Would it be fair to say that the long- term strategic digital transformation of your membership organisation is probably not at the top of your priority list right now? If you have made any digital enhancements to support the diversification of your events, membership scheme or CPD and qualifications over the last two months, it is highly likely that these will be incremental changes to help support these products and services and organisations operability during the pandemic.

Given the current situation and potential time and space you are likely to have working from home, now could be a good time to consider your organisations strategy. Continual review of your products and services to ensure you are delivering what members value and expect is imperative to the success of your professional body or awarding organisation.

Meeting Generation Y Demands

Research has shown that people no longer buy products, they buy experiences. 13.8 million currently make up the generation Y demographic. Born between 1980 and 1994, the people who reside within this group demand an interactive, engaging online experience. They adopt quickly to new channels, devices and technology in comparison to other demographics such as generation x and baby boomers. One bad experience with your organisation is very likely to cause disengagement with your brand.

What do members actually value?

According to the Memberwise Digital Excellence Survey, 41% of professional membership organisations say they do not have a clear membership proposition. Taking an outside in view of your organisation is the starting point to identifying products and services that your members actually value.

Protech worked with a leading professional body to understand the types of products and services that would be of value to potential and existing members by asking three questions to a group of people who worked within the profession of our professional body client:

  1. Do you know of any established professional bodies who support your profession and can you name them?
  2. What types of products and services would you value from a professional body?
  3. If you already belong to a professional body, what do you value most about this relationship?

These three simple questions resulted in some interesting and useful findings. Firstly, 60% of the professionals we engaged with via email and social media had never heard of the professional body we were working with and 46% belonged to a competitor body!

When asked what they would value from a professional body, some of the responses were as follows:

Yet these services did not form a part of our professional body client’s strategy! The professional body’s focus was around developing a broader range qualification, without a real grasp of its members CPD needs.

Respondents particularly wanted the opportunity to participate in virtual coaching and conversations with other practitioners, but our client offered no facilities for members to identify other members, or to engage with their peers, other than via the annual conference, not an appropriate venue to seek solutions to real time problems.

Member centric approach at the heart of your transformation

Collating key information should support the decisions around your organisations member value proposition. Once this has clearly been defined, only then should processes, channels and technology to support the products and services defined be progressed.

A member centric approach should be at the heart of your organisations transformation, with digital channels and solutions only an enabler to help you to deliver products and services in an engaging, personalised and streamlined way.

Whilst incremental changes could be necessary to support members during the pandemic, you shouldn’t lose sight of your organisations long-term strategy to recruit and retain members.