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Although your trade association or professional organization is not technically considered a "business", its approach to recruitment and member retention needs to follow many of the same marketing rules and trends that traditional businesses follow in order to achieve success. In the past, this meant spending valuable time and resources in an attempt to bring in new members and keep current members engaged, but thanks to marketing automation software, things just got a whole lot easier.
What is Marketing Automation?
In a nutshell, marketing automation is the process of taking many manual marketing tasks, such as sending out emails or scoring prospects, and allowing software algorithms to take over. For example, in the past, if you were testing ad content for a new product, a human or humans would have to sit down and spend hours, days, or weeks analyzing data regarding who responded most favorably to which ad, which approach, which message, and so on. Then, this same data would have to be broken down by demographic and analyzed further regarding various stages of funnel offers. Using software, marketing automation can streamline all of these processes and more.
How Marketing Automation Can Assist Your Organization or Association
Marketing automation can assist your association or organization in a number of ways, but one of the most important is keep up with analysis regarding engagement. In any online site, engagement is important, and measuring engagement can give you a good representation regarding how much potential visitors are likely to participate in sales that you're offering. As a professional association or trade association, your content, throughout your website, needs to be optimized in order to not only bring in qualifying leads, but also to engage potential members who are on the fence about making a joining decision.
Developing a Plan
When it comes to marketing automation, it's important to point out that software is the end, not the first result. In order to utilize marketing automation effectively, you first need to know the customer or potential customer. In this case, it would be the member or potential member. Developing persona documents would be the first step, but you will also want to seek out feedback from current or previous members in an attempt to figure out what they want and need.
Use What's Tried and True, Even if it Bucks Opinion
If you've found success with other marketing techniques, keep using them. Think of digital marketing as a tool in your tool belt. While the Internet continues to gather steam as the choice among startups and established businesses interested in gaining customers, it is not the only game in town. You can still gain ground using TV, radio, word-of-mouth, and more. With this stated, don't count digital out, despite what has worked in the past.