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Disruptions – does it matter how they come?
Yes, because the speed of innovation required in the past two years helped associations learn quickly. In 2023 I see the association sector taking these lessons forward with planned disruption, change and evolution.
Disruption 1: Find New Ways to Deliver Value
With the cancellation of in-person events, associations had to find other ways to generate revenue. They tried new features and benefits that stretched the way they look at productization and generating non-dues revenue. These changes helped them see their own value in a new light.
Successful associations got closer to their members. The discussions about delivering value moved out of the boardroom and into conversations with members.
In 2023, continue to invest in finding new ways to be relevant and to engage members to learn, test and co-create.
Disruption 2: Use Digital to Get Closer to Members
Associations leaped forward into digital. Digital became a powerful means to communicate with members in a more personalized way. Associations also got quantitative insight from larger data sets to better understand their membership.
With this added information, digital became more strategic. Both the C-suite and the member engagement office examined their digital channels, data strategy and online journey.
In 2023, ensure Google Analytics is set up strategically for your organization. It’s a powerful software tool but requires some thoughtful set up to generate relevant, strategic insight.
Disruption 3: Harness Your Software Investments
AMS, LMS, CRM, community platforms… associations looked at new software. Many jumped in and experimented with modernizing older content and processes.
These systems don’t really come “out of the box” ready to use. Associations learned that they had to back up and map out strategy and business requirements – and then do the set up. Spending some time and brainpower in planning led to smoother operationalization and to so much more than just doing the old things in a new environment.
In 2023, map out business requirements based on your association’s strategic goals and your members’ needs. These requirements will help with total cost of ownership analysis and will provide a foundation to set up systems to get the most from the investment.
2023: Embrace the “Uncomfort Zone”
Associations were challenged and they rallied, finding ways to try new things and grow.
I believe that in 2023 associations will embrace change and carry forward new ways of managing the organization and leading stakeholders.
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