Looking Toward Themes and Trends for Associations
The .orgSource team just got back from the Avectra Users and Developers Conference (AUDC) in sunny Orlando, Fla. It was a great conference with lots of interesting presentations and case studies from associations who are taking advantage of their AMS and other integrations to do amazing things. We presented on identifying the right mobile strategy for your organization, and the importance of mobile was definitely a theme we saw at the conference. Here are some of the other themes and trends we saw taking shape in the association industry.
You’ve heard of “Big Data” and what it can do for organizations that are smart enough to leverage it. Well your AMS is one BIG data source. Combine that with data from all your other systems such as LMS, CMS, ERP, etc. and you have some powerful intelligence about your membership and customers. Using business intelligence tools beyond basic reporting is where this is all going. Can you predict member behavior? Can you tailor communications? Can you identify “at risk” members who may not renew? Yes you can with BI tools. While BI can be intimidating, there are many associations starting to really harness its power into actionable tactics and seeing ROI of their efforts.
Mobile was another hot topic this year. There were at least four sessions that discussed mobile strategies, the different flavors of mobile, case studies and integrations; each of the sessions was popular with attendees. In many ways mobile is still very new, and we all want to know the right path to go down. There is no easy answer; it depends on what your members’ needs are, their behavior in using mobile devices to access your information and your business goals. You may end up with a hybrid approach – such as mobile apps for specific uses (like meetings) and a responsive-designed website for everyday access. Check out our presentation to give you some starting points and guidance.
While not a new topic, personalization has started to see some “rubber hits the road” in associations. Some associations are starting to really leverage the AMS data they know about their members and combine that with information in their content management systems to create personalized content spaces on their website for those members. The average visitor would see different content than a logged in (or cookie’d) member. Having more a relevant content surface for individual members leads to a greater user experience and value proposition. The best implementations don’t even make it obvious that is what is happening, the member just feels like the website has the right resources for them.
Again, not a new topic, but one that always is top of mind: How do I integrate this system into that one? An association’s “website” it isn’t just the CMS. It also includes every bolted on or additional system that is web-based and ties into that main domain. For many associations that includes their member portal, learning management system, hosted job board, a hosted market place, an online community and more. The member doesn’t know these are all different systems, they just know it is your organization’s website. That is an important fact to remember as you make business decisions about how your website looks, works and interacts with other systems such as single sign-on.
Do any of these topics seem like one that your organization needs to be thinking about more? If so, drop us a line and we can talk about how we can assist you.
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