Digital trends: facing our digital future together

Digital trends: facing our digital future together

At Pixl8, we have over 20 years’ experience working in the sector - providing digital, business and marketing solutions. By combining this with our clients and sector insights in our recently launched 2021 Membership Forecast, there is a wide pool of information and insight for us to draw on. 

Add to this the sector knowledge from Memberwise’s Rich Gott and the webinar generated some key insights and importantly actions for membership organisations on their digital improvement journeys. 

 

Lucy Conlan, Strategic Consultant

 

At Pixl8, we have over 20 years’ experience working in the sector - providing digital, business and marketing solutions. By combining this with our clients and sector insights in our recently launched 2021 Membership Forecast, there is a wide pool of information and insight for us to draw on. 

Add to this the sector knowledge from MemberWise’s Rich Gott and the webinar generated some key insights and importantly actions for membership organisations on their digital improvement journeys. 

We identified these as some of the most important digital trends in the sector:

Key trends

We identified these as some of the most important digital trends in the sector: 

  • Now! - our digital hands have been forced and ideas that were pending are now being actioned, and with a swiffer turn around time
  • Getting the basics better - payment options and self serve are increasingly important to empower members and increase efficiency
  • Extending the impact and reach of digital and hybrid events - connecting is even more important and digital events are core to delivering this for members and prospects
  • Even more emails - with more on offer digitally, most organisations are emailing members more than ever. This should not be a blanket approach - only increase volume to the email engaged
  • Elearning and e-mentoring - with the need to adapt and hone skills upfront and central finding better ways to deliver training and qualifications online is important for professional membership bodies

 

Watch the webcast 

Questions and comments

We had a range of questions and comments from the webinar attendees as well as the Memberwise team; this is our summary of the panel discussion: 

What are the priorities you see?
It is relative to where you are right now but you do need to assess your levels of digital engagement along with the stasis or at least growth of your base. If you are in the minority and your base is declining then swift action to understand the issues and deliver better digital reasons to join and renew are key. 

The key things that we see as priorities for organisations is a focus on making ways to pay membership fees easier, to encourage self-serving, to improve the online event experience and extend the programme and also to develop meaningful and often automated user journeys. 

Does it take longer to convert people to membership?
So, it depends. For some sports-focused membership organisations, their numbers have been soaring swiftly. For some professional membership schemes, people are turning to them during furlough and so many have been stable. But yes, for some the wooing period can be longer, so the member value proposition needs to be clear, powerful and have strong digital aspects. 

Welcomes are longer and more vital
A good welcome has always been important but especially now. People have had more time online and needed more support and encouragement. Giving your membership scheme emotional as well as practical value is important and a warm welcome is a key part of that. 

How should we interact with members?
We like to consider the evidence; are your members email responsive? How often do they visit your website? Do they use your portal? Are they likely to download content, view videos or sign up for events? Once we understand their behaviour we can then tailor messages across email and the website to extend what they’re doing and offer more of what they like plus. Through analysis we work with clients to show how we can also offer members related material and experiences; people interested in a certain topic are also likely to value this other topic. 

How important are events?
Events are really important to most organisations we work with. The  ability to come together, meet each other and share ideas and collectively problem-solve or innovate is critical to a vibrant sector. Organisations that had a strong digital event programme have fared better but we have supported others who are making their first steps into digital event programming and helped others take their activity to the next level. For some this has meant their first ever online conference. 

Is live chat functionality useful?
Being able to ask questions in real time can add value to online journeys when well-placed - so setting the timing right and getting it on key pages such as join pages, is really important. Overuse of the this function can cause higher bounce rates, so use them with care and make sure your team is there to handle the queries and can turn off the functionality if there are absences.  

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