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What is Member Value and Why is it So Important to Membership Organizations

Membership organizations are one of the many groups that need to adapt and evolve by listening to their audience’s needs. In an increasingly online world, membership organizations need to prioritize digital tansformation, and create new ways to engage and interact with the next generation. In short, they need to pivot to a customer-centric strategy to stay relevant.

Membership centricity is a growing concern for membership organizations. The basic principle focuses on putting the needs and goals of your members ahead of the organization. For some traditional membership organizations, this is polar opposite to the traditional business-centric methods which put business need ahead of customer satisfaction. One reason to make the switch of a customer centric strategy is to ensure your association's relevance and popularity- your organization should not feel remote from your members' interests and ambitions. 

The Founder of The MemberWise Network Richard Gott sums it up perfectly, “[we’re] waking up to the fact that future long-term member value and growth requires a deeper focus on online membership experience and engagement”.

So, what is member value?

Member Value

Member value is the benefit that your members receive from you, it can actually be broken down into two different definitions: perceived member value and actual member value.

Perceived member value is what your members feel they receive from you, be that their access to services or benefits of their membership and ability to participate. This can be quite different to the actual member value as some of your members may be unaware of the benefits and services you can provide to them.

Actual member value is the value your member actually receives from their membership, this can be a range of things from CPD, to networking, to being part of your community, to discounts, to career development or recognition. Your membership benefits should be articulately communicated so your members know exactly what their membership gives them making them fully appreciate what you provide.

With clear membership benefits communicated or listed on your site you are able to dissolve the disconnect between the two types of member value.

Member value will continue to be a growing area and will evolve from a desirable trait to a necessary one. If member value is not addressed within your organisation it will have long term effects on recruitment, retention, growth, participation and engagement.

So, if this area is so critical to membership organisations why hasn’t it been optimised yet, along with member engagement? It is normally because membership organisations are too focused on new members that they forget to look after their current members, but as most business experts will tell you, new member acquisition is significantly more costly than retention.

Due to the current membership climate it is more important than ever for membership organisations to evolve, adapt and develop their offering and communicate with their members with member value being a cornerstone in this transition.

If you are looking for more in depth information around membership organisations, member value and working towards future proofing some outdated processes, check out our free ebook on - The Importance of Engagement for Your Membership Organisations.


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