2 Jan 2023

Embracing Change: How Associations Can Communicate More Effectively with Members in the Age of Evolving Marketing Preferences

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving digital landscape, the way people consume and respond to marketing messages has changed significantly. As an association, understanding these changes in member behavior is essential for maintaining a strong, lasting connection and effectively communicating your value proposition. This blog post will explore some of the key shifts in member behavior and provide actionable tips on how associations can adapt their communication strategies to stay relevant and impactful.

The Changing Face of Member Behavior

1. Preference for personalized content

The age of one-size-fits-all marketing has come to an end, as members are now demanding more personalized experiences. They expect content that is relevant to their individual needs, preferences, and interests. To cater to this expectation, associations must focus on understanding their members better, segmenting their audience, and tailoring communication based on each segment’s unique needs.

2. Aversion to intrusive marketing

Members are increasingly sensitive to intrusive marketing techniques, such as excessive email blasts, cold calls, or unsolicited advertisements. Instead, they prefer a more organic approach that respects their privacy and allows them to engage with the association at their own pace. To avoid alienating members, associations must reevaluate their marketing strategies and seek non-intrusive alternatives.

3. Emphasis on value and authenticity

Today’s members are savvy consumers who can easily identify shallow or insincere marketing efforts. They are drawn to organizations that provide genuine value and maintain a sense of authenticity. Associations must focus on delivering valuable content, showcasing real success stories, and fostering a culture of transparency to create a deeper connection with their members.

4. Rising importance of social media and peer recommendations

Social media has become a primary source of information for many members, with peer recommendations carrying more weight than ever before. Associations must invest in building a strong and engaging social media presence to stay top-of-mind and leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Tips for Communicating More Effectively

1. Personalize your messaging

Use member data to understand their unique interests, preferences, and needs. Segment your audience accordingly and tailor your communication to resonate with each segment. This could include personalized email campaigns, targeted content on your website, or customized social media posts.

2. Adopt a permission-based marketing approach

Instead of bombarding members with unsolicited messages, seek their permission before sending marketing communications. This can be achieved through opt-in forms on your website, social media, or during event registration. Encourage members to specify their communication preferences and respect their choices.

3. Focus on providing value

Ensure that every piece of content you share with your members is valuable and relevant to their needs. This could include industry insights, educational resources, or exclusive member benefits. By consistently delivering value, you’ll build trust and strengthen your connection with your audience.

4. Be authentic and transparent

Members appreciate honesty and transparency. Be open about your association’s goals, challenges, and successes. Share real stories and testimonials from members who have benefited from your association. This approach will help to build credibility and foster a sense of community.

5. Embrace social media

Develop a robust social media strategy that includes regular updates, engaging content, and opportunities for members to interact with your association. Encourage members to share their experiences and recommend your organization to their networks. Monitor and respond to feedback, and use it as an opportunity to improve your communication efforts.


The way members respond to marketing has evolved, and associations must adapt to stay relevant and effectively communicate with their audience. By embracing personalization, adopting permission-based marketing, providing value, being authentic, and leveraging social media, associations can forge stronger connections with their members and ultimately drive growth and success.

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