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Key Takeaways Association Marketers Need to Know from ASAE’s 2017 #MMCCon

There were many great education sessions at ASAE’s 2017 Membership, Marketing & Communications (MM&C) Conference, held earlier this month in Washington, D.C. This year’s event focused on the challenges faced by association marketing professionals and provided tips, trends and programs to help move marketers forward. Here are five key takeaways that will help association marketers face the future.

Branding is everything

Branding should be at the core of anything and everything you do for your association. It’s what shapes who your association is, how your members perceive you and the inherent level of trust they have for your association. It is the equivalent of your association’s personality. It is important that every single action that your association takes is in alignment with your brand’s personality. Every department should consider the association’s brand when making decisions. Consistency is critical, said William Espey, brand voice lead for Chipotle and MM&C’s closing keynote. “Every point of contact creates that brand experience.”

IT and marketing need to have a symbiotic relationship

Your marketing efforts are only as good as the data you have. Multiple sessions focused on this core concept and stressed the importance of marketing and IT departments working closely together in order for marketing to be effective. During “10 Marketing KPIs Every Association Should Be Measuring,” Dave Martin with Aptify and Michael Skiados with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association talked about just how much the marketing landscape has moved toward data-driven technology. They estimated that in 2011, there were about 150 marketing technology companies/tools. By 2016, that number had jumped to more than 3,500. With data automation on the rise, marketing departments are relying more heavily than ever on their IT staff for guidance on which tools to use, how to store their data and how to move away from segregated information storage to one central database. It was even suggested both departments report to the same supervisor to ensure all parties have the same goal and incentives.

Predictive analytics is the future

As associations become more sophisticated with their data, there is opportunity to not only implement marketing campaigns based on the historical behavior of their members, but also to predict future behavior. This is important because having this kind of data can significantly increase how associations target members. Using various models, associations can review a member’s past behavior and determine how like that member is to do something else. This allows the association to specifically target members with personalized information and offers. This type of targeting minimizes cost and time, and it gives members valuable content and offers they truly want.

Email subject lines are key to increase your open rates

Four key tactics for improving email subject lines emerged from a learning lab titled “Five Big Things Every Marketer Should Know – and 45 Little Things You Should Do.” In the lab, Craig Wood, managing director and chief engagement officer of 360 Live Media, and Jay Schwedelson, president and CEO of Worldata, gave strategic and practical guidance on a variety of marketing topics, including how to write better subjects lines that will increase open rates. They noted that if your subject line isn’t motivating recipients to open your email, then your content and marketing efforts may be wasted.  To dive deeper into the four tactics learned from this session, make sure to read Emily Nesterick’s article titled “4 Must-Know Email Subject Line Tactics to Increase Open Rates.”

Snapchat geofilters are great for inexpensive advertising

Snapchat geofilters are graphical overlays that can be added to a Snap (a picture or video taken using Snapchat). They are accessed by swiping on a Snap after the Snap has been captured using the app. Geofilters are location-based and become available to a Snapchat user when the user is within a geofilter’s geofence. Geofilter pricing can be as minimal as $5 and is based on the geofilter’s duration and boundary lines (ranging from 20,000 to 5 million square feet). Snapchat geofilters offer an inexpensive, fun and interactive way to engage members and non-members alike by allowing them to share where and what they are doing with their Snapchat followers. Geofilters are also well-positioned to reach Generation Y since Snapchat has “established itself as one of the most highly used apps among millennials (18-34 year olds),” according to comScore. Following the geofilter submission guidelines, associations can easily create their own geofilter to promote their brand or event for any occasion.

Naylor Association Solutions’ marketing specialists Kaydee Brown, Tammy Burton, Brianna Martin and Emily Nesterick contributed to this article.

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