I am reading the 1/10 issue of ASAE's Associations Now and came upon an article (pg 24 if you are so inclined) entitled "Tune In to Your Members' Wavelength" by Tracy Krughoff, Director of Event Communications at the Biotechnology Industry Organization here in D.C. Occasionally, someone writes or says something in such a clear and simple way that it makes you stop, shake your head up and down, and say...
That's what Tracy's article just gave me. "Sweet."
While the article focuses on an apparently very successful event, what Tracy pointed out really drives home what Tony Rossell, Kevin Whorton, Roger Harris, Dean West,...yes, and me, have talked about all during this recession.
Here it is: Your members' biggest need must be your biggest asset.
This is profound in its simplicity.
Dare I say it?..."Sweet."
Some of you are most likely saying "big deal, Erik. Nothing new here." But I beg to differ with you. I still see associations using the same 'value proposition' that they used 2...5...10 years ago. Same language. Same look. Same offering.
They have little to no idea what their members are going through and they are not trying to find out.
They blame the recession or the industry for the errosion of their membership or non-dues revenue.
But the simple fact is...life changes.
What worked then may not work now. Five years ago, a timely publication that offered unique insights into an industry might have been enough. Maybe it still is for your industry. But, given the recession, changes in communications and technology, and several other society-wide variables, most likely it isn't anymore.
So here it is. Ask yourself if your association's value proposition addresses your members' greatest need? If it does, cudos. If not, find out what your members need and get it for them.