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Frame Your Future: 4 Keys to Avoiding Mac’s Marketing Missteps

0128_mac-800x480TAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the eighth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. “The Mac was meant to blow minds and change the world. And it did. But not right away,” writes Associations Now Social Media Journalist Ernie Smith. When the original Apple Macintosh made its debut in 1984, it didn’t get rave reviews from business customers. And there are some lessons to be learned from Mac’s initial mistakes in marketing this then cutting-edge device. When associations introduce new products and services that don’t seem to be immediately embraced by members, the need to remember to:
  1. Be patient. “Something that gets lost in the vats of digital ink spilled about Apple over the years is that although the benefits of the Mac’s landmark graphical interface were certainly clear, it took a long time for those benefits to reach the general public,” Smith observes.
  2. Create a mechanism for frequently communicating about their benefits. According to Smith, “with no blogs to drive enthusiast interest, Apple also played a pivotal role in launching a magazine for the budding platform, the still-active Macworld.”
  3. Put a sufficient support system in place. “For all the Mac’s innovations, it just didn’t have the ecosystem to make it a viable business offering,” Smith notes. “Apple was the first mover on the graphic user interface (GUI)—the Lisa, released a year earlier, got there before the Mac, but it was insanely expensive and not insanely great—but at the time Apple didn’t have the apps or the vendor lock-in that made it a smart move for a business to push an entire department to the Mac then and there.”
  4. Narrow their market and think long-term. “And if you look back 30 years, you’ll see Apple’s biggest early Mac successes came from marketing narrowly—in industry sectors where early buy-in meant long-term influence,” according to Smith. “It focused its early efforts on universities, which led to entire generations of home users buying Macs because they got hooked at school.”
As I consider these lessons, they echo some of the advice that we give our customers when they first implement their member portals. This is one of the most popular features of Fonteva For Associations; yet their members may not necessarily to take to it like fish to water. In most cases, careful marketing and promotion will be needed for them to fully leverage this valuable tool. Original Article

Past Tuesday Takeaways

Moms Get Gold at Sochi Fantasy Football Equals Engagement Florist Transworld Delivery Finds Value in Membership Paper and Pixels for PR: Follow Beyonce’s Example High-Tech Higher Ed: The IT Team As First Responders Three New Ways of Working Together: Perspectives from Mabel’s Labels, Zappos and Morning Star
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Florist Transworld Delivery Finds Value in Membership

Screen Shot 2014-02-03 at 4.47.01 PMTAKEAWAY TUESDAY Take it away! This is the fourth in a series of posts that will be featured on Fonteva’s blog highlighting important strategies associations can take away from other industries. In today’s sixth-degrees-of-separation world, your members are assessing your association not just in comparison to similar organizations but in relation to the totality of their experiences as consumers. As such, we want to help you stay abreast of key trends and best practices, those takeaways that may benefit your association. Almost $2billion -- according to the National Retail Federation, that’s how much Americans are estimated to have spent on flowers last Valentine’s Day. As one of the top flower-giving holidays of the year quickly approaches, my thoughts turned to how the first floral wire service got its start. Florist Transworld Delivery, better known as FTD, was initially launched when 15 florists joined forces in 1910 to form the Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association. The group’s primary objective was exchanging orders for out-of-town deliveries by telegraph. From there, FTD introduced the first system for standardizing order placement among florists worldwide. FTD was also the first to create a standard special bouquet order with its member florists and to publish floral arrangement catalogs to help consumers select the proper arrangements. Today FTD provides floral, gift and related products and services to consumers, retail florists, and other retail locations primarily in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and the Republic of Ireland. It’s interesting to reflect on the company’s start as an association because that continues to influence its overall business philosophy and approach to offering products and services. Here are a few concepts particularly relevant to associations. Members are in the mission. The FTD mission statement reads as follows, “to inspire, support and delight our customers when expressing life’s most important sentiments.” What association doesn’t want to inspire, support and delight members? Then fill in the blank with “as they serve their professions” or similar language and that sounds like most associations I know. The focus is on creating experiences members will value and offering products/services that help them be successful. FTD members’ customers can be members too. For many years, FTD has served an umbrella organization for florists nation-wide who chose to join. However, more recently the company developed a means for cultivating a different segment of members. In March 2011, FTD launched its gold membership program for consumers. The primary benefit of the gold membership, which costs $29.99 annually, is free shipping for online orders. Gold members also receive special discounts and offers. Perhaps, there’s a way for your association to cultivate another segment of membership by offering a specialized service to the people your members serve. Specialized resources are provided for big opportunities. To help member florists fully capitalize on what should be one of their best-selling holidays, a portion of FTD’s website is specifically dedicated to Valentine’s Day. From marketing tips to help them promote the holiday locally to ordering guidelines to sure they have sufficient inventory on hand, FTD outlines what member-florists need to do be successful. If your members are in a position take advantage of some significant opportunity, you association should be their one-stop source for information and other resources. Certainly FTD has faced its fair share of competition and criticism in recent years. Still there’s something to be said for being first, and associations are clearly in its “blood” since many, including the National Homebuilders Association, the Air Force Sergeants Association, and Associated Skin Care Professionals, offer FTD discounts as a member benefit. So stop, take a moment to smell some of the estimated 224T million roses grown for Valentine’s Day and think about what you can do next to make sure your members continue to love you. Original Article

Past Tuesday Takeaways

Paper and Pixels for PR: Follow Beyonce’s Example
High-Tech Higher Ed: The IT Team As First Responders
Three New Ways of Working Together: Perspectives from Mabel’s Labels, Zappos and Morning Star
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Who’s Who Wednesday: Ulas Kutuk

photoThroughout 2014, we want to give the blogosphere the opportunity to get to know the Fonteva team better. To that end, we're introducing a new monthly feature Who's Who Wednesday that will highlight a staff member. This month we’re pleased to introduce you to software engineer Ulas Kutuk (Twitter: @uLasKutuk). Originally from Izmir, Turkey, and currently living in Arlington, Va., Ulas has been working with Fonteva for 2.5 years. In this role, he works on product enhancements, new product features and customer specific customizations. He is a Salesforce Certified Force.com Developer. “I am glad to be here and part of a team,” Ulas says. Read on to learn more about him. What's on your desk right now?
Salesforce Spring ‘14 Release Notes, clients’ requirements, my nephews’ photos, and coffee What's the best advice you ever got?
—There is no trying. There is success or failure! —Treat every day like it’s the first day. Who are you following on Twitter?
Avandel @AvandelCom, Ali Ozden @ali_ozden_, Teach Me Salesforce @TeachMeSFDC What's the most played song on your iPod? “Another Day in Paradise” (Nicco push bootleg remix), Phil Collins What are your favorite blogs?
 A collective of the tech-savvy and tech-obsessed Technology blog of Guardian Media Group What are your favorite Fonteva For Associations features?
Configuration page, public event registration, member portal
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New Year, New Members – 5 Strategies for Successful Recruitment

Chalkboard Drawing_Strategy_bw_0Is it possible to have too many members? Some associations don’t think so. Their goal is to present the largest united front possible to advocate on behalf of their industries or professions. Others take a different approach and focus on maintaining smaller memberships of key companies or groups. What’s your membership strategy for 2014? Melissa Harrison, chief marketing officer for XYZ University, suggests that “before you stick with the same, tried-and-true (or maybe not-so-true) methods for membership recruitment,” you should carefully consider and evaluate your process for obtaining new members. Harrison recommends five strategies or tactics for successfully recruiting new members:
  1. Treat membership recruitment like the sales process that it is. If you want to “seal the deal,” you must understand the purchasing life cycle of your potential members. “Membership recruitment is about creating long-lasting relationships, engaging your prospects and proving to them why they would benefit from your association.”
  2. Understand your association’s niche. Your organization can’t effectively be all things to all people. “You need to buckle down and determine, realistically, who your target market is and where you’ll reach new members. Make a list of prospects and a list of competing associations in order to understand your market and determine the general availability of potential new members.”
  3. Research your potential members’ needs and address them. People tend to know what they want from their associations, and they will tell you if you ask. “Ask your members and the community at large what they want. What are they missing from other organizations? What are the reasons they choose not to join and what would change their minds?”
  4. Know your association’s value. It’s important to be able to clearly communicate your value proposition. “Figure out what your value is and communicate that effectively. What will make others talk about you? No one talks about the ordinary; you want to be extraordinary.”
  5. Test, track, and repeat (or revamp). Measurement and evaluation are important aspects of any recruitment strategy. For example, you might review website traffic or event attendance from non-members. “And if it’s not working? Change it up! In this age of real-time information and face-paced media, there’s no reason to hold on to a membership recruitment strategy that isn’t proving its worth over a few months.”
At Fonteva we can’t stress enough the importance of developing metrics and making data- driven decisions about membership recruitment (and retention). If you have appropriate software systems in place, you’ll have this capability, but it’s up to you to use it. We wish you a New Year of successfully recruiting the right members for your organizations. Original Article
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Marketing Membership to Millennials

millennials Millennials, also known as Generation Y (birthdates 1980s to early 2000s), are well on the way to being the most discussed, reported on, and speculated about generation of all time. Organizations in all spheres of human influence are trying to determine how best to capture their time, talent and money. The Pew Research Center has done extensive studies and hosts an online quiz you can take to determine how millennial you are. Amidst all the speculation about what they do and don’t like, what they will and will not do, the prevailing conclusion seems be that doing what you’ve always done to promote or market your product or services won’t work with this group. If they haven’t already, associations should start thinking about how millennial they are. At the end of 2013, Kelly Donovan, team leader for online marketing at Naylor LLC, identified seven shifts that she believes are particularly relevant to the younger generation of association professionals. By offering a “Millennial’s Perspective” on associations in 2013, she gives observations that will serve us all well as we work to provide the best experiences for this generation and all the generations to come. Here are the three shifts that stood out most for me: 1. Increased use of mobile apps at events 2. The need for more membership options 3. Pricing challenges Fortunately, Fonteva For Associations has the built-in capacity to help users address these shifts or trends. The solution completely is mobile for staff and members. In addition, our association clients have access to the Salesforce AppExchange where they can download additional apps to expand the functionality of Fonteva For Associations and Salesforce.  Further, the exchange provides a means for them to connect with other vendors besides Fonteva. It’s important to have access to as many tools as you need to be successful now and in the future. As Donovan points out, the need for more membership options is really driven by the demand for true customization of the membership experience. Fonteva For Associations’s member portal option is one way we’re helping our client associations address this trend. This need for customization may also be at the root of the pricing challenges some associations are experiencing. Not every product or service in your association’s repertoire will appeal to everyone. With Fonteva For Associations, users can monitor any type of engagement with any constituent. This makes it less difficult for them to determine which products and/or services are most frequently used or purchased by specific segments of their members and then bundle and price them accordingly. In light of these shifts and trends, I tend to agree with Donovan’s assertion that associations “need to move out of their comfort zone to join the rest of the world on most tech matters.” How millennial is your AMS solution?
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