Wednesday Buzz: Members Want to Know the Benefits

An association marketing pro notes the danger of a key messaging disconnect when discussing member benefits. Also: why digital transformation isn't coming along so easily for many companies.

Question: Do your marketing materials focus on the benefits of your association or the features of what you offer?

If the answer is the latter, SCD Group’s Steve Drake suggests you may have a problem.

In his most recent blog post, Drake explains a piece of advice he received from a PR professor four decades ago: “If you are in the lawn seed business, remember that your audience is saying, ‘To hell with your grass seed, what will it do for my lawn?'”

The point? People don’t just want to know what you’re offering; rather, they want to why it matters to them. Drake says he sees this issue crop up in associations everywhere, and marketing pros need to help them fix it.

“Almost all association marketing professionals know that we should share benefits, not features, yet we plaster features all over our association websites and materials,” he writes.

How do you think you’re doing on this front in your messaging?

Graphic of the Day


Altimeter Group’s Brian Solis, the opening general session speaker at ASAE’s 2012 Technology Conference & Expo, is a smart guy—and in case you need a refresher as to why, his latest blog post is a great place to start.

Solis breaks down how companies are doing with digital transformation. The news isn’t encouraging for many companies, which are throwing loads of money at new technologies but failing to focus why these advancements are important. And selling true change can create conflict in boardrooms.

“In most cases, digital transformation takes an internal change agent to spark a sense of urgency, gain support, and pave the way for a more formal, collaborative approach to change,” Solis writes. “The human side of all of this is about the people in different parts of the company who are pushing for change. They’re fighting politics, egos, skepticism, and uncertainty. They’re on the front lines, in the hallways, in the conference rooms, bringing people together to find ways to not only collaborate but solve for problems and opportunities.”

Other Links of Note

Former Michigan Gov. John Engler has been busy in the association world in recent years, and last week he reaped a reward for his hard work: Association TRENDS named the Business Roundtable president its association executive of the year for 2015.

Even if you don’t have a big budget, your event can still punch above its marketing weight. The Event Manager Blog has a few ideas to help.

Does your association have a Sina Weibo presence? The CFA Institute is using the social network as one way to reach its growing Chinese audience, according to SocialFish.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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