Case Study: Does this Marketing Stuff Really Work?

Can negative membership trends really be turned around through putting membership marketing best practices in place? Can marketing really make a difference even if the value proposition, dues pricing, and product offerings don’t change?

The answer is YES!

Clearly, any non-profit should offer the best value, optimum price and top product that it can. But just fixing the marketing component can have a big influence.

That’s why I appreciated the presentation done by Lori Jordan, Director of Association Services, for the Water Environment Federation (WEF) at the ASAE and the Center’s recent Marketing and Membership Conference.

According to her presentation, WEF had seen membership consistently decline beginning from 2001 to 2006. However, over the past three years through the deployment of an aggressive membership acquisition program and development of a multi-channel, high frequency renewal system, WEF membership began to climb.

In addition to adding new members through acquisition efforts, the new renewal system has helped the retention rate increase by an impressive 7 points.

The WEF story is an encouragement that there is hope for organizations that are experiencing a membership decline. If you would like a copy of the full presentation, please send me an email. My address is on the sidebar of the blog or you can reach me through LinkedIn.

In full disclosure, please note that WEF has been a client of my firm, Marketing General, Inc., for the past three years.

What successful turn around stories have you seen? Please feel free to share your comments.


Kevin said...

Great to see a success story. I'd love to hear about some of the tactics involved in the aggressive marketing strategy.

Tony Rossell said...

Kevin -- Thanks, I will keep posting items on this topic. In most of these success stories the interesting thing is that many organizations find success when they simply focus on doing the basics well. Execution is the key. Tony

Alix Shutello said...

Tony, I'd love to know the tactics WEF used! Is that something you can share?

Alix Shutello

Tony Rossell said...

Hi Alix -- I think that in the presentation WEF noted the important role that my marketing agency played in helping to achieve these numbers. Many times it makes a lot of sense to bring an agency on board. A good client/agency relationship can produce great results because you combine market knowlege with time tested techniques and solutions. Tony