Digital Technology: An Indispensable Tool for Membership-Based Organisations

Why your organisation needs to leverage digital technology

Although there are similarities between traditional commercial businesses and membership-based organisations, they take very different approaches when it comes to driving revenue growth.

With your membership-based organisation, you have your hands full with improving retention rates, looking for ways to better engage members, generating new enquiries and generally providing better service offerings to your members.

Challenges of managing membership-based organisations

Achieving these goals and objectives is a challenging task. You are constantly faced with budget constraints, changes in the requirements and expectations of your members, internal resistance to change and many other factors that make the burden of leadership much heavier.

You also run the regular risk of members leaving if they feel that they are not getting good returns on their membership package.

To deliver genuine benefits to your members, increase your membership levels, and take your organisation to the next level, you must look for an effective means of surmounting these challenges.

Using digital technology to increase engagement

The good news is that you can leverage digital technology to do all this and so much more.

Conclusions from MemberWise’s 2016 ‘Harnessing the Web’ survey show that increasing engagement is the single most important objective for membership-based organisations.

Engagement is vital since it correlates directly to relevance — which means that the more your members are engaged, the more they view your organisation as relevant to them. When this happens, they are far less likely to leave and may even begin inviting neighbours, friends, family, colleagues, and others with similar interests to join your organisation.

By the same token, unengaged or poorly engaged members are much more likely to cancel their membership because they feel no connection with your organisation.

Relevance also should be considered in the way you offer some of your services. Is the way they can join our organisation as easy and smooth as setting up an Uber account or do they need to hand over their first-born? Is the value they receive relevant to their lives or to yours?

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The need for digital transformation

All this means that you need to “up” your members’ engagement levels, as well as up the game in how you stay relevant,  in order to increase your membership levels and retention rates.

The best way to do this is by digitally transforming your organisation and remodelling it into a data-driven one. You should also leverage relevant digital solutions and technologies to provide more engagement for your members.

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Integrating your CRM, CMS & Marketing automation

You can start off with a CRM solution or membership management software, and integrate this with your CMS. Integrating these technologies helps you to deliver a bespoke user experience and more personalised content recommendations.

Implementing a CRM solution is a big task, and often the first piece of technology that gets reviewed in the quest to become more data-driven. Modern & global CRM solutions have a lot of Business Intelligence built in, but are not always natively built for membership based organisations. Those CRMs that specialise in memberships may lack the intuitiveness and UX to meet today’s expectations, and a well defined pitch process could help separating the wheat from the chaff.

The BI and segmentation opportunities are an important consideration though and  by leveraging members’ data to understand them more, you’ll be able to consistently deliver the right content and tailored user experience.

The next piece of technology often considered in this quest is a marketing automation tool, where leveraging the data; tailored, personalised and relevant campaigns can be created fast. Social media channels can be integrated so that it becomes easy to create a holistic member journey regardless of the channel they are on.

Ideally, by linking it to a website CMS, each member will be served the content that is only relevant to them which in turn will increase our holy grail of engagement.

Adopting a ‘Member First’ approach

Now more than ever is the time for your organisation to adopt a ‘Member First’ approach. Focus on increasing engagement levels and meeting both current and future requirements/expectations of your members, which are set other companies and other experiences outside of your category.

This will create a more trusting relationship between you and your members, leading to increased retention rates and higher revenue levels.

We recommend you implement a digital transformation agenda.

To discuss your requirements around finding a new CRM provider, implementing a marketing automation tool, or adopting a member first approach, give us a call. Coffee / Tea is on us.

Jen

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