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September 06, 2007

Review of The Decision to Join

This is a 26 minute review of ASAE & The Center's new research study, The Decision to Join. In this podcast I provide a little background on some prior research released by ASAE & The Center, discuss the study's major findings, talk about some results that do not mesh with my experience, mention a few surprising things in the study, and discuss a few findings that will make you say, "Duh!"

MP3 File

2 comments:

Peter Turner said...

Great post/podcast Ben!

Did you attend the d2J session presented by Carylann Pishner of ASAE/Center and a colleague (name escapes me)?

Your observations of the high points work for me, but I had a slightly different understanding of the data on what benefits drew people to join. I might have heard it wrong but this is what my notes from that session recorded (Tried to verify with ASAE/Center but no one responded).

Volunteer leaders rank member benefits differently than rank and file members (tracks with my experience). For instance, advocacy, leadership and networking opportunities what ASAE/Center call "benefits for all" were more valued by members with higher levels of involvement.

That means the rank and file members have more immediate, granular and tangible needs (e.g a solution to a problem) to be satisfied. Makes sense.

If this is so, I think your reaction to "professional" benefits outweighing "personal" benefits is well founded.

The other thing for me that bothered me was defining value propositions.

D2J value proposition data seems to show that “benefits for the good of the order” (product or service offerings) are slightly more important than “personal benefits” (discount programs). But what about the underlying purpose for joining in the first place?

When you join or buy from an organization are you more concerned about discounts and the variety of products someone is selling or are you looking for solutions in the form of a product or service experience that fits your needs?

What kind of needs do you have to be satisfied? If you can map your needs to a product or service then you make the calculation to join or buy based on how important it is to you, the product or service promise to deliver, the trustworthiness of the brand provider, and then how much it costs.

The D2J study seems to have missed this decision tree and to evaluate it to isolate “results value.”

Personally, I have always felt that people who drop because their employer wont fund do not feel there is enough value for them to pony up. And if people REALLY value your stuff they will pay the price.

A great example of this is the average Chinese make very little per year and yet they are willing to pay dearly for a mobile phone as a percent of total expense.

Oh yeah... how many folks stood in line for an iPhone last month?

What's your take?

Ben Martin, CAE said...

Thoughtful and tough questions, Peter. Let me chew on them over the weekend. I will answer your first question, though. Yes.