I know mine does.
If your association is looking for innovative ways to connect with members and engage new audiences, mobile marketing–or mobile in general–needs to be seriously considered. Not only is mobile marketing one of the hottest topics amongst marketing strategists, (some say mobile is going to be bigger than the TV, radio and computer–combined), it is a great way to facilitate engagement and convert more users to membership within your organization.
We’re an app-centric, real-time society
We all want information now–this includes your members and prospective members. We expect our information in real-time. For better or for worse, that’s what our expectations have become.
- Think about frequently asked questions from your current members: are there ways you can facilitate those into a mobile app?
- Could you update the search functionality on your current site so that it’s mobile-friendly?
- Is there a way to provide text updates during your association’s annual conference or check-in information and maps for those looking for more information?
Your audience wants real-time engagement. This means you no longer determine when and where conversations happen about your association. Associations need to make themselves accessible in as many formats as possible. “Do you have an app/mobile site?” will be a common question from your members.
Start by using the information you know about your current members–their needs, their likes, their frustrations–and develop ways in which you can answer those with mobile marketing.
Effects of mobile marketing
It’s not just large corporations and businesses that stand to benefit from mobile marketing. Mobile marketing can play a critical role in moving your association past the competition, including:
- Increasing your current membership base
- Increasing membership retention
- Establishing your association as innovative
- Providing positive customer service experiences
- Reaching members faster (90% of smartphone users read texts in matter of seconds)
Mobile takes buy-in from everyone
You may understand the importance of mobile marketing, but there could be a disconnect with senior leaders or your C-suite. Know the facts before going all out with your mobile plan and have the statistics to back up your theories. Think about what the following means for your association:
- 79% of smartphone users use their phones to shop (and 74% make a purchase as a result)
- 70% of all mobile searches result in action within 1 hour (Source: Mobile Marketer)
91% of all U.S. citizens have their mobile device within reach 24/7
30% of 55-64 year olds own a smartphone (and their rate of adoption is increasing faster than any other age group); it’s not just for the young crowd
Remember when AOL discs came in everyone’s mailbox during the 90s? According to Nielsen, the iPhone grew 10 times faster than that. Mobile is big. Real big.
Use it to know it
It’s hard to sell yourself, let alone someone else, on a concept if you don’t understand it or have never used it yourself. Confused about QR codes? Go ahead and snap a picture of one to see how it works. Never participated in a text-to-give campaign? Select your favorite cause and see about making a donation that way. Not sure what an app is? Download a few that are association-based (Maryland State Bar Association has one for its 20,000+ attorneys and judges) to see how they work.
My point is: You need to immerse yourself in the technology through which your association will grow. Mobile is one of these ways.
Mobile is here to stay
The bottom line is that mobile isn’t going anywhere. Your association’s members are using mobile every day. In order to sustain, engage and communicate effectively with your members and any potential members that are out there, it’s time to jump on board the mobile marketing train and start visualizing a plan for how you’ll use mobile to communicate.