August 21 , 2001 Volume 1 Issue 13
Associations in the 21st Century
Association membership is tough early in this new century. Getting 'em - keeping 'em.
This problem affects groups in every industry. Including those of us in marketing, direct marketing and sales. This month found me involved with a couple of DMA groups. The Arizona Direct Marketing Association and the Los Angeles Direct Marketing Association.
Each group was doing what we "preach" to business - planning. Planning for their next year - and onward. Looking to make happen what their members want to have happen. In some cases looking for how to attract new members with programs and offerings that are appealing. And always - looking for true reasons as to why they exist at all.
For the Arizona group I was on the outside looking in ... not really a part of the action. For LADMA I was there - with a group of guys and gals who have been and are making this group run.
Since planning has been, is and will continue to be key to the success of every company, let's share just some of what I saw and heard.
First, let's ask a question; is it "different" to think, plan and organize for a non-profit organization with a group of volunteers, vs. a for-profit business with paid employees? Well, "yes". And "no".
"Yes", in that the same processes must happen. "No", in that in volunteer groups everyone must have an opportunity to express an opinion ... even when they have nothing to say. So be it.
The new President in Arizona - Elaine Ralls - led with a very specific focus. She sees the organization in the next 12 months following her version of the 4P's of Marketing, with the 4 R's of Direct;
#1). targeting the Right Audience
The programs for the coming year will reflect this direction.
To learn more about the Arizona DMA go direct to http://www.azdma.org/.
In southern California President John Content complied a mixed group to set direction for 2002. He invited not only the current board and others active ... he included a group of past Presidents. He pulled them together for a nearly full day of open-ended exchange.
Past pres David Ohringer was given the assignment of leading the session. He thoroughly outlined an agenda that generated so many good ideas, it will take a full time staff several years to make everything happen. Which is what good brain-storming is all about.
The beginning was a history lesson. To remind the "ole timers" and educate the newer leaders. LADMA in the early days was founded as a "non-club club". With no dues. No set meeting date, time or place. And it thrived. Their primary objective was education. It still is.
The early Club was needed, because there were few to no sources for education in the '60s and '70s. Today the competition is fierce. There are countless opportunities to learn, to spend your money and time, or that of your company. Yet, many of the choices aren't very good - others are horrifically expensive. Today LADMA fills a similar need to it's past - yet, it is different.
One of the key reasons for "different" is the web. The online community is so huge, and so fast, that it is tough for local organizations - grass roots groups that have "meetings" - to survive. Toward that end LADMA has created, with very professional assistance and guidance, an incredible web site. To see what's available drop in at http://www.ladma.org/main.cfm and have a look. You'll be impressed.
LADMA set as their purpose these 4 objectives;
Each a strong and tough challenge. You might say the first two are "standard". And you'd be right. Thing is, they are also foundation points. Without awareness and positioning it's long walk up a steep hill toward achievement.
Of course the last two are opinion to some people. What's "right" for you may not be to another. Still, there is a ground floor. A set of principles. Sometimes called commandments. And LADMA is including all in their set of purposes.
They also set goals;
For any of this to happen, it takes membership. Getting members and renewing members is key to growth. And ... it is a never ending task. Every idea of how you get and keep is "good" ... every thought needs consideration. An almost countless collection of ways and means were tossed about, saved and will be evaluated, tested.
The age old question "should we exist?" is raised. And if "yes", in what format? What to offer? What is the Association message?
Bob Hughes of Pacific Printing Industries told how his sales team works ... and related the application to the Association. Bob says the acronym SHAPE applies;
Bottom line; get the right people into the right assignment, at the right time. Doing the right things. Not just anything - the right things. All as Peter Drucker would say. This concept works for organizations as well as companies.
Bob continued with his list of 4 "I" things needed to build relationships with clients, and with the membership of an organization;
As David led the day, there were scores of concepts tossed about; the importance of volunteers ... the need for a broad base ... the part the Board members play in keeping things moving ... the idea of smaller niche groups and sub-committees and the need each will fulfill. And many more. It all sounds very much like a plan is falling into place.
The LADMA day ended in a round-robin discussion of how you reach out, how you serve, and what specific tools we as marketers might use to grow as we give. As promotion must be top of ladder, strong, ongoing. Here is the quick laundry list of these thoughts;
This list was put together thinking LADMA - or any association. Funny thing, most of these ideas apply to mid-size and small companies, too.
Obviously, I could go on. This is not the minutes from the gathering - rather, a report. "Steal" what applies to you, and use it in your business.
The Baker's Dozen
When I began The Baker's Dozen Collection I told the story of how the concept began.
Visitor Sebastien Di Meglio put me straight. Here it is in his words;
"A long time ago cooks and chefs would visit the baker to buy pastries, cakes and bread for the castle where they worked. To keep the cooks and chefs happy the baker would always give them an extra pastry or bread or cake."
You know this site is about marketing, direct marketing and sales. Just as an "extra" was offered by the baker to keep the customer happy and to build repeat business, this Baker's Dozen Collection is offered to you.
The article online now is 13 Platinum Principles to Generate New,Original & Creative "Ideas". "Click" to read.
The Baker's archive currently holds over 30 such articles. On everything from testing to negotiating. Plus, a series of "how to..." papers on marketing on the web, direct mail, E-mail marketing, telemarketing, sales concepts, writing letters - even how to work with your clients for more success. And much more.
"Click" here to find what's most interesting to you. And ... EnJoy.
A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!
Because Ray Speaks ... it is expected he'll have audio and video tapes.
Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. FREE. No strings attached.
The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories, some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hours worth of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!
If you'd like you very own copy, send an E-mail to ... Ray@RayJutkins.com with your complete mailing address. Your tape will be on the way to you within the day.
Oh, if and when you are serious, have need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape could be valuable to you, one of those is available, too. Not much use for video these days - with the Web - still, if you insist, you may have a copy.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.