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December 28, 2007

2007s last Blog Watchdog

It's the final Blog Watchdog of 2007. Don't forget to subscribe to the McKinley Marketing newsletter to receive this column, and others, from them on a monthly basis.

Happy New Year! I thought it would be most appropriate this month to complement Sheri and Sara's excellent insight with a handful of relevant links that focus on related issues. Here are a few additional tips to help you achieve membership mastery in 2008.

Sheri and Sara write that database accuracy is imperative for the membership professional. But what happens when the association doesn't have a single database, but more than 100 disparate lists of members and prospects strewn across the organization? That's precisely the dilemma Wes Trochlil discovered recently with one of his clients. Read his post to learn why this is a problem and how to go about fixing it.

Transferring member calls between departments without providing a solution typically leads to a negative experience. These members may decide to delay renewing - or avoid it all together - based on the experience. You can see how poor relationships between departments can affect the budget. Scott Briscoe at Acronym uncovers how another version of silo-itis can detract from an association's ability to boost its bottom line.

Do you talk about avoiding "silos" in your organization? Certainly, talking about eliminating silos is much easier than actually breaking through them. How can association departments set themselves up to succeed? Jamie Notter proposes a solution. He suggests that teammates from different departments work on building trust and identifying effective ways to communicate. To nurture a truly effective team, processes and procedures for handling work should be secondary to the interpersonal relationships between colleagues.

Sheri and Sara also write that the membership professional gains tremendous insight into member needs by actively seeking feedback (i.e., research). Not only will association staff be positioned to more accurately respond to member needs, research suggests that the more opportunities you give people to provide feedback about your company or product, the more likely these people will say good things about you. Read this insightful post by Guy Kawasaki for more insight into this phenomenon (and a striking example of how NOT to encourage feedback).

To continue the discussion on any of these topics, post your comments.

Got feedback or a tip for me? Contact me: bkmcae at gmail dot com.

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