Why should Membership Organisations be thinking about communicating digitally?

Engagement is a word that gets thrown around an awful lot, and at this year’s MEMCOM event, the bustling crowds couldn’t talk about anything else.

Of course, the theme for the day was ‘Membership Engagement’, but as we listened to the talks, and even presented one ourselves, it really hit home just how broadly this term is currently being interpreted.

We came at the issue from a digital angle, hoping to unearth and explain some of the current actions and reactions that organisations were seeing from communicating with their members digitally.

The results shed some light on some interesting findings.

Looking before the leap

Alongside the survey, we also conducted a couple of case studies, focused on giving an in-depth look at how two organisations were planning and implementing digital into their communication strategy, and what failures / successes they had encountered along the way.

The general consensus from those we spoke to was that membership organisations have a desire to shed print and push on into a digital-first future, and some have been doing so to great success.

Younger, more mobile members needed to access materials on-the-go, but it was often the case that smaller ‘splinter groups’ of fellows, surrounded by musty tomes and windows-98 pcs,  were shouting out for print to remain.

The general conclusion was that digital held the key to snapping up a modern audience, but many organisations were afraid to leave their more ‘traditional’ members feeling cut out of the loop.

Monster Hunters

A key factor that came to light over the course of our investigation was how these organisations were approaching the younger demographic.

Millenials seem to be treated like mythical beasts – no one knows how to define them, and no one knows what they like, and organisations are going crazy trying to find out.

Perhaphs I am experiencing an ‘observer’s paradox’ by talking about myself and subsequent generations, but I get the feeling that what we want isn’t rocket science.

As a millennial, I don’t feel like I fall into the same category as unicorns and bigfoot, but I do know that I like things to be simple, accessible and most importantly – cheap!

If you were unable to attend our talk on the day, or are unsure whether your organisation should make the jump to digital, our slides are online and available below.

Want more information about the research we conducted and our findings? Get in touch!
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