Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WHAT!? Already!? Get ready for Membership Market Planning - 2012

Good grief! It's not even June yet. C'mon...

It's true folks, we are entering the time when most of us are beginning to develop our plans and budgets for 2012. Many times people ask me about developing a strong membership marketing plan so I thought I’d offer a quick and easy system for you to use.


Developing a plan is usually pretty easy if you simply answer the famous “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?” questions:
  • “Who” is the market? 
    • What are the characteristics of the audience you want to promote to? 
    • Is it simply one market or can the market be further segmented? 
      • Highest vs. lowest return
      • Location/geography
      • Male/female
      • Age
      • Buyers vs. inquiries vs. 'never heard of ya'
      • etc.
    • What are their “needs” or “pains” that are to be addressed 
  • “What” is the product? 
    • Membership? Conference? Catalog? Sponsorship? Etc. 
  • “Where” does the market congregate? 
    • You need to know where to find your market prospects 
      • Catalog
      • Website
      • Association
      • Conference
      • Etc. 
  • “When” is the best time to contact the market? 
    • Is there a “buying cycle?”
    • Has there been an adjustment in the economy of the market that increases a current need or introduces a new need?
  • “Why” do we need to market?
    • In most cases, this is where you define your “criteria for success” as well as your financial justification for the plan:
      • Increase/maintain market share
      • Increase revenue
      • Increase sales
      • Product launch
      • Etc.
    • For many of us in the membership marketing world this is where you'll also need to review your membership benchmarks:
      • Renewal Rate
      • Average Tenure
      • Lifetime Value (LTV)
      • Maximum Acquisition Cost (MAC)
      • Steady State Analysis
  • “How” are we going to market?
    • What channels historically offer us the best ROI and what channels should we test?
      • Direct mail
      • Email
      • Web
      • Telemarketing
      • Personal sales
These are the building blocks that will help you build your plan. Don’t forget the importance of ‘tracking’ your campaigns so you can continually enhance your programs based upon quantitative results.

Of course, always build consensus among everyone who will have impact upon your plan.

What are the elements you look at? Do you have a plan that you'd like to share? Let us know.

Good luck!


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