How Often Does Your Association Perform "RECON?"

On September 27th, our team attended a Membership Engagement Conference hosted by the Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE). One of the engagement sessions, presented by Ken Seawell of Sandler Training, focused on finding your target market and prospecting for members. I found this session particularly helpful for any growing organization, but because the conference related to membership, I’ll continue with what I learned and relate them specifically to associations.

Define Your Pain Statement

Most associations are quick to determine their mission statement, – who they are and what they do. Rarely though, do they consider their “pain statement – what problems or pain points do they solve for their members. Sure, VPDCS might be the leading marketing execution company in northern Michigan, but that doesn’t tell our strategic partners why they should work with us. We cure headaches. We bridge gaps in membership marketing. We take care of the small stuff so that clients can focus on the big stuff – like growing membership.

Perform RECON

Seawell suggested performing RECON on your members. RECON means the following: Remember, Experiences, Challenges, Opportunity, and Next Steps.

Remember why members joined your organization in the first place. Was it because of networking opportunities? What benefits does your organization offer that others don’t? What benefits are perceived to be of the highest quality? Being a leading association only gets you so far. Continue to remind your members what they mean to your association and their network.

Look to the experiences of your members. What marketing campaigns have worked to acquire, engage, and renew them? What hasn’t worked? What events are important to your members? When members call, are they satisfied? Show your membership a good experience from the time they join until they become a advocate of your organization.

In almost every association there are bound to be challenges. These could be anywhere from calls not coming through, a membership benefit not being successfully relayed, or your website temporarily crashing. Ask your membership what they’re not receiving from your association that they need fulfilled and how you can make their experience better.

After spending time discovering your members’ needs and wants, use these findings as an opportunity to expand your relationship. Can you convert a student member into a lifetime member? Are there any benefits your members aren’t utilizing that you can remove? by listen to your members, they will provide invaluable information that you can use to move the needle of your organization.

After you’ve engaged with your members, it’s time to determine next steps. What are you going to do with the information you’ve garnered? Some ideas you might consider based on your analysis:

  • Do you offer a one-time membership discount to expand the relationship?
  • What benefits will you add or remove from your membership to make it more valuable?
  • Will you alter your communication plan for the upcoming year?
  • Can you grow your organization with the information you have?

Need help performing RECON for your organization? Connect with our team today!

Article written by:

McKenzie Decker

Marketing Manager