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2013 — The Year of Saying No

by | Dec 13, 2012 | Industry News & Trends

Don’t join Pinterest; don’t create an infographic; don’t wax poetic about storytelling…if it doesn’t make sense for your organizational goals, or if you aren’t willing to invest the resources in making it a success, don’t do it.

Recently, gamification came under some fire when Gartner Research released a study with the headline “Gartner predicts that by 2014, 80 percent of current gamification applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design.” The founder of Bunchball, one of the first gamification companies, Rajat Paharia, fired back with, “Poor implementations are going to fail. That’s not news; poor implementations of anything are going to fail.” (While we’re throwing out new media statistics, why not add that 95% of blogs are abandoned before any real return is realized. Does that mean blogging is dead?)

Don’t do anything in 2013 because it’s shiny and the pundits are talking about it. Do it because it makes sense for your association. Do it because you’ve looked at other options and you’re excited about the potential, not because the keynote speaker told you to. You know your organization best. You know your members. You know what they will respond to (and if you don’t, you’re in the best position to ask them). By the same argument don’t rule something out because a pundit tells you it’s not on the “in” list for 2013.

If you’re truly being innovative in 2013, you will fail (at some point). But don’t make the reason poor implementation or lack of resources. That’s controllable. When you innovate, commit to it.

Engaging members is about relationships and that’s always “in” no matter what year. 2013 is not the year of big data or gamification or even mobile. It, and every year, is the year of the member. If those other things fit into your engagement goals, do them. If not, pass. Find value in what others are saying (after all, pundits and analysts report on trends and data and are good at what they do) but don’t rely solely on their advice.


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