Getting to Know Your Association’s Audience

Have you taken a good look at your association’s target market lately? If not, it’s time you did. One of the keys to running a successful association is identifying the needs of your members and making sure you provide for those needs. As the saying goes, if you don’t ask, you’ll never know, and there’s never been a better time to ask.

Why You Need to Re-Evaluate Your Market

Business sectors are always growing and changing. Perhaps a sector will see a shift in demographics such as attracting more people of a certain age bracket or gender into a field. Perhaps as as time passes old issues will get resolved and new ones will come to the fore. There may be changes in the law or in technology, or simply in how things are done. It all adds up to a changing face for the business sector at hand.

For your association, that means the field in which you operate is changing. If you want to show your members that you understand their current needs and concerns, you need to get up to date with what is happening in your field – and with your members.

How to Get Answers

There are two main places to go when you want to re-evaluate your market – your business sectors and your members.

To make sure your association is right on the pulse of what is happening in your field, make it a priority to stay up to date by keeping tabs on:

  • Social media
  • Related news topics
  • Professional journals and papers
  • Online sources of information such as blogs and forums
  • Face to face opportunities such as trade shows and networking

When it comes to your members, you need to keep abreast of their current concerns by listening to them and asking questions. You can start by:

  • Paying attention to what your members and others in your field are talking about on social media
  • Listening to what your members tell you at networking events via email or any other time or method in which they contact you
  • Asking questions – from an informal question on Facebook to sending out a members survey, make time to listen to your members and find out what is on their minds

By keeping as up to date as possible, you will be able to evaluate the needs of your members and the sector in which your association operates. That all adds up to current and useful knowledge that you can use to evaluate what your association offers and how well that fits in with the current landscape and needs. The result? You will stay relevant and establish your association as a reliable source of information and support that understands what is happening here and now.