Membership organisations play a vital role in society by providing a voice to their collective. In recent times, however, the role of the membership organisation has been heavily disrupted.
The digital age has opened up vast opportunities for people to connect, belong and glean information. Through these online forums, people within communities and industries have achieved a sense of unity and shared values. The solidarity once prized as the primary asset of a relevant member association is now a weaker proposition. How do membership organisations rebuild their relevance and viability?
Unlike most online forums, membership organisations have a significant point of difference. Resources and infrastructure.
A problem in many industry and membership organisations is that most are not using their resources to serve the real needs of their members. Leadership, management and administrators are still focused on the low hanging fruit of social engagement which is a past measure of success.
The first step to changing direction is to really understand the power of your resources and how best to use them. The pillar that drives the use of resources and infrastructure is value. What is your value differential in the digital age? All your existing and potential members can go online in seconds to gather information and connection. What do you deliver that can drive engagement, advancement and economic benefit?
In my experience, organisations need to genuinely understand the tangible and intangible pain points of existing and potential members. They need to understand the physical and emotional benefits of membership. They need to focus their resources on services and benefits that mitigate or eliminate pain points. They need to provide benefits and services that enhance emotional connection.
I have found through mapping these criteria, and building and implementing targeted value strategies, membership organisations have had to refocus. Resources and infrastructure have been enhanced and realigned to deliver vastly different services. Once a new and engaged connection between targeted and focused resources and members is established, I have witnessed incredible energy and value being shared by all stakeholders.
If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact me.