As discussed in the last blog, a digital business strategy is a necessity for associations. The following 7 step evaluation process can determine where an association is in terms of starting, executing or evaluating its current digital business strategy:
1. Assess where you are.
a. Determine your place in the market:
b. Market Analysis – opportunity
c. Member needs- perceptions
d. Competitive analysis – positioning
e. Reach – are you visible or invisible?
f. Evaluate the return you are getting fro your current technology
assets – infrastructure, architecture (website and email)
2. Build a data driven plan.
a. Determine your business priorities based on association
goals – short term and long term
b. Determine timing – will you use a phased approach or will you invest
in an all-out approach to bring your association more visibility faster?
c. Evaluate technology investments needed to achieve goals
d. Leverage best practices and industry standards at every step
e. Develop a budget
3. Develop strategies to build revenues (dues and non-dues).
a. New members
b. Member renewals
c. Advertising and sponsorships
d. Digital buyer’s guide
g. Registrations (online and live events)
4. Recognize that content is king.
a. Give your audience content and value that they cannot find
anywhere else, that meets their business needs.
b. Develop a strategy that provides content across multiple platforms
and allows you to communicate with your members in every way
that they want to be communicated with (online, social, print or email)
5. Reach more members, and potential members, with specific audience
a. Harness the power of search through SEO and SEM
b. Improve your authority and reach through linking and syndication
c. Increase publishing frequency to drive usage, engagement
d. Drive traffic to create more page views (inventory) to better
serve advertisers & sponsors
f. Create funnels to convert audience (site traffic) to membership
6. Develop email best practices (e-newsletters, feeds etc.) to support your
audience development plan.
a. Ensure deliverability
b. Manage, segment and tag your lists effectively
c. Develop content and subject lines that increase open rates
d. Manage your email reputation (sender scores)
7. Measure performance.
a. Develop key performance indicators that relate directly to your
goals, allowing you to make data driven decisions daily,
weekly and monthly
b. Use analysis to find and deliver incremental opportunities as you go
c. Constant analysis leads to learning – Test and adapt quickly
Based on our experience working with association clients, this process re-energizes internal teams, discovers hidden talent, and builds focus and excitement for the future.