Friday, June 12, 2009

Membership Marketing and the Web

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 7:49 AM
I have begun the review of the raw data from the Membership Marketing Benchmarking Survey that we launched this spring. We had over 400 survey participants.

From my initial review of the data there are many surprises and confirmations of what I expected.

My first surprise was how little associations are using the web opportunities to acquire members compared to other membership marketing channels.

We asked participants to highlight what channels they use to get new members and how they allocate their membership marketing budgets over these channels. The results showed that some commonly used web channels for acquisition see limited very use by associations and make up a very small portion of their budgets. For example:
  • Only 8.3% of those who responded use search engine advertising to acquire members and this channel only made up 0.29% of membership marketing budgets.
  • Only 12.2% use banner ads and links on others web sites to market membership and this only made up on 0.13% of the survey participants’ overall membership marketing expenditures.
Based on what the opportunities are using these channels, associations are under utilizing these tools to reach out and attract members. I suspect that these numbers will grow dramatically in the future.

On the other hand, 35.2% are using social networking to help attract members. Still this only makes up 0.78% of membership marketing budgets. Interestingly, 26.8% of associations who report using social media to attract members reported a decline in new member acquisition compared to 21% of the total respondents.

Does this mean that necessity is the mother of invention and these groups are giving social media a try or that social media diverts resources from more productive acquisition opportunities?

The vast majority of respondents -- 84.8% -- use their association website and this only makes up 3.2% of membership marketing budgets.

By the way, just a reminder that the world is changing and we need to keep pushing the envelope. Here is a post card promoting my grandfather’s Chrysler dealership. He is pictured on the left.


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