing model.

Open Communication

As CEO, BenAvram wants “imagery around culture and values all of the time.” Unlike many organizational charts with tiered or complex structures, they employ a “staff circle model.” The approach looks to achieve excellence focused on high engagement and high quality performance.

Balanced Revenue

With a staff that has grown to 20, A.S.P.E.N has a healthy mix of revenue almost evenly divided across membership, their annual meeting, and peer review journals. Serving a diverse constituency of medical professionals ranging from Pediatric Surgeons to Endocrinologists, they utilize data and feedback to stay connected to their members and their mission.

Organizational Culture and Mission Drives 66% Growth

Regardless of debates on traditional and nontraditional management structures, one thing is clear: A business model minus silos can stimulate innovation and collaboration, mobilize board leaders, and energize staff performance to exceed expectations.

Staff leaders acknowledge that the second wave of innovation and growth is even more challenging to achieve. Undaunted, CEO BenAvram and her team are more confident because they already understand Peter Drucker’s axiom “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Why? $2 million growth is a reflection of just how important culture is to engaging and satisfying members.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

organizational culture and mission

 

Association Membership Not Growing?

association membershipAssociation Membership Not Growing? With senior management teams developing next year’s budgets, it’s good a time to conduct a survey and assess your associations impact. The results and a competitive market assessment will be helpful in constructing a membership growth strategy. Associations who have not experienced membership growth will find this approach helpful.  It will reveal strengths, opportunities, and weaknesses, all of which can be leveraged into actionable growth strategies.

Laser Market Focus

Individuals and corporations make membership decisions based on their Association’s ability to impact priorities that matter most to them. Whether it be legislative, regulatory, training, or certification related, they are all evaluated. Associations that convert actionable data into tangible solutions will improve their retention and growth opportunities.

Relevance

Companies conduct internal assessments before they join or renew Association memberships. Members “stay or leave” and prospects “join or go somewhere else” based upon their perception of an organization’s impact. They measure “relevance” as an Association’s capacity to help companies or individuals achieve their business, professional, or personal objectives.

Quantify and Qualify

Impact surveys should become part of an Association’s DNA. Why? Organizations that consistently benchmark products and services based on their marketplace are better positioned that those who don’t.

The impact survey is all about member/prospect “up at night” issues. Answer these key questions:

  1. What is the financial impact on professional and or corporate business objectives?
  2. How do current programs, services, and the advocacy agenda address the financial impact of “up at night” issues?
  3. Do proposed program changes or new initiatives help members and prospects achieve success?
  4. From the member and prospect vantage point, what else can the Association do? 

Association Membership Not Growing?

Associations who want to grow should be seen as strategic partners. Once your Association is viewed as a strategic partner, membership growth and higher retention follow. Keep in mind that several Associations already using this approach have seen double digit growth. Why not give it a try? A growth formula you can use immediately:

Member Impact Survey & Competitive Assessment + Actionable Growth Strategies = Membership Growth.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

association membership

Member Engagement Drives Revenue

member engagementMember Engagement Drives Revenue. Associations continue to leverage Member Engagement as part of a long term strategy that secures and grows their revenue base. In order to add heft to their efforts, some CEOs utilize data driven strategies to guide investment of budget resources and staff time. At NIRI, the National Investor Relations Institute for instance, Jeff Morgan, President & CEO consistently aligns his organization with its members and their marketplace through monthly surveys and strategic plan updates.

Business Intelligence

NIRI www.niri.org is the professional association of corporate officers and investor relations consultants who are responsible for communication among corporate management, shareholders, securities analysts and other financial community constituents. Its 3,300 members represent some 1,600 publicly held companies with $9 trillion in stock market capitalization.

“In a big data and fast moving world, NIRI keeps pace with our membership by staying connected” says CEO Jeff Morgan.

Monthly Pain Point Survey

Associations and Professional Organizations who successfully engage their members show their connection to core member business needs. NIRI engages their members with a monthly survey instrument in order to drive engagement. While industry standards are not as robust, the organization achieves a consistent 20% response rate.

The most recent survey inquired about resources and tools available to assist public companies in shareholder identification as well as suggestions for improving the current system. The survey summary will be utilized by the NIRI Board of Directors in its September meeting with the SEC staff on improving shareholder engagement.

Member Engagement Drives Revenue

NIRI’s engagement focus accelerated member renewals and continue to help grow membership internationally. The organization has also replenished its reserves in the aftermath of the great recession.

Jeff Morgan knows the dynamic global economy will “consistently challenge his members.” He indicates that their data driven market focus will keep the organization “aligned with its member’s business needs.”

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

member engagement

Want Association Revenue Growth in 2014?

association revenue growthWant Association Revenue Growth in 2014?  Association CEO’s and the senior management teams are looking ahead. Budget discussions are underway and board leadership wants to see an Association revenue growth budget. Corporate profitability is rebounding and the expectation is that Associations too will achieve the same level of robust growth. What can Associations do to improve their competitive edge and grow in 2014?

Stiffening Competition

Renewals remain challenging and while organizations are seeing increases in new member growth they wonder how long it continues. It’s not just the economy anymore, Association Executives for the most part are experiencing increased competition. For profit companies continue to enter markets once owned exclusively by Associations. In addition, new solutions including Not for Profit organizations, coalitions and consulting companies are offering competing products and services.

Sharpen Your Competitive Edge

Thanks to new technologies, data is more accessible than ever before. Associations who capture, interpret and apply data driven strategies can dramatically improve their competitive positioning. In a real time world data provides Associations with speed to market.

These 3 Steps Work

  1. Competitive Analysis. Hard knuckle comparison to other Associations and solutions.   What are the gaps and opportunities?
  2. Impact Survey. Engage your members. For example, products, services and advocacy.   Are they impactful? What can your Association do to best connect to member business needs and objectives?
  3. Business model. Utilize the competitive analysis and the impact survey data to adjust shape a business model that accelerates your Association’s impact.

Buy In

Share the data with your executive committee; seek their input on accelerating your Association’s impact. Engage your senior management team. Work with them to build a vision in that closely reflects the data and the executive committee’s perspectives. They will see the staff efforts as prudent and timely.

Want Association Revenue Growth in 2014?

A number of Associations are experiencing membership growth and increased participation. Recognizing heightened competition they utilized data driven strategies to improve their competitive position. In some instances Associations doubled revenue. How? Better differentiated value and accelerated member participation.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.

Can Silos Stunt Association Revenue Growth?

Association Revenue GrowthCan Silos Stunt Association Revenue Growth? “We’ve met the enemy head on and it is us.” Is this true? Absolutely, yes.  Silos at Associations can do more harm than good. Why?  Although a well defined organizational structure is effective in defining roles and responsibilities, they at times erect unnecessary walls and can create a fiefdom.

Beware of the Silo Effect

The symptoms are easily recognizable. If Senior Managers consistently debate boundaries, direct reports challenge colleagues and managers to “stay out of their portfolios” then your Association is seeing some of the silo effect. Regardless of the motivation it’s harmful to your bottom line. In time, Association morale and focus is diminished along with focus on members and revenue growth.

Can the silo effect be avoided or changed? Yes!

3 Steps to Motivate Association Revenue Growth

Regardless of the time of year, CEOs can alter their Association’s trajectory and focus. Implementing these three steps can help increase member satisfaction, elevate retention, drive member growth and deliver sponsorship and conference attendance increases. Really? Increasing your market satisfaction and execution in a highly competitive environment can’t help but up your game:

  1. Reward and reinforce and team results.  Recognize staff publicly, be specific, share how collaboration achieved renewals, new members, sponsors, conference attendance growth.
  2. Shared Performance objectives. All job descriptions and performance objectives should carry the same message. Everyone helps everyone else satisfy the marketplace and grow revenue.
  3. No one more is important than other team members.  Setting and reinforcing this practice is powerful. One diva impedes progress where an entire team working together can overcome anything. Coach Norman Dale, the iconic basketball Coach from the movie says it best” Five players on the floor functioning as one single unit team team, team, no one more important than the other.”

Can Silos Stunt Association Revenue Growth? 

An Association recovering from its worst revenue performance ever implemented all three of these steps the following year. They achieved dramatic improvements in total revenue, new member growth, retention and exceeded their net growth objectives.

At a time when Associations need collaboration and accelerated market focus, staff silos blur the external vision necessary to satisfy members and achieve revenue growth objectives. Removing the silos and creating a culture of collaboration will up your Association’s game. Actually, it just might have your team coming from behind and winning just like the Hickory Huskers.

For a free copy of the “Accelerating Strategic Member Engagement” eBook, request your copy at www.potomaccore.com.