When new association research is released, I try to stay on top of it and share the highpoints on this blog.
A recent report, “Associations: A Benchmarking Report on Association Priorities, Challenges and Strategies for the Coming Year” by McKinley Marketing, Inc., had some insights on what the priorities for associations are in 2009.
I was encouraged to see that the responses heavily focused on getting and keeping members. In challenging times, I cannot think of a much better priority. The ongoing, renewable membership relationship can sustain an organization like no other revenue stream.
Here is how respondents answered the question, “What are your three highest priorities for 2009?” They said:
- Improving member retention -- 50%
- New Member Acquisition -- 41%
- Branding/Increasing Awareness -- 36%
- Developing new methods for member engagement -- 34%
- Increasing meeting attendance -- 25%
By the way, “incorporating social media into marketing strategy” came in 7Th place with 18%.
The report also concluded that “Direct mail, event marketing and public relations are considered the most effective tactics to accomplish all [marketing} goals; online media tactics are considered the least effective.” However, as expertise grows, I suspect that online tactics will become more important in coming years.
The survey went to over 2,500 associations and participating associations included well known groups like the: American Library Association; Association Forum of Chicagoland; American Society for Quality; American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers; American Society of Mechanical Engineers; American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and National Society of Professional Engineers
What would you set as your organizations top three priorities in 2009? Please feel free to share them.
 2009 Economic Impact on Associations, page 10