It’s more difficult than ever for member associations to deliver value to existing members, build member engagement, and attract and retain new membership. In order to stay competitive and relevant, providing scalable online training is now an essential focus. 72% of people cite continuing education, professional certification, and learning new professional skills as the top reasons to join an association. Neglecting the quality of your training solution will therefore all but guarantee loss of membership.
Luckily, training is a win/win for today’s associations. Not only is it a powerful way to add tangible value and stickiness for members, it can also become a reliable direct revenue stream at the back end, too.
Providing Members with Real Value in a Changing Landscape
The world has changed beyond recognition over the past few years. Digital transformation is moving at a never-before-seen pace, powered in large part by the AI revolution. COVID-19 made creating valuable digital offerings a must-have for any organization, and now many are looking for a way to return to live or hybrid events without losing the innovation of digital content and training solutions.
In the background, members have higher expectations than ever before. They demand real value out of every single investment they make, and that includes the subscription or membership fee to your association. If they can’t see the impact and the benefits – they simply won’t renew.
Associations already know that this is true. In 2023, 36% of associations cite lack of membership benefits as a reason why they can’t provide a strong value proposition to their members. 60% of association executives believe eligible prospects do not join the association because they don’t see the value of membership. As your training experience is a critical element of how you deliver value to each and every member, any friction in that delivery runs the risk of churn rather than renewal.
Technology Investment to Ensure a Modern Member Experience
To encourage a frictionless training delivery, a centralized platform is key. This makes it easy for members to access your content and your resources, whatever the modality. The more you streamline access to what members are looking for, and make the front end of your training platform feel like one, centralized association hub, the more likely you are to achieve member engagement and satisfaction that keeps them around for the long term.
Consider the impact of a personalized member dashboard for example. As soon as your member logs into the learning experience, they can see all of their data and progress displayed front and center, including what’s next to complete, top recommendations for new courses or certifications, and even reminders for upcoming events alongside registration dates for their diary.
Behind the scenes, modern technology doesn’t only provide a better experience for your users, it also allows you to make data-driven decisions for your association, giving you a level up. Measure member activity in granular detail, access robust analytics on your memberships, and use this data to improve your program and understand trends at a higher level.
Preparing for Scale and Evolving Membership Needs
Choosing the right technology is about your needs today, but it’s also about what you’re going to want on the table tomorrow. As your membership grows, you’ll need a platform that can handle many different cohorts, even if each group has varied requirements for their training and learning.
A multi-tenant solution allows you to hold a central repository of content that can then be securely syndicated to different customer cohorts. Look for a platform which limits the administrative overhead, and allows you to delegate specific administrative responsibilities to regional factions or other subgroups, such as provisioning content, accessing reporting and analytics, and managing and extending licenses.
Another critical element of scaling member training and engagement is your eCommerce strategy. Make it as easy as possible for members to opt in, stay learning, or level up to the next tier. Use flexible membership structures, free trials, member discounts, and incentives for top-tier members, such as access to networking events where they can speak face to face with and learn from industry experts.
Extensibility: Meeting the Dynamic Needs of the Digital Market
Associations that are experiencing a decline in their membership numbers are more likely to say that they are “not innovating”, proving the correlation between innovation and growth.
Innovation will mean different things to different associations, but one of the most important elements is flexibility. When the Next Big Thing comes on the scene, will your organization be able to integrate? With legacy and patchwork systems, platforms built for internal employee training instead of external education, or homegrown technology, this is far from an easy yes. In fact, 45% of membership organizations say that a lack of system integration is holding them back from reaching their personalization potential.
An LMS with true extensibility, including Single Sign On (SSO), means you can create a frictionless, integrated member experience. When you can seamlessly connect to your AMS software and events software, administrative overheads are slashed. The door is open for business intelligence that can support true personalization to keep members engaged.
Thought Industries works with leading associations to build scalable, online education that makes a measurable difference to member recruitment and retention. Speak to us about:
- Personalized membership education
- Skill building
To make training and learning a driving force in your association’s member engagement strategy, schedule a demo with one of our LMS experts.