Friday, December 28, 2012

Six Ways to Use Membership Programs As a Marketing Tool

At some point in your life, you were probably a member of some type of group or orga­ni­za­tion. As a child, you might have been a Scout, reg­u­larly attended a local church or belonged to a fra­ter­nity or sorority in col­lege. As an adult, you may be a member of a pro­fes­sional orga­ni­za­tion, belong to a certain type of fitness cen­ter or even hang out with dif­fer­ent Meet Up groups. However you choose to spend your time, chances are you are hanging out with people who share interests that are akin to yours.

In busi­ness, some com­pa­nies are using mem­ber­ship mar­ket­ing as a way to keep clients engaged and reward them for their loy­alty. Here's how you - as a busi­ness owner - can take advan­tage of a mem­ber­ship program.

Build a com­mu­nity around your ideal clients. Peo­ple like to asso­ciate them­selves with like-minded peo­ple. So if you can cre­ate a way for these mem­bers to com­mu­ni­cate with each other and share ideas, they can nur­ture the relationship within your orga­ni­za­tion. Col­league become com­rades and friends, and the relationship blooms over time.

Be very spe­cific in your mes­sag­ing. When you have a group of like-minded indi­vid­u­als, you can tai­lor your mes­sages to them. Speak­ing their lingo and under­stand­ing their day-to-day tri­umphs and tribu­la­tions demon­strate your com­pas­sion and under­stand­ing for what they are try­ing to accom­plish. After all, you were most likely in their shoes at some point in time.

Cre­ate pro­grams specif­i­cally for your tribe. You're also able to cre­ate tools and resources to pro­vide on-going edu­ca­tion to help them learn and grow. Because you are focused on a par­tic­u­lar audi­ence with a spe­cific set of inter­ests and needs, you can take advan­tage of gain­ing met­rics around where they need the most help. Then you can put more effort into build­ing pro­grams that will help them become more accom­plished and successful.

Give rea­son to gather and cel­e­brate. Bring­ing your clients together for spe­cial events cre­ates a tight bond. Like most asso­ci­a­tions, tradeshows and con­fer­ences are a way to bring the mem­ber­ship together and pro­vide value-added edu­ca­tion, inspi­ra­tion and train­ing. These events even­tu­ally become a much antic­i­pated gath­er­ing year after year.

Keep door opens for new mem­bers to join. As your mem­ber­ship grows, word will get around about your orga­ni­za­tion. Out­siders will have their inter­ests peaked, and they, too, won't want to be left out. Open your doors to new mem­bers on a reg­u­lar basis to breath new life into your membership.

Ven­dors and sup­pli­ers can be lever­aged for strate­gic part­ner­ships. With a grow­ing com­mu­nity, you bring strong value to the table in terms of your client base. You can cre­ate spe­cial mem­ber perks by part­ner­ing with ven­dors and sup­pli­ers who cater to your indus­try. Whether it is a dis­count on office sup­plies, equip­ment or busi­ness travel, you add value to the mem­ber­ship by allow­ing them to take advan­tage of spe­cial offers from approved vendors.

1 comment:

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