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What is Member Value and Why is it So Important to Membership Organizations

Membership organizations are one of the many groups that need to adapt and evolve by listening to their audience’s needs. In an increasingly online world, they need to prioritize digital transformation and create new ways to engage and interact with the next generation. In short, they need to pivot to a customer-centric strategy to stay relevant. 

Membership centricity is a growing concern for membership organizations. The basic principle focuses on putting the needs and goals of your members ahead of the organization. For some traditional organizations, this is the polar opposite of the traditional business-centric methods which put business needs ahead of customer satisfaction. One reason to make the switch to a customer-centric strategy is to ensure your association's relevance and popularity- your organization should not feel remote from your members' interests and ambitions.  

Richard Gott, the Founder of The MemberWise Network, encapsulates it flawlessly, "we are realizing that the future sustained member value and expansion necessitates a more profound emphasis on online membership interaction and engagement."

What does membership value mean?


Membership value is a crucial concept for membership organizations as it directly impacts the satisfaction and engagement of members. It can be categorized into two main definitions: perceived member value and actual member value.

Perceived member value refers to the features that members believe they receive from their membership, such as access to services, benefits and the ability to participate. On the other hand, actual member value is the tangible benefits that members receive, which can include opportunities for professional development, networking, community involvement, discounts, career advancement or recognition.

To bridge the gap between perceived and actual member value, it is essential for membership organizations to effectively communicate their membership benefits. By clearly outlining the advantages of being a member, organizations can ensure that members fully understand and appreciate the value they receive.

Neglecting to address member value within an organization can have long-term consequences on recruitment, retention, growth, participation and overall engagement. While many organizations may focus on acquiring new members, it is crucial to prioritize the retention and satisfaction of current members, as retaining existing members is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. In fact, research suggests that increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase overall profits from 25-95%.

In today's dynamic and competitive membership landscape, organizations must evolve, adapt, and enhance their offerings while emphasizing effective communication with members. Member value is therefore an important factor in the overall success of membership organizations. 


5 ways to grow memberships for your organization:


  1. Develop a strong online presence through social media, a user-friendly website and engaging content to attract and retain members.

  2. Provide exclusive benefits such as professional development opportunities, networking events, discounts, and recognition to enhance the perceived value of membership.
  3. Foster a sense of community by organizing regular meetings, events, and forums to encourage member interaction and participation.

  4. Tailor communication and offerings to meet the individual needs and preferences of members, creating a more personalized and engaging experience.
  5. Prioritize member retention by continuously assessing and improving member satisfaction, addressing feedback, and ensuring that members feel valued and engaged within the organization.


How to enhance member engagement


  • Establish accessible feedback mechanisms like surveys and forums to understand member needs and enhance satisfaction. Prioritize open dialogue to strengthen trust and collaboration within the group and promote member engagement.
  • Develop diverse resources such as articles and webinars to provide value and support members' professional growth. Tailor content to address specific challenges faced by the membership group, ensuring relevance and engagement.
  • Create inclusive environments where members can connect and collaborate. Host virtual or in-person events to foster networking opportunities and strengthen bonds within the membership group.
  • Organize engaging workshops and seminars with interactive elements like live polls and Q&A sessions. Provide practical tools and insights to empower members in their professional endeavors and enhance membership engagement.
  • Celebrate member achievements and milestones to reinforce their value within the membership group. Implement recognition programs and awards to highlight exemplary members and inspire continued engagement and loyalty.

If you're interested in learning more about tactics that can improve your member engagement, read our eBook, The Importance of Engagement for Your Membership Organizations.

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