How can your association prepare today to serve your members
four and five years from now? To start, you need to ask some tough
• Why do our members belong?
• What prevents prospective members from joining?
• What do members really value about their membership?
Understanding Your End
Given the future landscape, how can
your association prepare today to serve
your members four and five years from
now? To start, you need to ask some
• Why do our members belong?
• What prevents prospective members
• What do members really value about
The answers to these questions are
critical in identifying the right high-value services to deliver your members
going forward. This is not the time to
try to “be everything to everybody,” as
mobile members will demand very targeted content and well-designed applications focused around tasks important
A one-size-fits-all approach, while
seemingly safe, actually runs a great
danger of failing to meet the expectations of your most high-tech members
— the same members who will be the
greatest evangelists for your mobile
efforts. And playing it safe will fail to
influence your least high-tech members
to adopt new approaches and tools.
Choosing the Right
One key factor about mobile devices is
that they are very personal. They have
become an embedded extension of their
users and are organized and installed
with applications and resources to
meet personal needs, as well as provide
what’s needed to immediately conduct
Can you sum up your association’s
value and offerings on a smartphone-sized screen? Now imagine members
engaging through a larger, tablet device.
What’s the best experience to deliver
and when is that experience most relevant to that member?
Mobile is about delivering the right
services optimized for the right devices.
Those services can be delivered as:
1. Native apps. Applications designed
for your specific mobile device,
downloaded from an app store, allow
users to maximize each device’s
capabilities and operate without a
cell or Internet connection.
2. Mobile websites. Sites optimized for
mobile delivery and viewed through a
mobile browser; they work across the
broadest range of devices but capabilities are more limited.
3. HTML5. An emerging standard that
allows the creation of app-like func-tionality rendered through a mobile
Your organization is likely to employ
each of these methods to serve members in the future. How the experience
is designed will be a function of matching the best approach and device to
deliver your services.
You may decide to deliver your
monthly magazine via a mobile website optimized for tablet delivery, use
HTML5 to enable annual conference
attendees to interact with one another
through aggregated social media feeds
or offer an app that provides a personalized professional development curriculum tailored to different devices.
Member Service 2015
There’s no doubt that association communications, publications, education
and events will look different in 2015.
How they look at your association will
depend on how you identify your unique
value and how you decide to deliver that
value to your members.
Russ Magnuson is CEO and chief technology officer
of Results Direct, which delivers web and mobile
solutions for associations, including the Association
Forum of Chicagoland. Magnuson may be reached
firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 626-5284.