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Growing Engagement through Multi-Generational Reach

by | Feb 24, 2016 | Industry News & Trends

Working with over 4,300 associations worldwide, we often hear the same question, “how do we reach and engage millennials?” Our response, “you may be asking the wrong question.” Over the past few years the millennial audience has been a focal point for associations, but why?

Millennials tend to be early technology adopters and represent a change in the way people connect with the world for knowledge exchange and social connections. Both are great shifts that an association should harness, but we must really understand that all generations are adopting this change – not just the younger working generation. In order to thrive, your engagement strategy must expand to reach all age demographics.

Discover how to engage all working generations at the same time. The number of people we connect with, the number of ways we connect and the amount of information we consume has increased the complexity of our daily lives, and capturing a few minutes of someone’s attention is more valuable than ever.

In today’s always connected world, you have about a minute to make a connection. Are you there, are you ready? In order to maximize the reach and relevance of your message at the micro-moment of need, you should:

    • Think on-demand, always connected, and mobile first. Your website must be optimized for mobile. User experience matters. Quick time to recognized value is the measure of success.


    • Be relevant. Your information has to be useful. Connecting them to the right answer based on intent, timing, and style is critical – is your audience searching to do something, learn something, go somewhere, or buy something?


    • Use flexible and fast tools. The systems and tools you use must be flexible enough to accommodate how your members engage. Consider the necessities of today’s “on-demand” world; mobile responsive, video embedding, social media feeds and single sign-on access.


Bring Member Connections Back to You
It takes 7 seconds to make a first impression. Seek technologies like your AMS, LMS and CMS based on their ability to organize data and connect to other applications like mobile apps, career centers, marketplaces, etc. Populate with relevant content in a multi-format approach to become the hub for member resources and connections.

Modernize Learning and Certification Programs
Most members will struggle to find a full, uninterrupted hour in the day to complete a certification course or watch a video. Harness a learning management system that offers flexible content delivery so members can complete education courses in smaller segments and at their own pace.

Be the Career Hub for Your Members
Today’s professionals are moving between jobs faster than ever and are quick to jump at great opportunities when presented. Sharing job posts through your social media channels, job alert emails, and job board feeds will bring new value and traffic to your website.

Create an Interactive Annual Show
Technology can help you enhance your next event while onsite and before they even arrive. Let members contribute to session content by introducing live polling and discussions. Add gamification, easy networking opportunities and a more informative conference experience with a mobile event app, and increase vendors’ engagement with a virtual tradeshow for the members who aren’t able to attend in person.

As people and technology changes, so must our communication methods to remain inclusive and relevant to our audience. Targeting just the younger working generation could leave your association missing out on a large group of potential members who are also consuming information through technology in various ways. Associations must harness a multi-generational and multi-format approach with the right tools, at the right time in order to thrive.


“YM Membership was our method for collecting all of our alumni members in one place, and allowed them to collaborate with each other in a really meaningful way.”

– Mark Goebel, TM Forum, previously Girl Scouts of the USA Alumnae Association


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