Lisa Vivinetto to Speak on How to Effectively Engage New Association Members
Lisa Vivinetto to Speak on How to Effectively Engage New Association Members
In an economy where finding and retaining top talent has becoming increasingly challenging, organizations need reliable, timely data that provides the assurances that they are offering competitive compensation packages. Having the precise and relevant data from quality salary compensation surveys can help organizations understand if, in fact, they are offering competitive salaries and appropriate benefits packages. Associations often provide these salary compensation surveys to their members, which is viewed as a very valuable business intelligence, a benefit often cited as a primary reason for association enrollment.
The opening statement of the Federal Trade Commission Guide to Antitrust Law — and the reason antitrust laws were established in the first place, is to ensure that no single entity holds all the power over a particular market, that our country continues to provide an environment where all businesses have a fair and equal chance at succeeding, and that consumers are offered a choice of innovative, fairly-priced, quality products and services. At Dynamic Benchmarking, we could not believe more in this primary pillar of our modern economy and seek to support it by helping associations share knowledge and best practices within and across industries. But when does the exchange of information cross the line from helpful to unfair advantage?
This post was written by Amanda Kaiser, CEO and Founder of Kaiser Insights, LLC. Amanda is a qualitative researcher for the association industry and co-creator of the New Member Engagement Study. You can read Amanda’s weekly blog for association professionals at SmoothThePath.net or follow her on Twitter @SmoothThePath.
At Dynamic Benchmarking, Spring and Summer are our favorite times of the year, not just because of the beautiful weather here in New England, but because we enjoy attending the most popular events in our industry. Trade shows and conferences are great places to gather new ideas, explore new technologies and products and make new connections.
Finding meaningful and effective means of member engagement has long been a challenge of associations everywhere. Getting new members involved and keeping existing members active is one of the biggest obstacles faced by today’s associations, one that can often feel overwhelming given the limited resources available. Combine that with rapidly changing norms in both business and society as a whole, and associations are having to look for new and creative means of delivering value to their members.
Year end reporting usually means another stack of financial and operational reports hitting your inbox. While the initial influx may elicit a groan of dread, take a moment to consider the treasure trove of valuable information buried within those mountains of statistics and percentages. Answers to questions that have been nagging you all year long can be found buried within those numbers but you need a key to unlock that business intelligence.
In a world where we increasingly rely on emails, texts and various video conferencing applications, the face-to-face meeting is dying a slow and unfortunate death. A 2009 Forbes Insights survey of more than 750 business executives reported that 34% of these executives are traveling much less frequently for business as compared to the previous year. And while 42% reported their company’s use of technology for remote business meetings has significantly increased, more than 8 out of 10 said they prefer in-person meetings.
While knowing where your organization stands in comparison to its peers is valuable, putting that knowledge into action is where you and your members truly reap the benefits of benchmarking. Studies that measure and score against common standards or industry best practices are a great way to assess progress and define performance standards.
Scoring platforms commonly utilize best practices surveys and/or maturity models to measure compliance to established standards and best practices. Using a “behind the scenes” scoring mechanism, they provide an objective way for users to see how their answers align into pre-defined levels of maturity and point them toward resources to help improve individual performance. Industries and associations can use the collected data to develop content for training materials and programs, measure the effectiveness of standards, offer recognition or accreditation programs, assess competencies and more.
The opening session at this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting really pumped up the Dynamic Benchmarking team. Delivered by Josh Linkner, a four-time successful entrepreneur and start-up investor, his presentation, Harnessing Innovation: Turning Raw Ideas into Powerful Results, chronicled the driving forces and philosophies that are part of the culture of our company. What Linkner taught us is that the best-of-the-best, those who can successfully develop a great idea into a successful, profitable business, have a systematic process that helps them focus their team’s creativity and drive into practical outputs. Linkner distills this process into 5 key components, and we were thrilled to see how closely these aligned with own business philosophies as well as how benchmarking feeds and supports these ideals.
Get Curious. Linkner believes that curiosity is the driving force behind creativity, a common trait in innovative leaders. Benchmarking as a practice is, likewise, driven by curiosity and allows for a safe and secure way to peek into the operations of our peers. Organizations use it to answer questions, identify trends, and measure progress. As tools go, benchmarking is the curious cat.
Always Look for What’s Next. It’s the forward-looking individual that’s almost always the force behind the latest innovation in a field. Those that are constantly asking ‘what if?’ are most likely to become the leaders of tomorrow, and companies that incorporate this philosophy into their mission greatly improve their likelihood of a long and successful future. Many organizations use benchmarking to identify trends in their industries or individual operations on which they can capitalize for future growth and/or innovation. Identifying a need in the marketplace opens the door for development of new services and products as well as the continued evolution of an organization to ensure it does not stagnate.
Defy Tradition. Doing the unexpected, or approaching obstacles from a non-traditional stance, can open up pathways to new solutions. Sometimes, digging deeper into your market or audience can bring to light a previously unseen solution. Many associations use benchmarking studies to keep their finger on the pulse of their membership to identify new topics for educational sessions or new services that might increase member satisfaction or enrollment.
Get Scrappy. Linker’s favorite obsession, it’s what many may know better as the ‘start-up mentality.’ Look at your market with fresh eyes, passion and don’t be afraid to take some risks, albeit, they can be well-informed risks when benchmarking is on your side. Organizations who utilize benchmarking don’t assume that they have all the answers nor do they embrace the status quo. Associations and companies who use benchmarking seek the latest information on their industry and use the knowledge they gain to continually improve. Benchmarking can be a very powerful catalyst for change.
Push the Boundaries. In a start-up where resources are limited, but passions are high, a common mantra is ‘go big, or go home.’ In Linkner’s words, he calls this the 10x Litmus Test. “If you will gain a 10x savings in cost, sales or process, it is worth doing. If the gain is just 2x, it is not worth doing,” he says. Benchmarking can be used to support the undertaking of such efforts, especially in organizations that may be somewhat risk adverse. Benchmarking can be used to show the likelihood of such a gain using real world data.
As a team, we left Linkner’s presentation feeling inspired and energized. After ASAE Annual 2015, our sales and marketing team is filled with new perspectives on how benchmarking can further be utilized to drive the success of our clients. Our technology team is ready as ever to find new ways to improve our platform and our management team is on the search for the next opportunity for innovation for both Dynamic Benchmarking and our customers. We welcome you to join us and learn how benchmarking can help your organization innovate as well.