Digital Engagement Strategy for Member Organisations

by Charlie Thompson

In a multi-channel marketing landscape where consumers have learned to filter the filler from the meaningful, it’s increasingly difficult to gain headspace as a member organisation. This blog explores the challenges and opportunities for membership organisations as they seek to reach their audience with more effective engagement strategies.


The context

Digital is part of the fabric of modern culture, touching almost every element of our lives; from work to entertainment, social lives to retail. Marketers have paved the way for frequent and effective engagement from consumers, amply demonstrating that the digital generation is more than willing to interact with brands, but on their own terms.

Social media is a revolution, backed by the immediacy and omnipresence of connected devices such as tablets and smartphones. But despite advances in the way FMCG and lifestyle brands interact with their audiences, membership-based organisations have lagged behind, struggling to overhaul strategies that are fast becoming outmoded.

 

A new generation

Communication and interaction has reached an all-time high for brands ready to adapt to the more open environment the internet has created. The best part is, people are happy to interact with the brands they love, and even some they don’t. It’s a cultural shift that has come along with better access to extensive, high quality information. But there’s a flip-side to this scenario.

Because so much valuable information is available, consumers have learned to quickly disregard that which they consider worthless. Where a mailer may have been effective 20 years ago, organisations are having to think differently. Providing genuine and immediately apparent value is the only way to get to the forefront of your members’ minds.

 

The challenge

Prompting action in any audience has always been difficult, but those stuck in the traditional media mud are at a huge disadvantage when attempting to reach a contemporary audience. Penetrating the quality force field of consumers is becoming harder; we have become used to free, fast and continuous availability.

One challenge for organisations is finding resources outside of those used to run a modern organisation. Beyond the core offering, most organisations just don’t have the internal resources to commit to such a high energy and high cost pursuit. Organisations need to offer more to compete with the loud voices of expensive traditional marketing and smart digital communications.

 

The opportunity

Luckily, there are plenty of opportunities for smart organisations to reach their audiences. Digital provides an excellent platform for effective communication. The trick is making sure the value of interactions with your brand is made explicitly clear upfront. 

One smart method clever brands are utilising is push notifications. Through a branded app, consumers can be prompted to interact with organisations through short notices sent directly to their ever-present smartphones. With proximity alerts also allowing you to reach specific audiences based on location, they are a compelling nascent form of communication with your members. However, it can be costly creating an app, so is there an alternative?

EDMs (electronic direct mailers) are the modern equivalent of now outdated junk mail. Costing little to produce, and providing great tracking capabilities, email is also mobile. Paired with a mobile compatible site, this is a fantastic method for prompting engagement.

What about the value? This is the easy bit. Organisations can offer more by taking advantage of benefits programs that see incredible rates of engagement due to the readily apparent nature of their reward to members. Delivered through digital mediums, and integrating seamlessly with social media channels, brands provide consumers added value through discounts and offers.

 

At Infinite Rewards, we provide a digital benefits platform that is designed to increase engagement among members. Customised to perfectly represent your brand, we make benefits available via the web and apps, with in-store redemption and smart tracking part of the package. EDMs are sent to consumers, and a branded app is an option to deliver push notifications to members. The effects are better engagement, improved retention and simpler acquisition.