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Key Findings from the 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report

Research Studies |

The 2013 Membership Marketing Benchmark Report is now in its fifth year. The report is created from the input of nearly 700 respondents and it collated by Marketing General Incorporated.

This years result shows clearly that membership organisation numbers are continuing to grow, after almost five years of hard economic challenges. The report highlights the activities that associations are actively doing to recruit, engage, renew and reinstate members. The survey goes into great details and is 60 pages long, so we thought we'd quickly present the key findings and go into more depth into how and why these are occurring in future blog posts.

Key Findings

  • Over 52% of the 690+ associations participating in this study report a growth in membership, versus only 31% reporting a decline in their membership
  • Nearly 24% of associations reported a gain in membership of 6% or more
  • 64% of healthcare associations showed considerable growth in membership over the past year
  • Associations with 20,000 or more members and those reporting an operating budget in excess of $1 million report the highest levels of growth over the past year
  • From this year's survey, the major indicators of membership health — overall total membership, new members acquired, and membership renewals — have increased for the majority of associations
  • Associations continue to see an increase in new member acquisition since the low of 2010 - 63% report an increase in the acquisition of new members over the past year
  • The majority of associations (68%) have renewal rates that are at 80% or higher. Only 32% of associations report renewal rates below 80%
  • The mean renewal rate for participating associations is about 81%
  • The top three challenges to growing membership remain “insufficient staff,” “difficulty attracting and/or maintaining younger members,” and “perception of the association and/or its culture.”
  • An equal percentage of responding associations (74%) ndicate that “increasing member engagement” and “increasing both membership acquisition and retention” are the top two membership goals

So we can see that the positive upward trend in membership growth and sustainability seen in 2012 is continuing in 2013. The report goes into much greater detail into the impediments to growth, top goals, use of social media, why people join and renew, engagement practices and much more. 

Over the next few months we'll take this report and break down the results into what they mean for your membership organisation and how you can create actionable goals to help improve your levels of growth, retention and engagement.