The wants and needs of Millennials contrast with those of Baby Boomers and Generation Xers: they demand more tangible value from membership; they demand the flexibility to purchase single programs; and they demand programs and content that are relevant to them. A customer-centric, rather than member-centric approach, provides the perspective needed to determine what motivates millennials to join and remain with an organization. This insight should underpin the development of customized recruitment strategies and benefit packages—micro-credentialing, awards for project grants, and giving back to the community are examples of programs that not only engage younger audiences, but that have been successfully monetized by our clients.
A macro trend away from traditional membership is currently affecting the majority of professional associations. Clients must analyze their fundamental value proposition in order to streamline and enhance existing programs, establish clear metrics and measurable returns on investment (ROI), and ensure resources are allocated to activities that provide the greatest value to members. As part of this reevaluation process, it is critical to revisit the basic tenets of the membership value proposition by assessing a representative cross-section of existing members to gain the necessary subjective and objective data to make informed decisions. In general, as a younger generation matures through the workforce, and comprises an increasing percentage of an organization’s potential members, membership is becoming more transactional. It is crucial to optimize the business model and ensure that it targets the greatest number of potential revenue opportunities, rather than relying solely on an outdated model of membership.
All organizations, regardless of size or industry, face the same challenge of staying relevant in today’s digital economy. Member behaviors and expectations have transformed dramatically, so we need membership organizations’ programs and experiences to reflect these changes. Associations must adapt to stay relevant. Uber’s intuitive and simple user experience, Facebook’s mobile first approach, and Amazon’s exceptional customer service are no longer the exception – they are the expectation. Association websites and marketing require a seamless link to their member database for real-time interactions, data-driven purchasing and ecommerce.
Group think, conformity, decision paralysis: however you wish to label it, inertia at the board level inhibits success. By not adapting to industry trends, the digital economy, and a changing workforce, associations slip into a downward spiral that is difficult to recognize and even harder to recover from. Kellen couples the evaluation of organizational structures and processes with our forward-thinking guidance, expertise and personnel to build consensus and help confirm or redefine our clients’ strategic visions. Strategic planning sessions, whether formal or informal, lay the foundation for identifying solutions to your organization’s key issues. We support leadership teams throughout the implementation of change and provide ongoing support to create a culture of innovation, responsible planning, accountability and long-term success.