It is rare to see a single, isolated marketing effort hit the jackpot. It happens, but the odds are in favor of the house. We often see organizations tie their hopes to one beautiful, noble, budget-breaking effort and then end up disappointed in the results. The efforts are often well conceived and expertly executed but for some cruel reason or another, they don’t deliver. Even with disappointing results, very few marketing efforts are a total waste. One effort builds on another. Don’t walk away from the table; revise your strategy by testing new and different tactics! Ongoing communication to the marketplace is essential. Communicating through different channels is a best practice; the magic is in the mix. It is important to test different tactics, measure results, and then test again. Here are a couple of ideas that you can test on a budget. Each tactic has ROI that is very easy to calculate.
One of the best ways to tell is by performing a mid-year membership audit. Comparing your latest results with last year’s performance can tell you a lot, especially if you are maintaining a good set of metrics about your membership. If you are perplexed about the specific metrics you should be monitoring, let me recommend two previous Marketing General Webinars: Setting and Measuring Long-Term Membership Goals and The Economics of Membership: 7 Essential Formulas. These can help define your measures of success and how to extract them from your existing data.
When you have important decisions to make, you need to understand your data—and data visualization is one of the best tools in your arsenal. Data visualization is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format. A data dashboard is an information management tool that is used to track KPIs, metrics, and other key data points. Using data visualizations, data dashboards can simplify complex data sets to provide users with smaller pieces of real-time information that can be used to make data-driven decisions without getting lost or overloaded with data.
January 24, 2017
It may not come as a surprise if I tell you that not every prospect you ask to join your association will and that at some point even the most devoted long-term members may not renew. We “Membership Marketers” know instinctively that we oftentimes survive and even thrive on 1/10th of a percentage point rate of return. The difference between a 0.90% and 1.00% in the number of members and revenue you generate can be huge. Knowing the reasons why prospects don’t join and members don’t renew can only help us do a better job in growing our total members and revenue. You may remember some of these thoughts from years past, but they are still good reminders as we start the new year.
December 14, 2016
How do you know when you have enough data on membership to make a decision? Does data imperfection stop you from reaching out for more members, better renewal programs, more effective engagement communications, and even from spending budget on a new member drive? Instead, do you put that budget and staff energy into getting perfect data to drive your decisions? We market membership in a world that has convinced us that perfect data is achievable. But even with “supertools” like data warehousing, big data, data analytics, Association Management Systems, CRM, dashboards, and more, data perfection always seems just out of reach. In more than a few client engagements, I have watched tests, campaigns, and full-year programs get tabled because the data was not flawless. At MGI, we take a different approach to data. Instead of perfect or imperfect, we try to focus our own and our clients’ decisions on sufficient or insufficient data.