Managing the Membership Journey
As with any journey in life, the membership journey has a beginning, a middle and an end.
The member moves through the initial engagement to becoming a member, until such time as they reach the end of their journey.
As a membership organisation, it is essential to model these membership journeys in order to align your membership engagement strategy around the key stages in every membership cycle. A strategic membership organisation will look to engage with its members based upon where they are in their membership journey and where they should, logically, look to go next.
To plan the membership journey, as with any journey, you need to work out the possible starting points. You also need to consider the stops along the way and the end destination points. You will need to account for the different types, or personas, of people and organisations who will be engaging on these journeys as well, in order to build up a representative picture of your organisational base.
For the majority of professional membership organisations, the journey is likely to be a fairly linear one. This will usually begin with a subject area interest level, moving into formal education in subjects relating to the profession, through to qualifying and starting work within the profession.
From here the journey will move into the on-going building of experience and qualifications as they practise within the profession through to retirement from the profession whilst still retaining an interest in what is happening within it, and, ultimately, death.
Along the way, the individual may take career breaks for a variety of reasons and the sensitive membership organisation will take these into account and provide flexibility of payment and member benefits accordingly.
Whatever stage of their journey they are at right now, it is the membership organisations job to ensure they are still seeing personal benefit from their membership solution, in order to avoid the notion that they have come to the end of their journey, and are therefore finished with the organisation.
The obvious tool to enable a proactive management of the journey for your members is a membership database (or CRM) solution.
With the membership database (CRM) solution, you should be able to track member profiles (personas), their interactions and transactions (products and benefits utilised), and their membership level (journey point).
This will put you in an excellent position to ensure on-going management of the individual’s professional and membership journey, helping you to plan new products, services and membership levels to add value to the whole membership journey and to the member community.