Since the advent of COVID-19, most business operations have been turned upside down. Since there’s still no definitive timeline for when business as usual will resume, moving forward with a modified marketing plan is your best bet for moving forward.
For member-driven organizations like professional associations, the now-remote workplace poses a unique set of challenges: How do you continue to provide value for members? How do you attract new members? How do you manage conferences with social-distancing restrictions?
We’ve helped clients navigate these issues by realigning their marketing efforts to adapt to their members’ current needs. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Protect your brand. Now more than ever, strengthening and controlling your brand message is important. As you focus on those activities and services that are essential to your members, be sure to align your marketing messaging and program assets to effectively communicate and reinforce your value.
- Create revenue. During the past five months of quarantine, we’ve collectively shifted to online learning—so use that to your advantage: Solidify your leadership position by ensuring that members can access your valuable content in a user-friendly, web-based delivery format. Think seminars, continuing education courses, leadership development classes—give your members the content they need most right now. These digital assets can also open up new revenue stream opportunities for your association, both immediate and long-term.
- Revise your content strategy. With many of us still working from home, digital media use has skyrocketed. But be mindful that you need a balanced marketing strategy that includes both online and offline touches to reflect the way your members are consuming content now, and to reinforce your brand message.
- Strengthen digital relationships. To make connections with your members as they face a continued remote workplace (with travel restrictions and budget cuts), digital connectivity is essential. Create videos and share them via email or on social media channels; create webinars and podcasts; and brand your e-conference assets, etc.
- Connect through virtual meetings. In lieu of face-to-face meetings use virtual e-conferences to share resources and make powerful connections with your members no matter their physical location. To make attendees feel included and connected in a tangible, memorable way, create and distribute branded e-conference swag kits that include items like wireless earbuds, notepads and t-shirts or hats.
These are just a few of the ways you can adapt your marketing program to better connect with your members. Any other ideas for strengthening client or member relationships in this remote age? I’d love your feedback.