Technology 101: Revisiting Your Association’s Options and Goals

By Dani Mihalic • September 1, 2022

Technology has come a long way in the past few decades, completely transforming the business landscape. Proper use of technological tools and services is no longer an optional route for associations. Instead, having the right mix of tools that seamlessly integrate to meet an association’s needs is now a business necessity.

Without the right technology, along with a comprehensive knowledge of how to best use it, it’s almost impossible for an association to reach and engage members, grow revenue and fulfill your organization’s value proposition.

Although technology is now mission-critical for any and all associations, it’s also important to select tools and services that meet the specific needs of your association, rather than just going with the tools you think you should have.

Whether you’re looking to refresh your current technology roadmap or starting from scratch, here’s how you can make technology work for you.

Technology Goals to Help Meet Your Association’s Needs

Technology should be used to improve functionality, save time, and benefit the members who interact with your association via its various platforms.

Technology can help your association achieve its strategic goals, including:

  1. Foster member and employee relationships through engaging and reliable platforms.
  2. Facilitate opportunities to develop new products and services for your members.
  3. Drive operational excellence by maximizing efficiency and productivity.
  4. Provide your association with a competitive advantage that sets you apart and advances your industry.

How Can Technology Help Your Business?

Technology ultimately serves two audiences: your staff and your members. Technology will enhance your staff’s ability to perform their roles efficiently and professionally while it provides your members with easy access to the benefits your association offers and helps them make easy connections within your larger audience.

Both of these purposes are of equal importance and should work together to create exceptional experiences, so let’s dive deeper into how the right platforms can better serve these two groups.

1.Technology to Improve Your Staff Performance

Although you may tend to focus on enhancing the experiences of the members who interact with your AMS via their member profile or your association’s career platforms every day, it’s important not to forget the staff experience as well.

Platforms should be implemented that make performing everyday responsibilities easy and efficient for your staff. Cumbersome and complicated platforms can quickly lead to workforce burnout and turnover.

Technology that can be adapted to improve your staff’s experience and performance includes:

Association management software. In order to create immersive platforms, software should include a fleet of tools that allow employees to streamline tasks and save time. This software will help your staff effectively manage membership data, secure renewals, and market to current, past or potential members.

Association management software should also come with the ability to:

  • Integrate with your career center information to enhance future recruitment campaigns.
  • Integrate with financial information to help your finance team reconcile their books and save time.
  • Include professional development tools to enhance certification programs to attract new members or provide members-only benefits.

Learning management software. Work can be streamlined when employees are able to easily share and distribute industry information and learning opportunities between teams. To do this, software needs to be scalable and user-friendly.

Email marketing automation. Leveraging the power of automated email campaigns will save your staff an immense amount of time while allowing for customization and more targeted messaging to reach members. 

Accounting software. Quick and reliable accounting software can completely transform your financial team by allowing for time saving and better functionality. The Practice of Now 2020 Report said that 58% of accountants believe that automation helps to improve efficiency and productivity in their field.

Career center and job board. Enhancing your career center and job boards using the latest technology can offer a range of benefits, including cleaner organization and the ability to generate custom and pre-planned reports.

2.Technology to Improve the Member Experience

The needs of members will be unique to every association and, for this reason, the different tools and techniques you use to engage with them and enhance their experiences must be selected on a case-by-case basis.

Some of the different technological tools you can use include:

Career center and job board. Recruitment boards can offer unique capabilities that allow members to search for new jobs, discover new information that can help them with career growth, and access industry data about employment in their desired field.

Association management software. Technology and “self-service” options can give members the power to take ownership of their membership by keeping their data updated, managing their renewal, registering for educational sessions and events, and tracking certifications they’ve earned.

Association and event apps. Meeting your members where they want to get their information is essential. Association mobile apps can help facilitate engagement with your members wherever they are through a customized mobile experience. By meeting them on their mobile phone, you are allowing them to access renewal information and career center content, your upcoming event’s schedule, credentialing events, and so much more at any time. Similarly, by leveraging an association app as an event app, you can enhance their event experience.

Content management system. The way your association chooses to display and store your content can make a big difference to your members’ experience. By providing full access to your content, members can benefit from useful industry research, white papers, ebooks, and more.

In today’s competitive landscape, anything that sets your association apart from others means everything – and technology is becoming a clear competitive advantage when properly implemented.

To learn more about how you can upgrade your technology for your employees and members today, request a meeting with us today.

About The Author

Dani Mihalic is the director of marketing at Naylor Association Solutions. Reach her at [email protected].