The standard answer to this challenge is a member recruitment campaign. Just make a quick offer with a nice premium. This has been proven to effective, an is the old school approach. A juicy premium is what the aspiring members go for, right? The question that begs for an answer here is: Does the NIMA target group need this? Unfortunately, the answer is "No". We therefore start with another question instead: "Why?"
Insights into the analysis of the NIMA sales funnel
In the first phase of our model, we conduct research into the existing online and offline material. We often derive a number of quick wins from this as well as a few challenges that will require more attention and time.
The most important insight from the analysis phase is that the NIMA site visitor does not intend to become a member. They come in via "Google" and they hardly ever look back at the content that concerns the NIMA membership. The NIMA site makes it very easy for them to retrieve the requested information without any commitment. The contact is fleeting and anonymous; visitors stay on the site only for relatively short snippets of time. In addition, the onboarding process is unnecessarily complicated. If you want to become a member, you must really commit by filling in more than 10 input fields. You won't solve these issues with a quick member recruitment campaign. To solve this, you first have to optimise the Sales Journey
A new structure for NIMA memberships
The name of a membership also influences the decision-making process. Products and upgrades must easily compliment and follow each other so that the prospective member must not put in a lot of effort to figure out which product suits them best. At NIMA, you must be able to see at a glance that every increasing level in membership is an upgrade, without going from basic, to expert, to professional, to professional +.
We opted for the frequent flyer model instead.
Develop urgency in positioning
Last but not least, now that onboarding has improved and the new memberships have been introduced: What is the real reason to become a member of a professional association for Marketing, Communication, and Sales professionals?
In NIMA’s own words: We provide knowledge and connections. This is important for many people, but not top-of-mind, and certainly not vital. What is important, and in line with "knowledge and connections", is that you have to keep up with your profession. Because Marketing, Communication, and Sales are fields where things are constantly changing. New models, new methods, new insights. Standing still inevitably means decline. "In the middle of your profession" is where you want to stand as a professional.
You don't just position yourself as a Thought leader in a day. You need time, content, and relevance to achieve this status. NIMA only really becomes necessary if you can gain knowledge with opinion pieces and blog posts, with white papers, at conferences, master classes, and during regional meetings. We advise blogging more, giving thought leaders in the industry a stage, and inspiring aspiring members and recruiting with leading events. Because ...
Met NIMA sta je midden in je vak. (With NIMA you are in the middle of your profession.) Word lid. (Become a member.)
By the way, most associations have difficulty recruiting members. They have to work hard and reconsider their positioning. There's a great article about this issue on Frankwatching.