Auditing Your Association’s Value Propositions for

Auditing Your Association’s Value Propositions for a Thriving New Member Pipeline

Recent reports show that more than half of all associations believe their value propositions are either compelling or very compelling, which often means higher membership counts and renewal rates.

Should these associations just leave their propositions untouched? Not ideally.It’s important to audit an association’s value proposition and explore what barriers stand in the way.

Here are three reasons why you need to audit the association’s value proposition on a regular basis:

1. Your Members’ Needs Are Changing

A well-written value proposition shows potential members how the association can cater to their needs. However, you must expect some changes over the years.

What the members were happy with five years ago might not cut it today.

This change could be trade-specific, like new technologies or tools being introduced. It could also be a general shift in workplace norms, much like the demand for remote work (and remote access to helpful resources) driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once you realize how the members’ needs have shifted, you’ll want to adjust your membership benefits and tweak the proposition to reflect this change.

2. The Member Demographic Itself Is Shifting

Perhaps your member base now is mostly businesses driven by millennials. Soon enough, it’ll be about 30% Gen Z.

It’s hard to predict exactly how this generational shift will affect your association in particular and the workforce at large. However, it’s fair to say that your value proposition will need to focus more on inclusivity and sustainability.

3. You Need to Redefine Your Exclusivity

At some point, you might redefine your exclusive perks to make the membership price worth it. If you do, you’ll want to revamp the proposition to let potential members know what value they would receive for their membership dues.

No, you don’t have to list all the member-only perks. It’s enough to provide a glimpse into your core added value.

Take, for instance, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA). Their value proposition is as simple as “Together we can take on anything.”

Their core value is being the member’s partner, and the proposition makes this as clear as day—so much so that the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) highlighted it as an example of a strong value proposition.

Main Barriers to Drafting a Compelling Proposition

In a recent membership report from Marketing General, associations cited the following reasons when asked why they’re unhappy with their propositions:

  • Difficulty articulating the added value (most prevalent barrier)
  • Staff inadequacies
  • Lack of membership benefits
  • Budgeting issues
  • Lack of understanding of member needs
  • Changing member needs

Referencing a step-by-step proposition-defining guide and checking out examples can help you overcome some of those difficulties.

The main reason you should revisit the value proposition is to catch up with changing times.

You don’t have to do it monthly or even quarterly. In most cases, an audit every year will do the trick.

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