A new report to help you successfully navigate uncharted waters in the years ahead
This morning I found myself staring at the paper calendar hanging in my office. It was still on January.
In reviewing my email, my phone and in speaking with my coworkers, I was able to confirm that today is in fact March 17th.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already two plus months into the year, with 2020 well underway. While a number of exciting projects are in still progress from the 2010’s, I find myself thinking about this year and the new decade we find ourselves in as a project itself. How can we adapt and innovate to drive continued growth throughout another decade of fundamental change?
For example, Marketing General Incorporated’s 2019 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report saw 45% of associations surveyed reporting that their membership increased, down three percentage points from last year’s report and in contrast to what had been a decade-long trend. McKinley Advisors’ annual Economic Impact on Associations Study shows membership retention is at an all-time high with nearly half of association executives surveyed (47 percent) reported a retention rate greater than 90 percent. Yet as strong as that number is, it’s largely unchanged from years past with no real movement.
Then there is the volatility we’re starting to see in the financial markets and the potential economic fallout from COVID-19.
Navigating short-term challenges takes skill, but longer-term success requires strategy and a wider perspective.
Organizations who fail to recognize the potential storms gathering face the prospect of a slow decline, replaced by more innovative, resilient competitors. Those willing to embrace change may find themselves broadening their horizons, with renewed purpose, greater value and additional relevance. As Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis once noted, “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
I suspect more than one of you would agree that membership is not dead, but it continues to evolve. The relationship between organizations and constituent, and all the interactions encompassed within, has transcended membership to become an experience, defined by the Harvard Business Review as “the sum-totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer.”
Instead of focusing on an individual transaction, program or interaction, recognize that the delivery of an experience requires organizations understand the totality of those parts make up a greater narrative. As an industry, associations have talked about experience for what seems like years. But as we step over the precipice of the new decade, what does this really mean? What practical steps can we take towards bringing a true experience to our constituents and ensuring it supports – and does not distract from – strategic goals and the short-term, daily operations that keep our collective lights on?
We had questions and wanted answers.
Personify’s soon to be published New Decade, New Experiences study seeks to expand our understanding of the role that demographics, engagement and technology are poised to play as we enter the 2020s and a new era of experience. We will look both to the past and future to develop a clearer picture of:
- The critical role of a compelling, and relevant, experience in acquiring new constituents
- How experience continues to drive evolution of trusted engagement methods and propel new ones forward
- Experience ecosystems and how an organization’s technologies must provide value independently but also together
Interested in learning more? Join us for a free webinar where we share key learnings from the report and practical tips to help you put these trends into practice (and earn a CAE credit along with it).