It is the Best of Times!

Eighty percent of marketing is very logical. However, twenty percent of it is counter intuitive. Understanding the counter intuitive aspects of marketing is what often determines success.

Here is an example of a non-logical truth. The best time to acquire new members can be during an economic downturn.

Yes, you read that correctly.

As I scan reports for membership acquisition efforts, I am seeing some very strong returns. One organization that I spoke with today is seeing a turn around this year after many years of declining membership. Another long term client is experiencing their best new member year ever.

Why is this?

First of all, any change prompts people to look at new opportunities and solutions. We are clearly in the midst of great change as a society.

Secondly, during times of economic uncertainly, people look for an anchor. Professionally associations can be that anchor. Think for a second, if you knew your job was in jeopardy, isn’t one of the first places you would go for help your professional association or network. That is the place to make contacts, go to job boards, attend meetings, and interact on a list serv.

Here is the bottom line. Don’t base your marketing on what you hear in the news or what seems logical. Stay in the membership acquisition market – emphasizing the unique services you alone can provide -- and read the marketing results. You might be surprised by the number of loyal members you will add when you become their knight in shining armor.


Maddie Grant said...

Totally right. Great post! This is exactly the time to rethink things and find the golden opportunities.

Deirdre Reid said...

For trade associations the argument can be made to associate (vendor) members that this is the time to develop the relationships that may be fruitful later, and to gain visibility as the one who stuck by the association during tough times. Membership can also be a source of industry knowledge, news and gossip -- with that you can maintain a competitive edge. This is what we're preaching, but in our market (housing in CA), it still is a very tough sell. But we keep at it.

Tony Rossell said...

Deirdre -- I always appreciate your comments. There are some sectors of the economy that are particularly tough-- like the one you serve. But I am involved with one manufacturing association that will see membership growth for the first time in 10 years. And I think we all know that manufacturing is overall seeing hard times. As you noted, if we can provide help and solutions in tough times, we can win long term loyal members. Tony