We hear about association growth problems all the time: member renewal slumps, programs with low attendance and engagement, or how it takes years to recruit could-be members.
Believe it or not, you already have the strategic roadmap to solve these growth challenges. But it’s locked in your data. Associations must learn to unlock and leverage their unique data stories in order to grow in a digital-first world.
There's no question about it: Associations must undergo digital transformation or risk becoming obsolete.
What is Digital Transformation?
Salesforce defines digital transformation as follows:
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements
Digital transformation is all about understanding your audience, personalizing your content, and creating an intelligent story out of your data. It’s no surprise that over 75% of worldwide associations will undergo digital transformations by 2023.
You may be thinking you don’t have the bandwidth or the right team members in place for such an overhaul. Well, it's time to let you in on a little secret: digital transformation doesn't need to be an unattainable feat of mythic proportions.
Digital Transformation Starts with Data
It all begins with data, and having realistic goals for what you want to accomplish. Data will provide the step-by-step road map for making your growth goals a reality.
For example, if you've been having trouble retaining members, the data you already have can tell you what members like about your association. Once you know what members want, you can create more highly engaging content and experiences to make members happy. We don't have to tell you that engaged members renew, year after year.
Members Expect Better Digital Experiences
We live in a world where technology is changing so rapidly that consumer preferences are shifting almost on a day to day basis. You can thank tech giants like Netflix, Amazon and Spotify for raising expectations. And make no mistake - their expectations don't end with these Silicon Valley sweethearts. Your association must rise to the digital challenge in order to thrive. Are you prepared to keep up?
To meet these changing expectations, Associations need to figure out how to stay relevant. That means providing personalized content experiences that align with member preferences and behavior.
If that scares you, it shouldn’t. Because you already have three key ingredients for leveling up your association’s digital experience.
The 3 Ingredients for Shifting to Digital
Your Audience - The most important aspect of your association is your members, or your audience. Now, imagine a world where you’re consistently broadening your audience to where you can reach more people. The more people you have in your audience, the more opportunities you have to fulfill your mission. The key to audience growth is engagement. Understanding the way your audience engages with your digital footprint, or your content, is how you’ll digitally transform your association in the short and long-term.
Your Content - As mentioned above, quality content is key to reaching current and new audience members. When we say content, we don’t just mean blog posts. Webinars, emails, education modules, social media videos and yes, blog posts - all are valuable to your members. Like a digital newspaper subscription, sometimes digital content is offered from behind a membership paywall to drive online revenue. Because most content is digital these days, you can distribute it for free and drive brand awareness.
Your Data - You are continuously gathering useful data from your audience. For example, when you share a piece of free content, the way your members and audiences interact with that content can give you important hints about what they care about. Data is the key to digital transformation because it tells you what your members like, consume, need, want and buy.
Using Data to Create a Growth Strategy
Your data has a unique story to tell about how to grow your association.
A combination of your audience + content + data can kickstart your association’s digital growth. Data tells a story about your audience that unlocks more personalized experiences that will create more meaningful connections to your association.
And guess what? You don’t have to be a data scientist to make this leap. You’ve been automatically gathering data through events, email outreach, and website traffic. The key is to tap into this data using what’s called a customer data platform (CDP) and use it to make intelligent campaigns that speak directly to your members, subscribers, and sponsors.
When your strategy is informed by a CDP, you get a unified understanding of the people you serve while tracking trends and uncovering growth opportunities. That’s where Hum comes in. Think of us as full service data experts, guided by the only CDP custom built for association growth.
Start Small - With Your #1 Association Growth Priority
We often hear that associations don't know where to start when it comes to digital transformation. Our recommendation is to start small. Pick your highest priority goal, unlock the data you need to understand and solve for this key challenge, and work your way up.
We're here to help.
Hum provides the digital strategy, data intelligence tools and services you need to solve your most pressing growth hurdle in a matter of weeks. From there, if you’re happy with Hum’s data-driven results, we grow together, tackling each unique hurdle in kind, with tools, resources, services, and support to help you along your journey.
Do you have a growth challenge in mind? We’ll handle it - in 6 months or less.
It’s easy, risk-free, and quite literally free to get started. We start by reviewing your technology stack, key tactics and areas of growth opportunity in a free data strategy workshop. You can expect to leave this session with an actionable go-forward plan around your top growth priorities. From there, you can bring it to life with your team, or, you can tap us in to make it happen for you.
Let’s get started - what do you have to lose?