Everywhere you turn, you are bombarded with political campaign talk today. So, all that recent political talk has got me thinking about the parallels between political campaigns & new membership campaigns. Further, the necessity in having effective Association membership management software to help membership based organizations achieve their campaign goals effectively. In this article, I launch my own campaign to outline some clear reasons why you should invest in the right software to achieve your goals.
Executing Campaigns with Membership Software
About this time of the year your team is likely seeking better ways in order to attract and retain (renew) your membership. You may even be embarking on a membership campaign right now to close out the year. In order to be successful in that campaign, you, your board, and your staff must all hop on board with a unified message and campaign objective in order to succeed in your Association’s mission. But, before you do that, let’s talk a bit out what you need in terms of technology and process.
Your Membership Campaign Goals:
First, every campaign should have a metric based goal. Your campaign success translates into a shared prosperity for your Association, its team, and your membership. In the political world, it’s polling. For your Association, the goal may be as simple as 200 more members in 2017.
How do you and your team view your Association’s mission? Is it simply long-term sustainability through membership growth and management?
In the political realm today, you hear tons about who is leading in the polls, right? In your association, your campaign goal should be agreed upon, measured, & monitored. Your membership software should have the ability to measure what is important to you so that everyone may be invested in the process. Further, have the integrity in order to be trusted.
Volunteers Are Needed to Succeed:
Volunteering at every level is part of any organization’s success. Research shows the ideal volunteer journey starts with small tasks and virtual participation, working all the way up to committees and leadership positions.
Campaigns depend on the passionate participation of large numbers of volunteers who have specific tasks assigned to them, sure, but whose real function is to spread their passion to other members and new recruits. Volunteers can make or break a campaign both in terms of numbers and levels of enthusiasm. Ask yourself, how can you strengthen your volunteer corps? Hint: ask them what would make them feel most engaged.
Further, implement software like Higher Logic’s volunteer management software which can help automate volunteer management, personalize volunteer profiles, track engagement, & reward and recognize. Bringing together members for a variety of campaigns requires unique strategies and techniques that leverage individual contributions.
Put Your Marketing Hats on:
Have you noticed that political campaigns no longer depend solely on TV ads as they did a couple of decades ago? Sophisticated campaigns take advantage of every marketing medium that enters their radar, and they also employ segmentation to reach the various subgroups within their target audience—perhaps using TV ads for Matures, and various social media and website tools for younger members.
Have you segmented your target membership for effective marketing? My recent blogs detail how to accomplish this key approach.
“It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” –Josef Stalin
We all know what happened to Mr. Stalin. You, on the other hand, understand the value of your members’ input. Your members vote with their membership fees, and their time. But they also can vote by having a real say in your programming through online member surveys, segmented focus groups, or other frequent, organized interactions with management such as happy hours or teas created expressly for boosting interaction between members and Association management. In your Association, who counts the votes?
Community Collaboration Within A Campaign
Community collaboration is so critical to get the message out about your campaigns. Who would have thought a decade ago that a Presidential race like we are seeing today would be so impacted by Twitter and Facebook posts by their candidates.
It’s amazing, isn’t it?
While public facing sites such as Facebook are good for many political campaigns, I believe that a private community would likely be a better alternative to “pull your members” into your own associations backyard.
It’s not that elusive. In fact, it’s easier than ever before to build a secure, dynamic, and private online community for your organization. With a private community you may be able to do some of the following to help with your membership campaign:
Build a knowledge base of best practices, go-to-market plans, sample documents, spreadsheets, images, videos, and more.
Give community members a place to collaborate, ask questions, provide answers or resources, and discuss the hot topics of the day.
Provide a single source of updated information for your events and make it simple for users to find and engage the ones that matter most to them.
Connect experienced mentors with ambitious mentees to share resources, experiences, and work together to achieve professional and personal goals.
Communication Functionality in Software:
We have all likely heard the slogans from the presidential campaign this year. If not, let’s review:
“Stronger Together”- Hillary Clinton
“Make America Great Again”- Donald Trump
Personally, I like “Peace and Prosperity” from the 1956 U.S. presidential campaign slogan of Dwight D. Eisenhower. It sure would be nice to go back to the campaigns of yesteryear, wouldn’t it? But, who am I to judge! I am only allowed to provide unbiased reports…..
Whatever your campaign message, your associations membership software must have email software which will help your team get the message out to the right people at the right time.
Almost all membership software of all tier levels has some form of email capabilities. The key difference in term of viability is “how” they are able to do it. And, what reporting you are able to perform before or after the message is sent to understand it’s effectiveness.
Is Marketing Automation Software a better option or is email marketing? Suffice it to say, most membership software solutions do not have marketing automation features built into their solutions. If that is applicable for more robust campaigns, you need to come to grips that you will likely need to integrate with a marketing automation platform such as Informz.
In my opinion, all political campaigns should be focused on hope and prosperity. And, to that end, engaged members feel more hopeful and are likely to act on that through participating in Association events, which in turn, are likely designed to spread prosperity for them.
As we’ve all learned from campaigns in this century, technology can and is valuable to help spread their message. And, likely the stronger the support you receive from your software, the more likely it is that your campaign will succeed too despite the “messenger”.
Membership and political campaigns come in all sizes and budgets—and so does the right membership management software. Please let us know how we can assist in order to match the available software to your Association’s campaign strategies.
Until next time, keep SmartThoughts in mind.