Insight 4 of 4 – Memberships in the Digital Age: Crafting a digital experience to attract and retain the next generation

David Murton


December 2023

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key fact

In Membership organisations and Professional Bodies, an optimised digital experience is integral for staying relevant and attractive to modern audiences. A seamless and user-centric digital platform not only enhances member engagement but also serves as a crucial tool for promoting members' interests in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Retaining and attracting members is the top priority for membership organisations and professional bodies. Like all organisations today they must re-invent the way they interact with their consumers. One of the key enablers to this is the development of a digital experience. In today’s landscape, consumers anticipate a consistent digital experience from the organisations they engage with.

Furthermore, digital channels are becoming key to ensuring membership organisations and professional bodies stay relevant today and into the future in the modern world and is now a key channel to be able to actively promote their members interests.

The initial step in any digital transformation is to clarify the essence of ‘digital’ and distil it into a more tangible concept. When we say digital, we really mean a business strategy and/or operating model that uses the capabilities of modern technologies to meet the demands of customers and deliver the organisation’s ambitions in a different way.

For membership organisations and professional bodies successful digital transformation is not simply about the technical approach to delivery of a digital platform. The key to a successful digital transformation is to ensure it is part of an overall engagement strategy that is user centric and prioritises the customer journey.

The most visible element of digital is in the customer experience however, digital comprises several different layers, from the customer experience through to the infrastructure foundations required.

As technology evolves at a rapid pace, organisations now have the opportunity to formulate strategies that, until recently would have been financially unattainable. This trend is expected to continue.

While most membership organisations and professional bodies have significant legacy IT and some of this needs to be addressed as part of the digital journey, organisations need to move away from the traditional full stack model and towards a plug and play type model.

  • Modern flexible architectures – how to move towards a capability-based and potentially subscription-based technology estate.
  • Application estate – for those with legacy estates, how to advance to a simplified, configurable set of applications. And for the younger entrants, how to truly scale matching desired capabilities to the appropriate application functionality.
  • Automation – driving automation within the appropriate areas and doing it right first time, rather than as an additional layer.
  • Adapting to interact with connected devices, e.g., cars, sensors in property (residential and commercial), and wearables for health.
  • Innovating with new disruptive technologies to enhance the customer and employee experience driving additional value.
  • Ensure that sufficient guardrails and controls are in place to control the use of Lo/No code and SaaS offerings.

Getting the basics right is core to any business in its daily operations. Digital transformation is no exception. Unless the fundamentals are in place and working to the organisation’s advantage, the ability to realise wider benefits can be adversely impacted. There are three areas that we believe are critical:

  • ensuring an organisation knows their technology cost profile – what the levers are that can be pulled to make efficiencies; and understanding how that profile may change in a digital world.
  • ensuring the IT and application estate performs to the service levels necessary to support the organisation’s goals; are the service management capabilities appropriate for a digital business model?
  • ensuring the right technology controls are in place to meet the regulatory standards e.g., vulnerability management, GDPR.

Organisations are starting to develop solutions to deal with the challenges and opportunities discussed above, but the questions really need to be:

  1. Are your solutions still fit for purpose in the digital world?
  2. Do you have the right foundations and enablers in place to help your business provide the experience and products that customers desire, alongside driving profitable growth?
  3. How regularly do you review the foundations and enablers to ensure they still support your digital goals?

At Mason Advisory we’ve been helping organisations like yours to get the right foundations and make the right decisions about software and technology to deliver a successful digital enabled organisation.

Mason Advisory experience consultants are able help you maximise the opportunities of digital and leveraging our digital readiness and our cross industry digital experience.

We hope you find this article informative. If you’d like to read the rest of the articles in this series, click the links below:

For more information or help on your journey to the Digital Association, email to discuss further.

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