Our Abila User and Developer Conference (AUDC 2016) came to a successful close this past Saturday. And, I would bet that all who had an opportunity to attend Reggie Henry’s Leadership Series session are back in their offices this week enthusiastically sharing his ideas, and determining how they might apply them in their own organizations.   

For those who missed, “Technology Strategies for Transforming Today’s Association to Engage Tomorrow’s Members,” here’s one snippet from Reggie’s presentation:

Digitizing our business isn’t only about technology. It’s about the member journey, and understanding members’ “moments of need” along that journey. Where technology comes in, is it gives us the unique opportunity to be present in those moments of need. 

Mobile! First!

More and more, consumers are using smartphones, phablets, and tablets as their primary computing device and as their sole device to access email and other productivity apps. And, increasingly, this is where our customer’s journey begins and ends.

According to the Google guide, “Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile” these moments of need include:

  • “I Want to Know” – maybe an industry trend or an advocacy opportunity
  • “I Want to Go” – to your annual meeting or headquarters
  • “I Want to Buy” – a trade publication or book
  • “I Want to Do” – to learn how to create a marketing plan

These moments happen instantaneously and constantly. Whatever we need, whenever we need it, we expect it here, on our mobile device. It’s the first thing we turn to when we want to know something, communicate something, and buy something. We all have a “digital reflex” – we whip out our phones to know, go, buy, and do all day long. (It will be no surprise to anyone that 95 percent of our customers are always within three feet of their phone, and there are now more searches on mobile than on computers in 10 countries, according to the Google guide’s authors.)

How Do We Respond?

Develop a mobile mindset. Your current website and its structure are probably not useful on a mobile device. Responsive design is a must, but it’s just the cost of entry. Rethink your offerings in the “mobile context.”

When designing the mobile experience, think convenience store, not supermarket. And, understand your audiences “mobile moments” in each stage of the consumer journey.

Today, our customers are assessing the value of our services based, in part, on our ability to integrate into their digital world. We need to stop talking about “the transaction” – like the event registration, membership renewal, or e-book download – and start talking about being present at our members’ moments of need. Every single interaction is important. These moments are absolutely critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.

Our ability to engage tomorrow’s members (and be successful) will depend on us being present in their moments of need.

About Reginald Henry

Reggie Henry, CAE, joined the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as Chief Information Officer in November of 1994. His responsibilities as CIO are to implement exemplary systems at ASAE that can serve as a model to the rest of the association community and to “ratchet-up” the use and understanding of technology among ASAE members. He has been working with and for nonprofit organizations since 1985.