A new year is a fresh opportunity for membership organisations to upgrade their business strategies, redefine their brands, and attract new clients for the months ahead.
As we enter the first couple of months in 2019, your company will have a chance to reflect on the things you learned last year about member preferences, recruitment and more, and use them to guide your decisions going forward.
For years, membershipbespoke has supported trade bodies and membership groups in achieving their goals. Now, we have a few simple strategies to take with you this year so that you can make the most of 2019.
1. Start with a Goal
The first step on any transformative business journey begins with deciding what you want to achieve. Look back over your accomplishments in 2018, and your failures, and ask yourself what you want to be different by the time you get to 2020.
Remember, the best goals are “SMART”. That means that you need to choose a specific target, make it measurable, then ensure that it’s achievable, relevant and time-bound.
For instance, if you decide that you want your high-performing team to attract more repeat memberships in 2019, your goal might be: Attract 20% more membership renewals in 2019 than we had in 2018. You can even set milestones throughout the year to track your progress.
2. Get to Know Your Members
Preparing your company for growth in 2019 means starting with the needs of your members and working backwards. The more you know about the people in your professional institute, and which factors compel them to stay with you, the easier it will be to keep people coming back for more in the year ahead.
Use customer surveys, analytics, and even artificial intelligence where necessary to gather information about:
- Your member personas: Which demographics describe your core members? What’s their age group, what are their pain points and expectations?
- Donation and sponsorship preferences: When and why are your members most likely to invest in your group?
- Marketing preferences: What kind of promotional methods do your members respond best to? Do they like to stay up-to-date with your latest activities through a monthly newsletter, or connect with you on social media?
3. Form Strategic Partnerships
“Collaboration” is a bigger buzzword than ever in 2019. Sometimes, to get ahead of the competition, you need to strengthen your business with outside support. For instance, a diverse team of talented people in your professional body will benefit your company with new perspectives, out-of-the-box thinking, and inspiring ideas.
To access this diverse workforce, you might need to improve your hiring strategy with a specialist recruitment group like membershipbespoke. We can eliminate unconscious bias from your employment decisions.
Your new recruitment partner can also help with other parts of the hiring process, like introducing you to competency-based interviewing techniques, or supporting you as you write job descriptions.
4. Improve Your Employer Brand
Employer branding is crucial in the modern world, particularly as various industries grow more competitive. Unfortunately, many membership organisations struggle with building the right reputation, as they’re often associated with old-fashioned and traditional practices.
The good news is that you can take charge of your image, by providing your hiring managers with an elevator pitch that revives your identity. As you begin to attract new team members who are passionate about your cause, they’ll be able to convey the unique aspects of your organisation to your clients and customers too.
According to a Gallup study, businesses with engaged employees have a 10% higher customer satisfaction rating.
5. Coach and Develop your Employees
Attracting the right kind of talent to your team is a great way to improve your chances of growth this year. However, it’s also useful to have a plan in place to develop the people in your teams. When you provide your people with the right training, they’ll be better equipped to convince clients to invest in memberships.
For instance, teach your heads of membership and leadership staff how to use analytics software to determine which people are most likely to join your company and renew their contracts over time. Once your leaders know how to evaluate and use client information to their advantage, they can act as mentors for other employees, and guide them towards better results too.
Development strategies will earn you additional memberships, and they will also help with attracting and retaining talent for your team too!
6. Future proof Yourself
Finally, professional bodies, membership organisations, and trade unions are always changing with the arrival of new trends and technologies. If you want to take your group to the next level this year, consider investing in something transformative for your business.
For instance, artificial intelligence is one of the most exciting trends in the industry to date, and it’s a great way to empower your employees. A Head of Membership might assign repetitive membership questions to an automated chatbot while they focus on handling more complicated concerns.
Alternatively, your marketing team might use artificial intelligence to predict how your customers will respond to certain campaigns, reducing your risk of wasted advertising budget. Don’t be afraid to embrace new ideas as we move further into the future.
The membershipbespoke group remains the only specialist recruitment organisation in the UK, which offers a dedicated service tailored to the needs of Trade Associations, Unions, Professional and Regulatory Bodies.
We use our considerable expertise in successfully recruiting for positions across every department within a membership context. To find out more call us on 0203 4403653 or email us here.