However, this does not mean that a membership program can be put on auto pilot. Continually testing new approaches in copy, offers, formats, and channels is required to keep a program healthy.
Marketing works best when it flows and adjusts like a team in a basketball game instead of like a scripted theatrical performance.
That’s why I very much appreciate the perspective in the recent article, “The Perils of Strategic Planning”, in Associations Now.
“Flexibility and fluidity, not strategic plans, are the keys to success . . . the ability to respond quickly without moving through layers of committees for approval to adjust the plan.”
This may sound basic, but I have seen strategic plans, bylaws, and operational procedures shackle programs that otherwise might be thriving. Membership development works best when the marketer keeps a finger on the pulse of the market. As new tactics prove successful, the strategy should be adjusted to respond to the new reality.
 James F. Hollan, CAE, “The Perils of Strategic Planning”, Associations Now, (August, 2008): 72 – 78.