Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Well, here is a handy formula that will help you determine "...how high is high and how low is low" when talking about your membership numbers. The formula is called 'Steady State Analysis' and is one of the most important, foundational, formulas you can use to assist you in developing your member acquisition and member retention strategies.
Steady State Analysis defines the equilibrium of total membership where members gained will equal members lost.
The calculation: Annual New Member Input/Lapse Rate = Steady State Membership
What is "Lapse Rate?" It is the inverse of your Renewal Rate. So, if your association has an 80% renewal rate, your lapse rate would be 20% or .20.
Here are a few examples of how to calculate Steady State Analysis:
Annual New Member Input: 1,000
Lapse Rate: .20
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
- Establish a position - the one message that, if nothing else, the audience understands.
- Complement the position with a creative strategy - what the organization stands for and how the message fits.
- Confirm that the communication conforms to established (branding) guidelines to be sure all elements are consistent.
Friday, November 13, 2009
First and foremost, lets remember that it is simply a communications channel. Like direct mail, telemarketing, your website, even the corporate water cooler, its a way to communicate your message to someone in a manner and environment that is most conducive to them for listening. I'm reminded of the 'internet craze' of 10 years back when I listen to many people talk about 'social media.' Perhaps, being a one-time dot-comer, I have a jaundiced view. However, it is wise and practical not to base the value of social media (and investment) on what we think it can do.
Taking this approach, we ask 3 simple questions:
- What communications need is the use of this channel going to satisfy?
- What is my target market?
- How are they using social media already?
In answering these very broad questions, remember to think in quantitative, as well as qualitative, terms. Our mantra now is ROI, and as many of us have seen, incorporating social media into your communications and marketing strategies can be costly in both financial as well as human resources.
There is no question that, for a growing number of associations, social media will become an intricate part of their overall membership strategy to increase awareness, drive member acquisition, develop and nurture member engagement, and support member renewal/retention.
But that's not to say it will be for ALL associations.
If you're on the fence, it seems that the best strategy for most is to: see how others are doing it first, then ask your members if they think its important; develop some ideas, then ask your members if they like these ideas or can offer some suggestions on how to make them better; test one or two of the best ideas, then ask you members if they used it and if so when/what/where/why and if not, why; make changes based on their suggestions, then ask your members....
Well, you get my point.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Now, as I sit here in Starbucks thinking about our conversation, I'm reminded of a collection of 'international goofs' performed by very well known and respected companies that truly underline Rob's observations.
I'm sure that many of you have heard or read these yourself over the years, but it never hurts to try and learn (or relearn) from others. Here are a few for your enjoyment:
There will never be a mass market for motor cars - about 1,000 in Europe - because that is the limit on the number of chauffeurs available! (Spokesman for Daimler Benz)
I think there is a world market for about five computers. (Thomas J. Watson of IBM)
The name Coca-Cola in China was first rendered as Ke-kou-ke-la. Unfortunately, the Coke company did not discover until after thousands of signs had been printed that the phrase means "bite the wax tadpole" or "female horse stuffed with wax" depending on the dialect. Coke then researched 40,000 Chinese characters and found a close phonetic equivalent, "ko-kou-ko-le," which can be loosely translated as "happiness in the mouth."
In Taiwan, the translation of the Pepsi slogan "Come alive with the Pepsi Generation" came out as "Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead."
Also in Chinese, the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan "finger-lickin' good" came out as "eat your fingers off."
The American slogan for Salem cigarettes, "Salem - Feeling Free," got translated in the Japanese market into "When smoking Salem, you feel so refreshed that your mind seems to be free and empty."
When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go." After the company figured out why it wasn't selling any cars, it renamed the car in its Spanish markets to the Caribe.
Ford had a similar problem in Brazil when the Pinto flopped. The company found out that Pinto was Brazilian slang for "tiny male genitals". Ford pried all the nameplates off and substituted Corcel, which means horse.
An American t-shirt maker in Miami printed shirts for the spanish market which promoted the Pope's visit. Instead of the desired "I Saw the Pope" in Spanish, the shirts proclaimed "I Saw the Potato."
Japan's second-largest tourist agency was mystified when it entered English-speaking markets and began receiving requests for unusual sex tours. Upon finding out why, the owners of Kinki Nippon Tourist Company changed its name.
The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a "C," the idea must be feasible. (Yale University management professor on Fred Smith's paper proposing a reliable overnight delivery service - Federal Express)
A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make. (Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies)
Scandinavian vacuum manufacturer Electrolux used the following in an American campaign: "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux".
When Gerber started selling baby food in Africa, they used the same packaging as in the US, with the beautiful Caucasian baby on the label. Later they learned that in Africa, companies routinely put pictures on the label of what's inside since most people can't read English.
While this is not directly related to 'membership marketing,' I hope you understand my message...always double-check your work. Like a carpenter, "measure twice, cut once," ask other people to take a look and get their informed opinion.
I hope you enjoyed this and had a 'giggle' or two.
Have a great day!