At its simplest member marketing boils down to two goals 1) attract members and 2) take them on an adventure. We call number two engagement or retaining members or the member experience. The words retaining or engagement seem slightly clinical so how about spicing up your thinking by taking your members on an adventure?
What is an adventure?
It means excitement, exploration, learning new things, fun, trying something different and maybe being a little daring. This can be anything from a two week backpacking expedition in Kenya to jumping in the car for a fun family day trip. What was your last fun adventure? What made it so great? Was it the freedom? Was it connecting with family or friends? Was it a feeling of accomplishment? What would happen if you provided an experience like this for members? How engaged and loyal do you think they would be? Here are some ideas for adding a little adventure to your organization:
1) Spice it up
Do you sometimes feel like the same calendar of events, board meetings, reports and publications year after year is tedious? You members may feel the same way. Try varying the routine where you can. Can one event a year be highly variable? Always different but always great?
2) Surprise them
What’s not on the list of member benefits that you can add that would be a pleasant surprise? Can you surprise your members by sending them a popular and helpful business book for free? Is there some small way you can pleasantly surprise your members?
3) Try a little silliness
Does your association err on the side of serious, super-professional perhaps even a little institutional? Adding just a tad bit of silliness makes your association more fun. While not something to overuse can you run a light-hearted fun contest? Try out a silly reception theme? Or add a cartoon to your content?
4) Help members step it up
For those who want to take a small risk what can you do to help them move ahead in their career? Should they add video to their CV? Should they become better public speakers, better in sales or better in personal branding?
5) Foster life-long friendships
Many friendships are formed around common experiences. Working at the same place, working on the same project, going on a trip, etc. We hope that friendly interaction will happen at conferences and it does but many of these are very surface. What ways can you provide a deep, immersive experience designed to let people really connect. Especially new members. Perhaps a mini-adventure designed for these special members?
Thinking about engagement or retaining members is useful. To really delight members, however, you might have to start thinking about yourself as the provider of adventures.
- What Your Members Don’t Know They Need
- How To Serve Members During Their Professional Life Events
- The Cycle Of Offering Great Member Experiences