Imagine if you could run every decision your association makes by your members and prospective members before you take action? You would increase engagement in every phase of membership. Your messages and events would never miss the mark. You would fill up your programs faster and reduce wasted time and money across your organization. What if I told you that there was a way to close that gap between this dream and the reality of your team's resources and capacity? This is where your association's marketing personas come in. What Is AN ASSOCIATION Marketing Persona? Marketing personas are semi-fictional representations of your association’s ideal members, based on a combination of market research and data about your existing members. Personas help you internalize the ideal members you’re trying to attract, understand your members (and prospective members) better, and relate to your members as real human beings.
Each individual member of your target audience is a on a journey of discovery and fulfillment, spanning from personal needs to career goals. This journey begins long before they are members of your association and extends throughout their professional life.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of emails that begin with “Dear Member” and then attempt to convince us to attend an association event for which we’re already registered. For many association members, impersonal and disconnected interactions like these can lead to feelings of frustration, decreased engagement, and even lapsed memberships.
All of your association’s goals depend on getting people to take action. - You need new members to apply - You need current members to renew - You need people to attend your events - You need members to buy products or sign up for classes - You need advocates in your industry to mobilize for change Smart associations know this doesn’t happen by chance, or by simply blasting members with emails. It takes thoughtful planning and precise execution. When you hear about these core association goals, the part that is often overlooked is that most of these interactions with members and non-members begin with a landing page.
There are specific actions that associations need people to take to meet their core goals – typically membership and revenue. For associations to “stay in business,” they need people to become members, remain members, sign up for programs, buy products, and register for events. Association marketing is all about getting members, prospective members, sponsors, and event registrants to take those actions. If every associations had all an endless marketing budget and an abundance of staff, making sure that those audiences got the right message at the right time would something that all association could do.