There are three parts to member marketing communication: the message, frequency and how you get the message out there. For those of you who have been reading this blog you will notice that I rarely write about how to attract more members on Twitter, engaging members in your LinkedIn group or growing your membership with retargeting. I am aware of marcomm, advertising and social media best practices and how the newest big players, Instagram, SnapChat and Pinterest, are changing the scene but, it’s not my focus because I believe that it is only one piece of the puzzle.
Most of the marketing consulting and marketing services community focuses on the how you get your message out. Because of this emphasis we start to think that having a social media account or trying the newest channel is the key to marketing success. Conversely we panic because we hear that old technology is dead: email, newsletters, magazines, listserves. We think the how we get the message out is more important than the message itself. We race to be present in the popular channels.
What if we are completely wrong?
What if the equation tipped much more heavily toward the message itself? Is the message valuable, generous and of good quality? Does the message link our members’ problems to our solutions? Are we posting or publishing or advertising in a consistent and frequent but manageable way?
The next time you are feeling guilty about not signing up for and populating the next new social media platform remember some of the most successful organizations are not there either. Some organizations do not use social media at all. Some organizations blog and some don’t. Some advertise while some invest in member service or account service. Some rock Twitter while others do well on LinkedIn.
Having the winning member marketing communication formula isn’t about which channel we use. It is not so much about how we get our message out there. Of equal or even more importance are the messages or stories themselves. The messages that tell a story, the stories that captivate, the communications our members look forward to win out every time even if they are published even if in an old and unsexy channel. Sure go ahead and test different channels but lets focus more on message content, quality and consistent frequency.
- Association storytelling gone wrong [cartoon]
- Member-centric not membership-centric [guest post on AssociationMarketer.com]
- Your association is not working on the things that will improve member value