New Study Reveals Powerful Impact of Technology on Association Member Loyalty and Retention
Research data concludes that organizations must adapt to increased technological demands to stay relevant
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida., June 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Community trademarksthe leading provider of software and payment solutions for nonprofits and nonprofits, has just revealed insights into the industry’s evolution drawn from the results of the 2022 NONPROFIT TRENDS STUDY: Forward-looking member experience — the only annual market study covering both professionals and members of the association. Conducted with Edge Research, the data clearly indicates that after several turbulent years, the association’s focus on innovative technology and member experience has never been greater.
The Community Brands study, conducted annually for the past five years, collected data from hundreds of association leaders and a thousand members, and measured their attitudes and behaviors toward technology . Insights revealed in the study include key technology trends that all association leaders should be aware of, as well as actions to deliver greater value and member experience (MX), while driving engagement and faithfulness.
“The last two years of upheaval have reconfigured the world forever, and many associations are considering how to meet today’s digital expectations,” said Jennifer Lee, President, Associations & Events, Community Brands. “We hear every day that association professionals are thinking about what members want in this new post-pandemic world and what it will take to continue to provide a great member experience. This research study reinforces what we know: innovative technology is the future of associations. ”
This year’s ideas identify a common theme: innovative technology plays a central role in delivering superior MX. For example, 72% of members report high levels of satisfaction and connection with associations they ranked early adopters of technology, but less than 20% of pros report being highly technologically prepared for the future. In addition, members’ priorities change. While the tangible benefits of career advancement (certifications, job opportunities, etc.) have grown in importance for young and mid-career youth, Pros continue to underestimate the importance of employment opportunities and career advancement assistance.
Where there are disconnects, there are opportunities. While many Pros feel unprepared to meet their members’ future technology needs, the number one digital priority for associations right now is investing in the member experience. The study suggests many game-changing ideas for nonprofits: ensure your AMS and LMS support modern digital MX; Invest in an event platform that can help you deliver great hybrid event experiences.
“Associations set the bar high during the pandemic — [they] came out like gangbusters during the pandemic with [added] value,” said Tirrah Switzer, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Community Brands, during the Reveal webinar. ” But now [association] members expect this level of value. The bar has been set, and now [they] must keep pace, because member loyalty and retention depend on it. »
Additional key findings from the report include:
Embrace innovative technology today. Members and pros agree: 63% of members and 65% of pros think that if their association doesn’t transform technologically, it won’t survive. However, only one in three associations has a digital transformation plan. When it comes to managing data, smaller organizations tend to be less technologically prepared than larger ones.
Member loyalty is linked to technology. Although sentiment remains strong with 48% of members enjoying their association, it is showing signs of slowing down – the statistic was 56% in 2021. Investing in innovative technology is key to retaining members and driving better MX. Now is the time for associations to prove themselves with an attractive value proposition and technology to match.
The changing priorities of members have implications for all organizations. Members report increased interest in the tangible benefits of membership such as career advancement, job opportunities, certifications and professional development. Networking, employment opportunities and certifications/credentials are the three new priorities for members. Opportunities to adopt a career center and learning management software to boost MX abound.
Make hybrid a reality. The pros continue to overestimate the value of in-person events. Members report a preference for primarily virtual engagement – over the next year, 74% of members plan to engage with associations virtually. Half of members will engage primarily virtually, and a quarter will connect through a hybrid of in-person and virtual events.
Take member data seriously. Only one in four associations have a data governance plan, resulting in low levels of confidence among Pros in the current state of their members’ data. This presents an opportunity for Pros to develop a data governance strategy and invest in technology that supports your goals and keeps your data clean and secure. Data analytics is a growth area where Pros can better understand members and create superior MX.
The full study — now available for download at the association’s trends resource page – has been freed Thursday June 23. As part of the release, a special Big Reveal webinar credited to CAE, co-presented by Tirrah Switzer, Senior Director of Product Marketing at CB, and Pam Loebdirector of Edge Research, explained the commitment of the study members and offered a detailed overview of the results and strategic ways to use the data.
For more information on the data and actionable findings from the 2022 study, visit:
About the report
Commissioned by Community Brands, Edge Research conducted an online survey of 1,010 US members who said they were 18 or older and who are currently members of a professional organization. Survey respondents were recruited through an online non-probability sample, which means that the results are not transferable to the entire membership population. The term “members” refers specifically to those who were interviewed. Quotas were established to ensure the survey was representative of key demographics. A parallel online survey was conducted among 301 professionals who work in these types of organizations. Survey respondents were recruited using community brand lists and online panel providers, which are also a non-probability sample. The terms “Professionals” or “Pros” refer specifically to those who were interviewed. The surveys were carried out in the field in April 2022.
About Community Trademarks
Community Brands helps mission-driven organizations thrive. Our software, services, and payment solutions enable nonprofits, associations, and K-12 schools to engage the people they serve through programs and events; raise funds to enable their mission; and manage their finances and operations. Our family of brands are bound together by a common goal of serving the organizations that make our communities a better place to live. Learn more about our Community Trademark solutions for associations, Nonprofit, K-12sand event technology. Visit us at communitybrands.com and follow us on Twitter, Facebookand LinkedIn.
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