2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

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The 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report surveyed more than 691 association executives to better understand the strategies and tactics they use to recruit, engage, and retain members. The report is the most exhaustive and comprehensive study in the series. Again this year, a key feature of the report was to cross-tabulate specific marketing practices with reported membership outcomes to determine which practices support better results. The Benchmarking Report evaluates the relative success of a variety of marketing practices and presents dozens of key findings to give association executives insight and direction to develop more effective membership marketing programs.

Text of 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

  • 1. 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report Presented by Tony Rossell

2. What are the Trends inAssociation Membership?2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report Fourth Year Produced by MGI Over 691 Participating Associations Up Front Disclaimer What not Why Correlation not Causation 3. Research Goals1. Gain an understanding of the membership marketing practices of associations2. Determine the challenges in membership marketing faced by individual membership and trade associations3. Define what practices they believe are most effective4. Understand through cross tabulation with new member, renewal and growth numbers what practices correlate with better outcomes 4. Research Methodology1. Survey open from January 24, 2012 to March 3, 2012 6 Weeks Total2. 5,862 requests to participate3. 11.7% response rate with 691 participating associations (one response per association)4. Margin of error + / - 3.7% with a 95% confidence level 5. Section 1: Association Statistics Is Association Membership Dead or Dying? 6. CHANGE IN MEMBERSHIP OVER PAST ONE YEARCOMPRESSED 2012201120102009 (N = 689) (N = 642) (N = 405) (N = 331)Percentage Increased Overall 52% 49% 36% 45%Percentage Unchanged Overall 16% 16% 14% 16%Percentage Declined Overall29% 34% 48% 35%Percentage Unsure 3%2%3%5% CHANGE IN NEW MEMBER ACQUISITION OVER PAST YEAR COMPRESSED 2012201120102009 (N = 687) (N = 638) (N = 405) (N = 325)Percentage Increased Overall 60% 57% 42% 49%Percentage Unchanged Overall 17% 21% 20% 22%Percentage Declined Overall14% 16% 26% 21%Percentage Unsure10%8% 12% 10%CHANGE IN RENEWAL RATE OVER PAST YEAR COMPRESSED 2012201120102009 (N = 683) (N = 638) (N = 403) (N = 326)Percentage Increased Overall 36% 32% 21% 22%Percentage Unchanged Overall 33% 37% 27% 39%Percentage Declined Overall22% 24% 44% 31%Percentage Unsure10%7%8%9% 7. TOP CHALLENGES TO GROWING MEMBERSHIP20122011(N = 683) (N = 631)Membership too diverse; difficulty meeting needs of different segments26% N/ADifficulty attracting and/or maintaining younger members24% N/AInsufficient staff24% 16%Perceptions of the association and/or its culture (i.e., old boys network, not24% N/Aspecialized enough, etc.)Insufficient budget 21% 13%Changing demographics of industry 18% N/AWeak product or service offerings 18% 13%Lack of strategy or plan17% 11%Competitive associations16% N/AIndustry consolidation14% N/AInadequate association management database13%8%Inadequate research to understand market10%7%Lack of marketing expertise 10%7%Market saturation 10%9%Difficulty in converting student memberships to regular memberships9% N/ALack of integration between national and chapters8% N/AMisalignment of goals between board and executive staff4% N/AEconomy3% N/APoor customer service1% N/AOther 12% 16% 8. Section 2: MembershipLifecycleTMStrategiesWhats working in membership marketing? 9. Membership Awareness 10. How does your association create brand awareness of your organization?METHODS FOR CREATING ASSOCIATION AWARENESS 2012201120102009 (N = 683) (N = 638) (N = 405) (N = 599) Email 94% 71% 67% 61% Association website 92% 87% 88% 85% Word-of-mouth recommendations 83% 90% 91% 77% Promotion to/at your own conferences/ conventions 79% 65% 66% 65% Advertising in your own publications72% 48% 56% 51% Association-sponsored social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn) 71%51% 56% 35% Direct mail 69% 62% 66% 76% Association-sponsored events68% 57% 56% 37% Cross-sell to non-members who buy your products or attend your conferences61% 56% 59% 52% Exhibiting at other conferences 61% 50% 51% 53% Public relations61% 40% 39% 29% Local events/meetings 60% 53% N/A N/A Search engines (organic)48% 45% 47% 34% Advertising in outside publications 47% 31% 31% 28% Chapters42% 38% 46% 39% Job board 39% 24% 23% 23% Personal sales calls32% 25% 22% 24% QR codes30% N/A N/A N/A Accreditation promotion 24% 18% 20% 14% Telemarketing 22% 16% 18% 18% Paid banners on other websites21% 12% 13% 12% Mobile apps 20% N/A N/A N/A Search engines (paid or pay-per-click)20% 14% 20%8% Radio or TV 15%7%5%7% Texting6% N/A N/A N/A Other3%4%3%3% Do not know1%0%0%1% Top three methods for creating brand awareness. Blue: Upward trend 11. Which social media does your organization officially use?SOCIAL MEDIA OUTLETS OFFICIALLY USED BY ASSOCIATIONS201220112010(N = 685) (N = 641) (N = 405) Facebook 86% 91% 75% Twitter79% 71% 66% LinkedIn (Public Access) 56% 53% 59% YouTube53% 45% 35% Association Blog 30% 27% 30% LinkedIn (Members Only)30% 28%N/A Association Listserv 22% 24% 31% Private Association Social Network 19% 18% 17% Flickr 15% 15%N/A Google+11%N/A N/A Wikis 8%9% 13% Ning/Groupsite4%4%6% Second Life 1%2%3% MySpace 1%1%4% None3%6%8% Other 4%4%6% 12. Time to Achieve 50 Million Users1. Print Hundreds of Years2. Radio 38 Years3. TV13 Years4. Internet4 Years5. iPod3 Years6. Facebook24 Months7. Twitter 12 Months8. Google+ 6 Months**Stephan Scherzer, CEO, VDZ - German Magazine Publishers 13. Membership Recruitment 14. EFFECTIVENESS OF MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT MARKETING CHANNELS Most Effective Least EffectiveMarketing Channel (N=685) (N=630)Word-of-mouth recommendations54%3%Email37% 11%Association website34%7%Direct mail30% 24%Cross-sell to non-members who buy your products or attend your conferences 20%7%Personal sales calls 17%7%Promotion to/at your own conferences/conventions 16%9%Association-sponsored events 16%4%Chapters 14%8%Exhibiting at other conferences10% 28%Local events/meetings10%5%Promotional incentives8% 16%Association-sponsored social networking sites (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn)5% 18%Public relations5% 11%Telemarketing 4% 13%Accreditation promotion 4%4%Advertising in your own publications3% 17%Advertising in outside publications 2% 25%Search engines (organic)2%8%Search engines (paid or pay-per-click)1% 10%Job board 1% 13%Radio or TV 1% 11%Paid banners on other websites --14%Texting-- 5%Other 3%3% 15. TOP THREE MOST EFFECTIVE AND LEAST EFFECTIVEMARKETING CHANNELS BY ASSOCIATION TYPEIndividual Membership AssociationsPercentageWord-of-mouth recommendations51%Most EffectiveEmail39%Direct mail37%Exhibiting at other conferences31%Least Effective Advertising in outside publications23%Direct mail20%Organizational/Trade Associations PercentageWord-of-mouth recommendations56%Most EffectivePersonal sales calls 37%Email30%Direct mail34%Least Effective Advertising in outside publications28%Exhibiting at other conferences22% 16. REASONS MEMBERS JOIN ASSOCIATION 2012201120102009 (N = 684) (N = 641) (N = 400) (N = 303)Networking with others in the field22% 25% 24% 22%Access to specialized and/or current information 12% 14% 13% 23%Advocacy 12% 10% 11%N/AContinuing education8%7% 11%5%Learning best practices in their profession 7%7%9%8%Accreditation or certification5%4%4%2%Discounts on products or meeting purchases5%5%6%9%Association publications4%3%6%3%Conferences/trade shows 4%5%N/A N/APrestige of belonging to the association4%5%N/A N/AAccess to industry thought leaders2%1%N/A N/AAdvancing in their position 2%2%2%4%Members-only education2%N/A N/A N/AAccess to career resources1%1%3%1%Access to industry benchmark studies1%1%1%N/AInsurance (Affinity programs) 1%1%N/A N/ANot sure1%1%2%N/AOther 6%8%9% 10% 17. Membership Engagement 18. Which of the following communication methods do you use to help onboardor engage new members in the association? (Check all that apply) COMMUNICATION METHODS USED TO ONBOARD NEW MEMBERS 2012201120102009 (N = 685) (N = 643) (N = 402) (N = 337)Email welcome72% 71% 72% 62%Mailed welcome kit 64% 67% 68% 83%Membership card or certificate 51% 51% 59% 58%Volunteer or staff welcome phone call29% 30% 32% 26%In-person new-member reception or orientation25% 23% 20% 19%New-member introductory email series 25% 25% 27% 14%Special discounts on purchases 24% 23% 23% 17%Invite to chapter meeting22% 18% 25% 23%New-member newsletter (print or electronic)16% 15% 20% 11%New-member survey16% 17% 18% 20%New-member gift (e.g., gift card, calendar, notepad) 12% 11% ----Custom new-member renewal series 10% 10% 11%7%Telemarketing welcome phone call 10% 12% 10%4%New-member webinars 9% N/A N/A N/AEarly or at-birth renewal 4%5%4%2%No special communication3%2%2%2%Other 3%5%5%8% 19. What proportion of your members do you estimate engage with yourorganization in the following areas EACH YEAR? AREAS OF ENGAGEMENT1%- 6%- 11%- 16%- 21%- 31%- 41%- Over N 0%N/A5%10% 15% 20% 30% 40% 50% 50%Attend your annual conference/trade show 644 1% 12% 13% 11% 12% 11% 11% 6% 10% 12%Attend at least one of your professional development meetings663 1% 12% 13% 10% 9%10% 9%6% 9%23%Acquire or maintain a certification with your organization 666 2% 9%6%6%5%4%3%2% 8%57%Attend at least one of your webinars 658 2% 15% 14% 9%8%6%2%4% 4%36%Purchase a non-dues product (other than previously checked)655 2% 18% 11% 9%8%8%3%3% 6%33%Purchase a non-dues service (other than previously checked)658 3% 17% 11% 9%7%6%3%4% 6%36%Purchase or maintain insurance through your organization 658 2% 14% 5%3%3%2%2%1% 3%64%Purchase a book or directory 653 2% 19% 10% 6%5%5%3%2% 3%46%Participate in your public social network666 3% 25% 21% 13% 10% 8%5%3% 3%10%Participate in your private social network 660 3% 20% 13% 7%6%5%4%3% 2%38%Upgrade their membership 658 2% 16% 8%6%3%1%1%2% 3%58%Volunteer within your organization 664 2% 32% 21% 14% 11% 7%4%2% 2%7%Donate to your association foundation or PAC 662 3% 23% 13% 6%5%2%2%1% 2%42%Participate in your young professional program 656 2% 16% 8%4%2%2%1%1% 1%67%Participate in your mentoring program661 4% 18% 5%3%2%2%1%1% 1%66% 20. Membership Renewals 21. What is your overall membership renewal rate? 3% Under 3%2012 (N=685)50%3%2% 2011 (N=643) 4%2010 (N=403)50% to 6% 59% 4%2009 (N=337) 4% 7%60% to10% 69% 11% 7%22%70% to 23% 79% 21% 16% 38%80% to 34% 89%40% 37%22%90% or 23%higher18% 29% 3% Not sure 2% 3%4% 22. What is your retention rate for first year members? Under 50%10% 50% to 59% 13% 60% to 69% 12% 70% t