When it comes to engagement, members are in the driver’s seat. The fact is, members have always engaged with an association on their own terms, based on how the members define value, not how the association thinks they should.
Until recently, associations have been able to ignore this fact, and still succeed. Associations work hard to craft value propositions and engagement strategies based on the (erroneous) idea that “engagement” equals “service to the association,” and “value” is defined by the association and then given to the member.
This strategy has worked well enough up to this point—although never as well as associations would have liked. Ever since associations realized that members who actually use the association’s services and benefits tend to renew at higher levels and spend more money with the organization, associations have been agonizing over how to get more members engaged.
The engagement question has become even more important as we complete the transition to the Information Age. Today information itself (not the source of the information) is the product, the choices of how to engage with information are myriad, and “on demand” interaction is the key to value. And, even the most carefully-crafted, association-defined value proposition can’t change that fact.
How to Understand, Map, and Use Member Value to Increase Engagement
On February 6, I presented a webinar for Association Universe on The New Rules of Engagement: Understanding and Using Member Value to Drive Engagement. If you’re interested, you can access the presentation recording here. The webinar covers:
- The new definition of engagement.
- The relationship between value and engagement.
- How to map member value.
- 14 ways to use value to drive engagement.
The New Rules of Engagement aren’t really new—at least the principles behind them aren’t. The New Rules of Engagement simply acknowledge something that has always been true but that associations are still trying to get their heads around: Members and customers drive value. Value drives engagement. Engagement drives everything else. Engagement is the result of the value proposition, not the beginning.