If there was one piece of advice that I would give Association Executives for 2020 is to start off the year with a quick review of the alignment of your value proposition with your messaging to members and potential members. Taking 15 minutes on your website can help assure you are expressing the current views of your association. A little clean up can help you start 2020 with clarity and focus.
Step 1: Review the About Us section of the website. Does this contain your current vision and mission? Additionally, confirm the vision and mission are current and applicable for your primary member types as a minimum, or even better, to all member types. Some associations miss this opportunity to succinctly explain who they are and instead tell a long story of the history of who they have been. Current is the key word here.
Step 2: Confirm your programs and services are well aligned with the vision and mission. We have seen associations that say they are advocacy-oriented and yet not doing much in that arena. Others may say that they are advancing research, however, they have little funding capacity to do so. This is a great opportunity to sunset activities that are not aligned with mission or to boost your website language around your real goals.
Step 3. Visit your membership benefits page and look at the first three benefits listed for each member type. Try to make these as tangibly aligned with the vision and mission as possible. If a “discount” on something is among the first three, is it mission-focused or is it a simple Costco Membership-type benefit? Try to do this for each member type because different membership types may want different things from the association. Supplier or Associate members may be there for business development reasons and not to achieve the primary mission of the association. Does their membership value description reflect the difference?
Finally, if there is a lot of misalignment, it may be time to revisit the association’s strategy and or membership value proposition for one or more types of members. Starting to plan for it early in 2020 makes it that much sooner that you can assure your association is articulating your value to your stakeholders.
Need help re-aligning your value proposition? Reach out to Mike Thomas to see how The Moery Company can help!