Let's not beat around the bush - having an app for your association will involve some cost. However, with most of your members carrying a smartphone, you can't afford to miss out on opportunities that will keep your association's brand top of mind, and most importantly, allow your members to reach out to each other more easily while they are on the move.
Below are the key reasons your association should have an app:
1. Member engagement
Apps offer a way to extend your most valued services to mobile phones - your news, events, updates, and of course your membership directory. Your members will not be in front of a PC very much these days. They may be in meetings or out in the field and unless they can engage with your organization in these scenarios, then the value they derive from membership will be reduced. Referrals between your members and opportunities to network and share ideas are what bind your association to your members - make it easy by extending your services to the mobile channel.
2. Keep your brand top of mind
With multiple memberships and limited time, your members may not always have the time to visit your website or read your newsletters to find out what is going on. Using mobile apps, you can push the information to them. Your members can receive the latest news, updates, events information and directory updates on their mobile phones as soon as you publish it. If your apps are developed specifically for each smartphone (as opposed to a "web app"), then your users will be able to view much of your app content even when they are not connected to the web.
Furthermore, leveraging your information assets creatively through the latest mobile technology will position your association favourably in the eyes of your members - innovation and having your finger on the pulse is important for perception.
3. Generate additional revenue
Your app offers opportunities to increase non-dues related revenues. If you have a sponsorship programme, you will be able to offer your sponsors better exposure by displaying their adverts discretely within your app. These revenues can be invested back into your organization to allow you to provide additional services and marketing initiatives.
4. Cost savings
Although print is still a viable communications medium, it is expensive to send out printed items via couriers. Mobile apps can distribute the same content digitally, allow your content to spread virally, and enable your information to be searchable.
Moving more of your communications to digital is also good for your organization's corporate sustainability credentials. You need to be thinking about how potential new members and other stakeholders may view your organization's impact on the environment and your local community.
For more information
Contact Appergy for help with your association's mobile strategy.
Connect with author and Appergy CMO Giles Brake on Google+