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3 Shifts to Watch when Talking Membership with Millennials

2.7.14 By: Partner

It’s easy to get sucked into all the buzz about millennials in the workplace. At Idealist Consulting we have assumed for years that working remotely through cloud computing is no big deal, and indeed is the inevitable and exciting future of business. Many of us took the Pew Research Center’s “How Millennial Are You?” quiz recently and some of our employees in their 40s proudly scored higher than those in their 20s! So you might say we feel pretty confident about navigating this brave new world.

However, there are quite a few adjustments that we have noticed our clients making to their business processes based on mobile technology and millennial expectations. So we were pleased to read our partner Fonteva’s recent article highlighting a millennial’s perspective on associations in 2013. Here is an abbreviated version of their post published with permission, read the complete post on Fonteva’s blog here.

Amidst all the speculation about what Millennials do and don’t like, what they will and will not do, the prevailing conclusion seems be that doing what you’ve always done to promote or market your product or services won’t work with this group. If they haven’t already, associations should start thinking about how millennial they are.

At the end of 2013, Kelly Donovan, team leader for online marketing at Naylor LLC, identified seven shifts that she believes are particularly relevant to the younger generation of association professionals. By offering a “Millennial’s Perspective” on associations in 2013, she gives observations that will serve us all well as we work to provide the best experiences for this generation and all the generations to come.

Here are the three shifts that stood out most for me:

  1. Increased use of mobile apps at events
  2. The need for more membership options
  3. Pricing challenges

As Donovan points out, the need for more membership options is really driven by the demand for true customization of the membership experience. MemberNation’s member portal option is one way we’re helping our client associations address this trend.

This need for customization may also be at the root of the pricing challenges some associations are experiencing. Not every product or service in your association’s repertoire will appeal to everyone. With MemberNation, users can monitor any type of engagement with any constituent. This makes it less difficult for them to determine which products and/or services are most frequently used or purchased by specific segments of their members and then bundle and price them accordingly.

In light of these shifts and trends, I tend to agree with Donovan’s assertion that associations “need to move out of their comfort zone to join the rest of the world on most tech matters.” How millennial is your AMS solution?


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