Overcoming Today’s Association Marketing Challenges

The current economic environment is impacting associations on multiple fronts. Competing financial priorities are causing many current members to re-evaluate the return on their dues dollars. The impact is also being felt in lower conversion rates among prospective members. According to the 2014 Membership Marketing Report, half of associations have a market penetration of 40% or less of their available market.

Understandably associations caught in this situation are facing downward pressure on membership dues and increasing pressure for associations to provide more relevant, compelling, exclusive value, specific to the association and not easily found elsewhere. In order to continue to survive and thrive in these challenging times, associations will need to re-define what membership means and develop exclusive value in order to continue to attract and retain members.

Yet association value is only part of the solution. Unless members are persuaded to engage with and experience the Association’s offerings, the full potential of membership organizations will remain untapped.   Repeated studies have shown that involvement is the key to maintaining affiliation. The 2014 Membership Marketing Report shows member’s lack of engagement with the organization that is the number one reason for not renewing. In a separate ASAE research study into why members drop out of associations, 56% of those surveyed said it was because they did not receive the expected value to justify the cost of dues.

For nearly forty years, Bodden Partners has been working with a number of associations and membership organizations of various sizes and missions. The strategies and campaigns we develop add value to membership, demonstrate ROI, and increase retention and drive incremental revenue. For more information about how we might help your organization, contact Mark Silverman for a custom consultation.