The Seven Deadly Sins of Marketing

Tony Rossell, SVP, Marketing General Inc.
has been in the association sector for 30 years and the following post is based on his presentation at a recent conference I attended in DC.

1. Undefined Value Proposition – how compelling is your value prop?  It’s important to be clear in your communications on how you are helping your members grow their business, comply with a new regulation or gain access to capital to name a few.  Members renew from received value.  Members join for perceived value.  Do your research (i.e. survey your members etc.) and find out what they want.

2. Excessive Planning – some associations are suffering from “paralysis from analysis.”  His point is just get out there!  Set a plan, launch a campaign, study the results and act on your results.  Continue to test, track and adjust as needed.

3. Abandonment of Membership Recruitment – you can’t just rely on renewing your members.  Even if you have high retention rates, in order to grow your chamber, you need to continue to recruit new members.  Keep potential new members in your sales funnel.

4. Overreliance on a Single Channel – don’t just rely on one communication tool (i.e. email).  You need to create an omnichannel marketing campaign (i.e. email, mail, annual meeting, social media, digital ads, texting, video, content marketing, etc.).

5. Insufficient Frequency of Contact – 5 email, 3 online, 1 mail, 1 phone call is the average number of touches based on their research.  It’s not enough! 

6. Inadequate Special Offers – the speaker is an advocate of special offers.  They could come in the form of a gift card, logo shirt or additional months of membership.  I personally am not a fan of discounting membership rates.  I view that as your not worth the price of dues.  I am fine with sending a shirt with your logo.

7. Lack of testing and Analysis – he finished with the key point of folks not testing what’s working for you.  It’s imperative that you test everything (i.e. subject lines, sender, format, message, call to action to name)

He finished with the statement that associations showing growth are seen as innovative.

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