There has never been more competition for a share of your members attention or wallet. This makes it crucial for associations to deliver a personalised and compelling value proposition that creates a significant impact.
Achieving this goal requires a deep understanding of what members find important and how they perceive the association’s effectiveness in those areas. These two elements, though closely related, are distinct and carry significant implications for strategic planning and membership value.
Importance: What Matters to Members
The importance of a particular aspect of an association’s work reflects what members value most. It could be advocacy, education, networking opportunities, or any other core function. Understanding what is important to members helps in aligning the association’s goals with member needs and expectations.
Effectiveness: How Well Are We Doing It?
Effectiveness, on the other hand, is a measure of how well the association is performing in areas that members deem important. It’s not enough to focus on what matters to members; associations must also deliver on those expectations. Assessing effectiveness provides insights into areas where improvements may be needed, ensuring that resources are allocated where they will have the most impact.
The Benefits of Understanding Importance vs Effectiveness
There are many benefits to gaining an understand of these perspectives including:
- Strategic Alignment: By understanding both importance and effectiveness, associations can create a roadmap that aligns with member priorities and ensures that efforts are directed towards areas that will yield the greatest satisfaction and engagement.
- Resource Allocation: Knowing what members value and how well the association is delivering allows for more informed decisions about where to invest time, money, and effort. This ensures that resources are used efficiently and effectively.
- Member Retention and Growth: Members are more likely to remain engaged and loyal when they see that the association not only understands what is important to them but also excels in those areas. This, in turn, can lead to growth in membership as satisfied members become advocates for the association.
- Continuous Improvement: Regularly assessing both importance and effectiveness fosters a culture of continuous improvement. It encourages associations to keep a finger on the pulse of member needs and to adapt and innovate as those needs evolve. Effectiveness figures can be utilised to set measurable, time-specific KPIs.
Generating Importance vs Effectiveness Insights
A stakeholder survey is an indispensable tool for understanding what those in your target membership segments, – including current, past, and never members – find important and gauging how effective they perceive your association to be.
This broader approach ensures that the full spectrum of insights is gathered, reflecting the diverse needs and expectations of different market segments. When filtered correctly, the data can identify the distinct value sought by different segments and shed light on factors contributing to success or challenges.
Done correctly, your survey is more than just a data-gathering exercise, it is a strategic instrument that informs decision-making, enhances member engagement, and contributes to the continuous improvement of the association.
Conducting such a survey requires a strategic approach, focusing on three key areas:
- Asking the Right Questions: Crafting questions that are relevant, clear, and unbiased is essential to eliciting meaningful responses. The questions should align with the association’s goals and the specific information needed from different stakeholder groups.
- Promoting Effectively to Maximise Quality Responses: A well-planned promotional strategy ensures that the survey reaches as many targeted stakeholders as possible. Using various communication channels and engagement styles can encourage participation, leading to a more representative sample.
- Interpreting the Data to Create Practical Insights: Beyond mere data collection, the analysis must be conducted in a manner that generates both actionable insights and practical recommendations.
At SMS, we often help clients with this type of survey. This includes support to create a compelling survey, plan your survey marketing, and deliver practical results you can immediately apply. If you’d like more information on how we can assist, please email email@example.com.