Yesterday at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Antonio, attendees engaged in a session that asked them to reconsider the classic membership model and theory behind membership and subscription programs.
As we are circling around this concept of “the new normal,” we must begin to look at the fact that the changing culture of our work force has different wants and needs. With regards to membership, this new crop of individuals want the tangible, the direct benefit, and the question that will be asked after (or instead of) “Why should I join?” is, “What am I going to get for my money?”
We also know that “we’re doing it this way because this is how we’ve always done it” is OUT. If you’re membership is declining, it’s time you try something different.
Membership, in many cases, is utilized for financial reasons more so than for purposes of engagement. As membership is a revenue strain (and, as we membership folk proclaim, our job depends on that revenue), it is important to consider the ‘why’ when promoting membership.
Deborah Obalil, who moderated the session asked participants to “be honest with yourself about why you are doing it. Memberships can inspire, or fail to inspire loyalty” without a defined goal in sight.
Obalil then asked attendees to think of their own membership program with regards to what they do to inspire loyalty. The loyalty of a member to an organization consists of the following:
- Belief in the mission
- Tangible benefits: “what are they getting out of it?”
- Recognition/validation “wearing membership as a badge of honor” Read the rest of this entry »