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Technology, your association, and your members. Where do you stand?

by | Nov 7, 2014 | Industry News & Trends

How do you go about making decisions involving the technology needs for your association that enable you to serve your members more effectively? We asked that question last week in our webinar, Make the Right Choice: Evaluating Technology for Your Association.

In the 15 years I have been involved in the association management software industry I have come to realize that an association’s technology capability is one of the leading indicators of not only how effectively they currently serve their members, but also how well positioned they are to meet the demands that change will inevitably send their way.

There is no getting around the reality that many organizations are experiencing generational shifts within their membership as Boomers retire and Millennials enter the workforce. We have noted the large generational change with membership before, as many associations are currently dealing with three or four different generations in their ranks. This creates a real challenge for these organizations, as they have to make tough choices on how to best serve these diverse interests.

With younger members come expectations related to the membership experience they demand. Technology has provided the underlying current that has helped shaped the world they know and grew up in. What may seem like the bleeding edge of technology for many is quite often the “norm” for them.

However, the good news is that by strategically utilizing technology you and your staff can deliver that positive experience to every member. We live in an on-demand world, and providing members 24/7/365 access to your products and services is no longer a luxury, but a necessity to maintain relevance and identity.

During our webinar we asked the association professionals in attendance a series of questions regarding their technology capabilities and choices. Their answers painted a very interesting picture of how prepared these associations are to deliver the member experience their members will expect.

Here are some of the interesting results:

  • 67% of the group believed technology could best help improve their membership management and marketing and communications processes
  • 60% stated their associations were making financial investments in technology annually
  • 60% believe their association’s available technology is not up-to-date, and as a result, does not serve their members effectively
  • 20% when asked why they believe they come up short with their technology capabilities, responded they were unsure of exactly what their tech needs were
  • 70% either did not believe, or were unsure whether their technology capabilities made their association attractive to younger member and prospects – which is very concerning considering the current influx of Millennials in the workforce

In the end, it is important to look a technology from the correct perspective. Technology is an essential tool to effectively advance and manage an association. It is especially true in tough economic times, the strategic use of technology can be the most efficient way for an association to communicate more effectively, consistently engage its members, and simplify much of the daily work taken on by an organization’s staff or volunteers.

The potential impact of technology on an association is amazing, but determining which tools are appropriate and how to employ them effectively can seem overwhelming. To help ease that process we have created several invaluable resources like checklists, comparison guides and questions that need to be asked when association leaders are in the process of selecting and implementing technology solutions for their organization. We hope you find these resources useful when you’re ready to take the journey to determine your organization’s technology needs.


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