It is a truth universally acknowledged that associations are possessed of large fortunes and are always expanding their marketing departments.
Said no one ever.
In case you can’t tell, I recently re-read Pride & Prejudice, which lead me to consider the irony in modern life. For example, most businesses, associations included, tend to cut marketing funding, and often teams, whenever the economy takes a downturn. Those cuts are such a universally acknowledged truth that we marketers joke about being “the first thing to go and the last thing to get added back” – as much as anyone can joke about losing jobs.
But it is also a universal truth that cuts must come from somewhere, and large marketing departments are often a luxury in the association world.
Which is why integration and automation have become key necessities of daily marketing for associations.
At my previous position, my integration of choice was with our AMS (iMIS), Higher Logic Community, and Higher Logic Communications Professional. We grew the iMIS-Higher Logic combination to the point where it easily did the job of between 1-2 marketing people, depending on the day.
Better than that, the automation turned into a sort of personal guide, shepherding members throughout their journey to help them realize their dreams.
You can hear more detail on how we used this at my previous position in our podcast, the Member Engagement Show:
How the iMIS-Higher Logic Integration Really Works
Let’s look at an example to show you how it works.
To continue with the Jane Austen theme, let’s say Lizzy is graduating with a degree in carriage design. She joins her school’s Carriage Designers Association chapter (CDA), then CDA as an academic member. iMIS tells Communications Professional she’s a prospective attendee for the annual conference, so she gets annual conference emails geared toward students and decides to attend.
From there, Lizzy’s interactions get transferred back and forth between iMIS, Communications Professional, and the Community. As she navigates her member and career journeys, the AI system created by the association analyzes her actions. Communications Professional looks at what emails she opens, what she clicks on, what web pages she visits, and what landing pages she fills out.
Community knows if she’s logged in, what boards she’s joined, what she’s searched and posted about, and has features like mentoring that can automatically match up and engage real experts to help her on her journey.
Meanwhile, all of this information is written back into iMIS, where it is matched up with other information we know about Lizzy, like where she went to school, where she works, what she does, what events she has attended, and what certifications she has or is working toward. Anyone who talks with her at the association has a 360-degree view of where she is and what help she might need.
The AI system that Lizzy’s association has built using the three systems knows what help she might need as well, so it knows to send Lizzy emails encouraging her to get new certifications, and when to send her encouragement to finish them. It knows when she might be looking for a new job and can help guide her to a careers board, or when she is searching for information on the community or on the RiSE (the CMS inside iMIS) website about new spoke designs for carriage wheels, and knows to send her information on training and events about spoke design.
An indulgent example, I know, but at the same time, it doesn’t matter whether it’s someone devoting their lives to carriage design, airport management, or rocket science. Every one of them has a journey. And as association staff, our goal is to help them get through it.
Want to learn more? This summer, we’re doing a webinar series with ASI, the makers of iMIS, where we’ll walk through three key areas of the integration and how it can benefit your association and your members:
Information & Automation Helps You & Your Members Achieve Your Goals
In other exciting news, Higher Logic and Association Technology Solutions are partnering together to build the next generation of our integration with iMIS! We have a lot of exciting stuff coming and the integration is going to be more powerful than ever. I shared more in-depth about what’s possible on our podcast, the Member Engagement Show. Listen below:
Product Marketing Manager
Beth’s marketing experience encompasses more than twenty-five years of marketing strategy and member/customer engagement in various industries, including puzzles and games, training, education and aviation.
In addition to marketing, Beth has worked in event management and web development, wearing a variety of hats in different positions. She has also been an adjunct professor of marketing at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.
Beth received a Bachelor of Science degree in Merchandising from James Madison University, a Certificate in Event Management from The George Washington University, and a Masters of Business Administration/Marketing from the University of Phoenix. She has earned numerous awards for her marketing, including two Top Digital Marketer of the Year awards.
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