Ed Williamson
Ed Williamson
Society Marketing, Wiley

As Tom Reiser, Executive Director of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis, mentioned in our last post; ASAE’s annual meeting is a time for association executives to be stimulated and inspired and speaker Josh Linkner did just that. He talked about not becoming complacent.

Don’t become complacent

In his Keynote speech, Josh Linkner used his home city  of Detroit as an example of the dangers of complacency. Detroit had once been a world leading innovator in the first half of last century in the automotive industry; Henry Ford had created the first mass production techniques that would change the world.  At the time, the Model-T was far more affordable and widened the market for cars. But then Detroit started to decline due to global competition; the city went from 1.8 million inhabitants in 1950 to 700k in 2013. The point that Tom Reiser observed was that associations are not known for swift change and would do well to watch out for disruption to their products and services by other, faster moving organizations.

So, don’t be disrupted, disrupt. Everybody is creative and employees should be given the chance to develop ideas. Start on a small level and see where it goes.

Content Marketing Strategy

According to speaker Joe Rominiecki, the session entitled, “Using Content Marketing to Engage Members and Grow Your Organization” was bursting with delegates. Societies and associations, particularly scholarly ones, have plenty of content, unlike a lot of for-profits, and now that there is so much demand for content as a marketing strategy, it can be seen as a distinct advantage for societies and associations. The challenge is that the content needs to be presented in an easily digested, easy to access format. In other words it needs to be repurposed. This is no mean feat.  It takes time and effort to create video content, slideshares, Facebook posts, Linkedin posts, and 500 word blog posts that are succinct. Beyond that, the content needs to not only be shareable so that people can view it quickly and easily, it  also needs to be very engaging, which is the art. Rominiecki, again, reminds us that the challenge here is made even more difficult because each member absorbing the content likes to do it in a different way and has a different reason for doing it. Thus, the member decides what engagement looks like.

One size fits all – it does not

Tom Reiser made the point in his interview that we now have four generations in the work place, which means among your membership and your society workforce. This brings the challenge of catering to a variety of different preferences amongst the membership; therefore the “one size fits all” membership model is truly dead!

Compass point – define your mission

Holly Byrd Duncan, in our previous post, described it as the organizations elevator pitch. The compass statement gives you a definition so you have a constant reminder of why you are doing what you are doing. That means every time you make a decision or send a membership engagement email, it is at the very core and is the boiled down essence of what you are trying to do. This is very powerful. It will lead members to do more, it will attract new members and it will keep you pointed in the right direction. Hence compass point!

Until next year, where association executives from all over the globe hot foot it to Salt Lake City, Utah, that's a wrap for ASAE 15.

Below are some notable tweets from attendees and speakers of this year's meeting.