Want to better engage your younger association members to build a stronger member base going into the future? Consider letting go of the “antiquated” concept of the desktop – or even laptop – computer and embrace the notion of mobility in the workplace. Like it or not, the sheer number of mobile users continues to increase.

Although it’s unlikely that the desktop\laptop computer paradigm will disappear overnight, look what’s happened to the printing industry. For example, the days of the printed newspaper delivered to your front door are numbered. (Amusingly, milk delivered to the front door has made a comeback thanks to Amazon Prime, Walmart Grocery, and an increasing number of other grocers.)

As the smartphone becomes ever more ubiquitous, web users are increasingly looking for mobile apps to simplify their busy lives. While the traditional view has been to initially focus on designing a web application for desktop\laptop use first, with the continuous trend towards mobile, many designers and their clients are beginning to design for the small screen of the smartphone first, and then responsively design for the larger screens.

Case-in-point: I did some consulting work for a very nice person who was running an ecommerce business that did a lot of B2B sales. This small business owner was convinced that his customers were using the same computer layout as the company – a mini-tower computer with dual monitor display. I did some research using Google Analytics and discovered that while his B2C customers were predominately using desktop\laptop computing to place their personal online orders, the company’s B2B customer base was ever-increasingly using mobile devices to place their business-related online orders. This ecommerce business’ refusal to make the adjustment to “mobile first” ended up costing him a significant amount of market share.

So, your association members’ expectations could also be swinging more to:

  • Wanting to access your website and content with their mobile devices
  • Desiring that the content must be mobile responsive
  • Abandoning websites that are non-responsive or difficult to navigate from a smartphone

And, smartphones may just be a technological resting point on the road to the future. Imagine a scenario using Amazon’s intelligent personal/digital assistant Echo, aka, Alexa …

… that advances from a relatively complex scenario of:

Member: “Alexa, how do I renew my association membership?”
Alexa: “Would you like me to display the renewal form on your screen or play the auto-renewal voice prompts?”

… to a much more simplified scenario of:

Member: “Alexa, renew my association membership.”
Alexa: “Your membership is renewed.”

Either scenario requires the support of your association’s membership renewal process, as it’s presented online or as a background process. While the first scenario still requires some member input, the second scenario is completely automated.

So, remember, the risk of resting on the road to the future is you may get run over in the fast lane.

Want to learn more about giving your website a facelift? Register to attend our live webinar, “Meet Member Expectations with a Modern Website,” scheduled for Tuesday, February 27 at 2 ET.