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September 20, 2007

McKinley's Blog Watchdog Tackles DTJ

Proudly releasing the web version of my monthly blog roundup for my friends at McKinley Marketing. You can receive this column, and columns written by McKinley's top-notch consulting staff, by email when you sign up for their newsletter. The Full-Disclosure Barbershop Quartet is ready to sing. And here they go... "Ben is a paid freelance writer for McKinley Marketing."

In this edition we tackle two of the hottest topics in association managment: Decision to Join and Social Networking. Like the rest of the McKinley Marketing staff, I've had a handful of revelations regarding ASAE & The Center's latest study. Here's a sampling of what folks in the association community are saying about DTJ, as well as some key insight on the ever-growing applications of social networking.

Evaluating DTJ
In many ways, the DTJ study confirms what we already knew. Maddie Grant, one of the newest voices in the association blogosphere, is the first to offer up a substantive review of DTJ. For her, reading DTJ was a "duh" moment. An admitted doubter of the significance of retrospective data, Ms. Grant calls into question DTJ's novelty and applicability. Like Maddie, I feel that many of the conclusions in DTJ simply confirm what we already assumed, however, I think it's important to validate the assumptions under which we operate. From this perspective, the study is extraordinarily worthwhile. Furthermore, DTJ is far more useful for what it disproves than for what it proves. I recorded this 26 minute podcast to discuss how DTJ obliterated my past assumptions, such as "people join associations primarily for the personal benefits" and
"word-of-mouth is not the number one way in which potential members learn about associations." Listen to the podcast for the full story.

A speaker at ASAE & The Center's 2007 Annual Meeting & Exposition, Jackie Huba, spoke about the intersection of DTJ and word-of-mouth marketing. Jackie's partner, Ben McConnell recently posted about the new holy grail of marketing: online video on the Church of the Customer blog. Video has the potential to be remarkably viral, and so, says Ben, in the future, marketers will be increasingly focused on creating and spreading online video. Think viral video doesn't work in an association context? Think again. Although it's not currently available on their site, the Association Forum got a huge viral effect when they released Association Professionals Throughout History. McKinley's own Sheri Jacobs has intimate knowledge of this initiative, of course, having spent nearly 5 years at The Forum.

Looking for more opinions on DTJ? ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership's Membership Section newsletter features four articles about DTJ this quarter.

Associations and Social Networking
From adolescent to professional, there are three darlings of social networking sites: MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn. Adding users at an enviable rate, Facebook is so hot, it's on fire. Associations and corporations are just beginning to understand the business uses of Facebook, including member engagement, marketing, disaster planning, and communications. Lee Aase works in communications at the Mayo Clinic, and constantly churns out some of the best advice on how to use Facebook productively in a business setting. Check out his blog and search "facebook" or just click this link.

R U txting yet?
Dave Sabol asserts that texting has reached the tipping point. As with social networking sites, associations and companies alike are trying to determine how to leverage text messaging services like Twitter, Jaiku and others for productive business uses. A consensus seems to be building that low hanging fruits in this area are emergency communications and legislative alerts. This wiki will help you uncover more creative business uses for text alerts.

To continue the discussion on any of these topics, visit my blog and post your comments.

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Maddie Grant said...

Thanks for the plug! My main conclusion on DTJ was that with time and more data from future participating associations, once we're a bit freer to NOT talk about the more "duh" stuff, it will be a valuable springboard from which to talk about some of the unexpected findings, and I really look forward to that.

Sue said...

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts. It is always great pleasure to read your posts.