Why Associations Should Embrace Marketing Automation

As an association, it’s crucial to stay competitive and relevant in today’s fast-paced digital landscape. One way to do this is through the use of marketing automation. Marketing automation refers to the use of software and technology to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows.

Save time and resources

Marketing automation allows you to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time and resources to focus on more strategic, high-impact activities. For example, using a marketing automation platform, you can set up an automated email campaign to send a series of welcome emails to new members, without having to manually send each email individually.

Improve lead generation and conversion

By providing personalised content and experiences, marketing automation can help to generate and nurture leads, leading to increased conversions. For example, you can use marketing automation to segment your audience based on their interests and behaviour, and then send targeted emails or ads with relevant content that speaks to their specific needs.

Increase engagement and retention

Marketing automation can help to build relationships with members and keep them engaged through targeted, timely communications. For example, you can use marketing automation to send automated birthday or anniversary emails to members, showing that you value their membership and helping to foster a sense of community.

Enhance data management and analysis

Marketing automation enables you to collect and analyse data from various sources, giving you a more comprehensive view of your audience and allowing you to make informed decisions. For example, you can use marketing automation to track how members interact with your website and emails, and then use that data to optimise your marketing efforts and better understand your audience.

Streamline workflows

Marketing automation allows you to streamline workflows and improve efficiency by automating tasks such as email marketing, social media posting, and lead nurturing. For example, you can use marketing automation to schedule social media posts in advance, ensuring that you have a consistent presence without having to manually post updates each day.

Boost ROI

By automating tasks and targeting the right people with the right messages, marketing automation can help to drive more qualified leads and increase ROI. For example, you can use marketing automation to create targeted landing pages and forms that are tailored to specific audience segments, increasing the likelihood that they will convert into members or customers.

Stay ahead of the competition

By leveraging the latest technology and marketing best practices, associations that embrace marketing automation will be well positioned to stay ahead of the competition. For example, you can use marketing automation to A/B test different subject lines or email templates, helping you to identify what works best and staying ahead of the curve in terms of email marketing best practices.

If you are looking to enhance your marketing automation, I recommend reaching out to MemberBoat. MemberBoat specialises in supporting professional associations and membership organisations with all their marketing efforts, and can provide cutting-edge marketing solutions for your membership. Find out more here.

Increasing Online Community Engagement in Your Association

An online community can be a valuable resource for associations, providing a platform for members to connect, collaborate, and engage with the organisation. Here are seven ways to build a successful online community for your association:

Clearly define the purpose and goals of the community.

Before launching an online community, it’s important to define its purpose and goals. This could include creating a space for members to share resources and knowledge, fostering a sense of community and connection, or providing a platform for members to engage with the association and its leadership.

Invite and onboard new members.

Invite members to join the community and provide a clear onboarding process to help them get started. This could include an orientation video or tutorial, a welcome message or guide, and an introduction to the community’s guidelines and expectations.

Encourage participation.

Encourage members to actively participate in the community by posting content, asking questions, and engaging with others. This could include hosting weekly discussion topics, hosting live events or webinars, or providing incentives for participation such as prizes or recognition.

Moderate and manage the community.

It’s important to have a team in place to moderate and manage the community, including enforcing guidelines and addressing any issues that may arise. This can help create a safe and welcoming environment for all members.

Foster a sense of community.

Encourage a sense of community by promoting social connections and creating a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. This could include hosting virtual social events or providing opportunities for members to connect with each other based on shared interests or professional goals.

Keep the content fresh and relevant.

Keep the community active and engaged by regularly posting new content and updating existing content to ensure it remains relevant and useful. This could include sharing industry news and updates, hosting expert guest speakers, or highlighting member achievements and success stories.

Engage with members.

Make sure to regularly engage with members and respond to their questions and feedback. This can help build trust and strengthen the relationship between the association and its members.

By following these seven steps, you can build a successful online community for your association. From clearly defining the purpose and goals of the community to fostering a sense of community and keeping the content fresh and relevant, there are many ways to create an engaging and valuable online space for your members.

If you would like an online community for your association, take a look at Trybz. Trybz in an online community platform specifically designed for associations. To see it in action, check out the  Answers for Associations online community for association professionals.

Empower Your Association with Data and Analytics

Data and analytics are becoming increasingly important for associations as they seek to make informed decisions and drive the success of their organisation. Here are seven trends in association data and analytics that you should be aware of:

Big data

The volume of data being generated by organisations is increasing at an exponential rate, and associations are no exception. For example, an association may have data on its members, events, finances, and operations. Utilising big data analytics tools can help you make sense of this large amount of information and extract valuable insights.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning.

These technologies can be used to analyse data and identify patterns that may not be immediately apparent to humans. For example, you could use machine learning to predict the likelihood of a member renewing their membership or to recommend content or events to them based on their past behaviour.

Data visualisation.

Visualising data in the form of charts, graphs, and maps can help make it more understandable and easier to communicate to others. Using data visualisation tools can help you create visually appealing and informative representations of your data.

Cloud-based data storage and processing.

Storing and processing data in the cloud can provide numerous benefits for associations, including increased security, scalability, and accessibility.

Data governance.

Data governance refers to the policies and practices that organisations put in place to ensure that data is collected, stored, and used ethically and responsibly. As data becomes increasingly important, it’s crucial to have a clear set of guidelines and policies in place to ensure that it is collected, stored, and used ethically and responsibly.

Data-driven decision making

Instead of relying solely on gut instincts or past experience, using data to inform decision making can help your association make more informed and accurate choices. For example, an association may use data analytics to identify patterns in membership renewal rates and use that information to create targeted retention campaigns.

Integration of data from multiple sources

In today’s digital age, associations often have data coming from a variety of sources, such as membership databases, social media, and event registration systems. Integrating this data can provide a more complete and accurate picture of your organisation and its members.

By keeping up with these trends in association data and analytics, you can stay ahead of the curve and make data-driven decisions that drive the success of your organisation. From big data and artificial intelligence to data governance and integration, there are many ways to leverage data and analytics to improve your association.

If you would like to connect with other Association Professionals and Industry experts to discuss association specific topics – just like this one – take a look at the Answers for Associations online community. The Answers community is a place where peers can connect and discuss sector related topics, share ideas, experiences, and resources, explore opportunities, and more.

Association Trends to Watch in 2023

As the association sector continues to evolve, it is important for CEOs and Boards to stay abreast of the latest trends and understand how they can impact their organisation. Here are a few that are particularly relevant at the moment:

The rise of virtual events.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the way we do business, virtual events have become an increasingly popular alternative to in-person events. This trend is likely to continue into 2023 and beyond, with many associations opting to host their conferences, meetings, and other events online.

Increased focus on sustainability.

Sustainability has long been an important issue, but it is becoming increasingly critical as the impacts of climate change become more evident. In 2023, it is likely that associations will be under pressure to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and to take steps to reduce their environmental impact.

The importance of digital transformation.

In the digital age, it is more important than ever for associations to have a strong online presence and to be able to communicate effectively with members through digital channels. In 2023, it is likely that associations that fail to embrace digital transformation will struggle to keep pace with their competitors.

The rise of artificial intelligence and automation.

Artificial intelligence and automation are changing the way we work and are likely to continue to do so in 2023. While these technologies have the potential to streamline processes and improve efficiency, they also have the potential to disrupt industries and displace jobs.

The need for diversity and inclusion.

In recent years, there has been an increased focus on diversity and inclusion within the association sector, and this trend is likely to continue in 2023. Associations that fail to prioritise diversity and inclusion may struggle to attract and retain members and may face reputational risks.

The role of data and analytics.

Data and analytics are becoming increasingly important in the association sector, as they can help organisations make informed decisions and better understand the needs and preferences of their members. In 2023, it is likely that associations that fail to effectively utilise data and analytics will struggle to keep pace with their competitors.

The need for flexibility and agility.

In a rapidly changing world, it is important for associations to be flexible and agile to respond to new challenges and opportunities. In 2023, it is likely that associations will need to be prepared to adapt quickly to changes in the market, technology, and regulatory environment.

As the association sector continues to evolve, it is important associations to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and be proactive in adapting to these changes to better position themselves for success in 2023 and beyond.

If you need a briefing on associations for your board or a facilitator to ensure the success of your next strategic planning process, please contact Belinda Moore.

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal Released

We are excited to announce the release of Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal, a compilation of articles from over 50 association thought leaders from around the globe.

This journal offers a unique perspective on the future of associations and the role they will play in shaping industries and communities. From innovative ideas for growth and sustainability to strategies for adapting to changing environments, the articles in this journal provide valuable insights and inspiration for association professionals.

As the association landscape continues to evolve, it is important for professionals to stay informed and stay ahead of the curve. The Associations Evolve: 2023 & Beyond Journal is a must-read for anyone looking to drive positive change and impact within their organisation. Get your copy today and join the conversation on the future of associations.

JOURNAL: Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond

Forty-six association experts from around the world have collaborated to produce a collection of articles showcasing contemporary thinking on governance, membership, revenue, events, and much more.

This is a great resource for those looking for inspiration and motivation to make 2022 your best year ever. It makes great holiday reading for those who are feeling particularly enthusiastic (tip: this publication pairs well with red wine and cheese).

Download “Associations Evolve: 2022 & Beyond”

This publication is part of our Associations Evolve project which looks for ways to help associations to thrive into the future. 

Thanks to Beau Cummin from Visual Traffic for his fabulous work designing this publication, Northern Territory Business Events for their great support of this project, and all our wonderful contributors.  

We hope you will find this collection of articles from experts in the association space as informative, inspiring, and motivating as we did. 

All the best for a fun and relaxing break over the festive period. I hope you arrive back at work refreshed and ready for an awesome 2022.

Warm regards,

Association Hackathon Outputs Released

The outputs of our recent association hackathon have been released.

A hackathon is a great way to generate a solution to a problem in a short timeframe. We worked with hackathon specialist Joanne Jacobs from Disrupters Co to develop and deliver a online hackathon for associations.

Thirty amazing association professionals volunteered. They split into six groups who each addressed a specific challenge. You can check out the interesting outputs they generated in the resources library of the Answers for Associations community. Just look for:

• Choosing an Association Management System.
• Creating a Minimal Budget Public Awareness Raising Campaign for Associations.
• How to Successfully Launch and Develop and Online Community.
• Monetising Online Communities.
• Shifting Member Engagement Frameworks from Traditional to Contemporary Operating Models.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated. It was great to see such stimulating and interesting conversations and solutions generated. This is something we would definitely do again as it was an opportunity to intensely address very specific issues so stay tuned for other opportunities to get involved.

If you are interested in running something similar for your organisation, I recommend reaching out to Joanne from Disrupters Co on joanne@disruptorsco.com. She was great to work with.

WHITEPAPER: Association Apocalypse

The operating landscape of associations is undergoing a seismic shift. Associations need to act now to ensure they can navigate these shifts to emerge stronger and more relevant than ever before. In my new whitepaper, Association Apocalypse, you can read more about the:

  • Six fundamental shifts occurring in the association operating landscape,
  • Three key models associations will need to re-invent, and
  • Eleven core operational enablers associations must get right along the way.

This whitepaper has been designed to assist association leaders to understand the scale of the change coming and create a platform for productive discussions within their associations about appropriate pathways forward. If you have more questions please feel free to contact us to find out how we can assist.

Read the whitepaper.

BOOK: Membership Managers Handbook (2018 Edition)

Are you looking to effectively manage a membership program for your organization? Look no further than The Membership Managers Handbook! This comprehensive guide covers all the essential aspects of membership management, from acquiring and retaining members to developing member benefits and creating a successful membership strategy.

Filled with best practices and real-world examples, The Membership Managers Handbook is a valuable resource for anyone responsible for managing a membership program. It includes tips on how to engage and retain members, as well as strategies for growth and innovation.

Whether you’re a seasoned membership manager or new to the role, The Membership Managers Handbook is the perfect tool to help you succeed.

Download the Membership Managers’ Handbook free of charge.