Friday, October 23, 2009

A Process to help Define Member Value

Posted by Princess Eva Angelica at 11:12 AM
The last couple of weeks I have met with a number of organizations that are re-focusing on defining their membership value proposition.

It is a smart thing to do because it is so easy in life to get lost in the trees of urgent matters and not see the forest. When we are selling membership, stepping back and seeing the big picture is essential. That’s because members want a clear and concrete reason to join and continue their membership.

So I wanted to share a quick three step group or team exercise that I use to help get re-focused on the big picture and big value that you deliver to your members. Here it is:
  1. Define and list all the features of membership. Yes, start with the trees not the forest. Put as many features of membership on the list as come to mind. It helps to hold and touch these features. So to help lay your tangible member benefits on the table. For those that are not tangible, print out descriptions of them from you web site to make them more tangible. One feature on your list, for example, might be your job bank another might be the membership social network.

  2. Assign benefits to the list of features. As a next step, write down the key benefit(s) that the product or service provides to a member. Be specific. For example, a professional association job bank means members access a trusted source to identify jobs specifically in their field. A social network means members can instantly connect with professional colleagues who can assist them with a particular problem or need.

  3. Connect the dots. Now that you have a long list of features and benefits, the next step is consolidating them into simple and concrete value statements. It is useful to center benefits around one of life’s BIG three motivators: Pain, Gain, and Fear. So, for example, a member can gain by joining because she is in the know about the top jobs in your field and is regularly connected to the prominent networkers in the field who can help her advance her career. Membership helps you get ahead faster.

This value exercise does not need to take a long time. And you do not need to bring in a facilitator. Why don’t you take a few hours to try this with your colleagues and post a comment on how it went?

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