Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Antennas Up - Are You Really Listening

Last week I wrote about the need for you and other organizations to have our antennas up and offered a couple of tools that I use.

After posting the blog, I came across some examples and other tools that you may find useful in your association management work.

Meetup Groups and Golf
Last week, I spoke to a select group of golf course superintendents at the Syngenta Business Institute at Wake Forest University. In my research of the group, I discovered that participation in golf is declining (number of rounds dropped 13% in the last 10 years) and that these superintendents are looking for ways to recruit both new golfers and employees.

I did a quick search for Meetup groups in the zip codes of the 28 superintendents. And, discovered 220 meetup groups – representing about 8,000 people – mentioning golf in their group description. Few of the superintendents had heard of Meetup and few had searched to see if there were golf groups near them. 

Wow! This appears to be a lost opportunity to get involved in interested golfers!

LinkedIn Groups and Ophthalmologists
An association marketing person posted a question on ASAE list serve asking for thoughts about ideas for a marketing committee. She called me last Thursday. This association wants to sell products and educational services to their professional community (both members and nonmembers). In an informal discussion about setting up the committees, I mentioned an AMR client that identified a large number of their target audiences on LinkedIn. As we talked, I did a quick LinkedIn title search using the name of her profession.

Wow! I found eight groups with 9,484 members in her field. And, three of them appear to be competitors as they have “marketing network” in their titles.

So, have you looked at meetup and LinkedIn to find either collaborators or competitors? Have you or someone on your staff joined the LinkedIn groups in your field to listen to the conversations, be part of the discussion, engage when appropriate? If you have local chapters, have you encouraged them to “see what is out there?”

By the way, if you want to see how one organization incorporates Meetup groups in its conference, check out page 12 of Margaret Core's White Paper.

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