As ASAE Annual Meeting 2016 got started this year in Salt Lake City, it’s preceded by AMCs Engaged!, one of my favorite events each year. In a room full of business leaders and professionals serving associations, the desire to connect, engage and grow was the theme of the day. The focus was on speed, and knowing the leverage points that will accelerate your ability to grow.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the day:
- Strategic planning is dead! Highlighted by the opening keynote speaker.
- Mobile apps are reducing waste and increasing revenue.
- Collaboration tools are changing the way we work, and increasing productivity.
Strategic Planning Is Dead!
We have moved into a very fluid and progressive era. To remain competitive in business, we must move from annual reviews of our strategic plan to a much more dynamic shifting and assessment of our plan and our performance.
To move forward fast is not the lone goal. It’s to move forward fast and tilt the pitch in your favor. Are you doing this in 90-day cycles or over years? At YM, we’re always adapting as the voice of the customer changes, when our competitors shift, or when new technology and business models emerge.
Programmatic advertising, for example, is an innovative non-dues revenue opportunity for associations, which leapfrogs the traditional means of advertising and buyer’s guides. Advertisers can now pay associations to run ad campaigns that display their ads to associations’ members across the entire web. Ads are distributed by YM using real-time bidding techniques through more than 100 ad exchanges whenever an association’s member visits one of the tens of thousands of websites that participate in these ad exchanges or within a member’s social media feeds. The quality and targeted nature of association member data provides advertisers with higher converting campaigns. The strong ROI for advertisers results in recurring media buys and ongoing campaigns that generate significant new revenue for the associations.
Now, going back to dynamic strategy questions. Every quarter, you must always ask yourself:
- What was the most important strategic accomplishment your organization made during the past 90 days?
- How have you changed the field of play (to win) during that time? If nothing, then you’re obviously lagging behind your competitors.
Efficiency + Productivity with Mobile Apps
We know mobile apps provide a path to greater engagement. AMCI led the way this year using a branded app for its annual meeting in Anaheim and at AMCs Engaged!. The mission was to drive its strategic use of data, furthering the content associations provide to members and the market, and to increase visibility of sponsors.
Here are some results of attendees using the app at AMCs Engaged!:
- The app was adopted by 64% of attendees.
- In app messaging, tweets and photo sharing were the most common features used, with the added value of digital access to speaker presentations and notes.
- And, more than 100 attendees participated in eligible CAE sessions, receiving their education credits and certifications electronically via AMC Institutes AMS, which was connected to the mobile app.
More importantly, by using the mobile app, AMCI is lowering staff time and cost spent on manual data entry of credits and certificates. The app automates the process saving hours and costs each day.
Let’s Collaborate + Connect
There are lots of applications in play today, but on the mind of many at AMCs Engaged! were three things:
- Systems are siloed and holding them back, often the counter pull to accelerating growth. On-premise and customization is limiting their ability to quickly adapt to changing member needs or business strategy. What may have been right years ago worked. But, nowadays, nothing stands the test of time.
- Price sits high in the consideration criteria when selecting technology. There’s a need for price as a consideration, and to educate boards and customers on a new metric that should rank higher—that metric, return on value.
- With robust, cloud-based AMS’ offering file sharing, platform connection and unification of data, forward-thinking AMCs and associations are enabled to engage in real-time collaboration on the documents, and gain speed and competitive advantage with data that produces insight and action. Consider that one of the most challenging issues associations deal with on a daily basis is leveraging current membership data and getting members to update their information. When a member registers for an event like ASAE, that data should update their member record. But disperse systems don’t allow for that. Or, when a member changes jobs, the system should intuitively know the two or three courses most likely needed to be successful. Unfortunately, when the job title lives in the AMS and the profile of the learner in the LMS, the two important pieces of data don’t connect.
Essentially, people want their systems to talk to each other. They are tired of having siloed technologies and separate data. However, forward-thinking associations are working with membership management software partners like YourMembership to implement integrated platforms, increase productivity, and get on their way to build for the future.
Let’s start building the associations of the future with the technology that will get them there fast. Learn more during ASAE Annual Meeting 2016 this week by visiting #ASAE16, @jpguilbault and @YourMembership on Twitter. Or simply check out what an integrated platform can do for your association now by clicking here.