Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Take a note from Amazon. If you want to build your brand, make it easy for your members to use you!

We all understand that member engagement drives retention. We also understand that this works with customers and/or those prospects who don't join but keep coming back to us for the products and services we provide. This 'brand building' best positions our associations to repeatedly receive a member or customers 1st choice purchase.

One of the core uses of web-marketing in the Membership Lifecycle is in enhancing member/customer engagement.

As corporations and for-profit entities have been putting billions of dollars into web-marketing for the past 15 years (or more), we in the association world can learn from their successes and failures.

In today's posting on DigitalNow community. Don Dea, Co-Founder of Fusion Productions, shared with us a great article from Newsweek about a success...the power of the web to build brand without a huge marketing budget.

In this economy, facing cutbacks and budget reductions, membership and association marketing professionals should take notice.

He write's that the "...world's best-known companies typically spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on advertising and marketing to build their brands."
But not Amazon.com (AMZN).

Instead of slapping their brand on everything that moves, Amazon invested in technology and customer support that makes their website easy to use, promotes cross selling, and in the end results in providing the customer with a "...smooth shopping experience that burnishes the company name."

But the proof is in the pudding as they say...or in this case the growth. Amazon jumped 13 spots in this year's ranking of the Best Global Brands. It is the biggest jump in this year's ranking. And we're in a recession! "By investing back in the user experience, you get high loyalty and repeat usage," says Sebastian Thomas, head of U.S. technology research for RCM Capital Management, an investment firm with a stake in the company.

As was shown in MGI's recent 2009 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey Report, of the 599 association and membership executives surveyed, 85% stated that members become aware of an association through the association's website.

The question now is, as engagement is the key to renewal rates and repeat customers, how positive of an experience do you want your prospective and current members/customers to have?

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