Is your travel budget still tight? Sure. But 2014 may go down in the books as the year that the majority of association folks officially unchained themselves from their desks. According to our latest unscientific reader poll, nearly three in four respondents said that either mobile apps (43 percent) or cloud computing (29 percent) had the single biggest impact on their organization this year. About one in seven members (14 percent) cited collaboration tools and another one in seven (14 percent) mentioned Big Data.
These poll findings seem to be consistent with our annual Association Communication Benchmarking Report, which found that 44 percent of the 1,031 NFP leaders surveyed said that having a better mobile engagement (27.3 percent) or having a better mobile strategy (16.7 percent) would increase member involvement at their organizations. What’s more, more than two in five benchmarking respondents (41.7 percent) said that their organization’s inability to provide “mobile-friendly” communications was one of their most significant member communication challenges.
“Many of our members are managing on the go,” said one respondent, adding that “a beefed up mobile communication strategy is key. But, as one small association leader confided, “I am the one staff member who handles all communications, and I just don’t have the time to focus on a mobile strategy.” Said another respondent, “We do not have the time to devote to really optimizing our content strategy, or our ability to be easily accessible on mobile devices, where A LOT of our audience is,” they said.
Expect the 2015 to be the year that fence-sitters and naysayers find a way to get the resources they need to get up to speed on mobile and cloud computing. They have no choice.