When To Add A New Member Benefit
The decision to add a new member benefit to your business or organization is never an arbitrary one. Adjusting your benefits package—particularly if you’re replacing existing benefits with new ones—should be done meticulously to avoid unintended consequences. Read on to see our top factors to consider when determining the optimal timing for introducing new member benefits and revamping existing ones.
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Membership benefits, vital to attracting, engaging, and retaining high-level individuals, must continually evolve to meet members' needs and expectations. They are the linchpin of any association’s mission to provide members access to exclusive resources and services to achieve professional goals and enhance personal lives.
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Monitoring Industry Trends & Market Developments
Organizations must stay abreast of current industry trends and developments to maintain a competitive edge. This means leaders must actively monitor market research, attend industry-related events, and collaborate with thought leaders.
- New Apps & Digital Tools — Watch out for popular apps and technology blogs to identify new productivity, communication, and networking tools that may benefit your members. For example, if a new project management app gains traction, consider offering your members discounted access or exclusive training opportunities.
- Health & Wellness — Monitor the wellness and self-care industry for new spa openings, innovative treatments, or holistic approaches to stress management. If you identify a unique and promising spa or wellness experience, consider partnering with the provider to offer exclusive discounts or tailored experiences for your members.
- Collaborative Workspaces — Keep track of the co-working industry for new spaces, unique amenities, and efficient designs. If a new co-working space aligns with your members' needs, explore the facility for further assessment.
- Travel & Accommodations — Monitor the travel and hospitality industry for new luxury hotels, exclusive resorts, or convenient travel experiences. If you identify business perks from a specific hotel or airline, consider partnering with the provider to offer your members special deals or customized corporate travel packages.
By remaining vigilant, organizations can identify emerging needs and expectations among their target audience, subsequently crafting new member benefits that cater to these specific requirements.
Evaluating Member Satisfaction & Engagement
Recruiting new members costs nearly six times more than retaining your existing ones. Therefore, assessing current member satisfaction and engagement is essential for determining the effectiveness of existing benefits and pinpointing areas for improvement.
Conducting one-on-one interviews with members is an excellent way to solicit their feedback on the current state of your benefits program. Focus groups can also be helpful for this purpose, especially when exploring how certain benefits might benefit segments of your membership more than others.
Make sure these conversations occur regularly—at least quarterly is a good rule of thumb—to identify trends in member preferences over time. This process will help you recognize when certain benefits are underutilized or not being used at all, informing your decision about whether or not those offerings should remain in place.
Align New Benefits With New Goals
Introducing new member benefits should be aligned with the organization's overarching strategic mission and objective. If the organization implements new goals, complementing benefits should follow.
- Global Expansion — If an association aims to expand its global reach, it should introduce benefits that connect members to international markets and resources. Partnering with worldwide virtual spaces and participating in international events can help members establish a presence in new markets.
- Promoting Sustainability & Social Responsibility — New commitments to any of these initiatives should be followed by benefits that support these values. For instance, offering discounts on eco-friendly products and services, organizing volunteer opportunities for members to engage in, or providing exclusive resources on implementing sustainable business practices can help members align their personal and professional activities with these principles.
- Specialized Skills — If an organization's strategic goal is to enhance the skills and expertise of its members, it can introduce benefits that provide targeted professional development opportunities. For example, offering specialized workshops, online webinars, or training programs that address industry-specific challenges or emerging trends can help members stay ahead of the curve.
The decision to add a new member benefit is often based on a desire to improve the organization's value. However, when considering the financial implications of additional benefits, it is imperative to provide research that they will positively impact revenue generation and engagement.
You should conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis to ensure that any new benefit is financially feasible for your organization. This will help you determine whether or not you should pursue it —and, if so, what steps you will need to take to launch it successfully. Some factors to consider when conducting this analysis are costs related to implementation, maintenance, and ongoing support; revenue generation (if applicable); and potential impacts on member satisfaction and retention rates.
Adding new benefits is a delicate balancing act that requires organizations to consider a multitude of factors. However, with these strategies, organizations can make informed decisions about when to introduce new offerings to the benefits catalog. Ultimately, this will enable them to create a compelling and relevant suite of perks that serves the evolving needs of their membership base, promoting long-term success and growth.