Recently, AdvantageCS was invited to present the results of a survey we’d co-sponsored with FOLIO: magazine on the subject of collaboration between departments at membership associations. The survey was sent to membership associations which have publishing/media concerns. The results of the survey from about 150 respondents confirmed our suspicions that there is, generally, a lack of communication and collaboration between the membership and publishing/media departments at such organizations. The respondents were in agreement that this is detrimental to the mission, and that both communication and data sharing are keys to a common goal of success.
One of the respondents nailed the problem by describing “a culture of silos.” Just 14.6% of respondents said that legacy structures in their organizations did NOT impede cohesion. This is a broad problem.
More than half of the respondents (51.9%) agreed with a statement that begins, “We are frequently uncoordinated, with intra – and inter-departmental objectives diverging too often, lacking consistency and creating missing opportunities for growth.” Only 56.3% have a unified database across departments that allows them to share data.
It is my strong belief that it is not just the lack of communication or data-sharing that exacerbates this problem, but also communication about what the data actually means. AdvantageCS has a solution for membership organizations that is unified with the publishing operation – the “customer” is the member. It’s not a question of being able to synchronize between two systems. Advantage is one system that serves both functions: the management of the membership and the publishing/media/commercial transactions.
If you have a single database, i.e. the membership and the commercial data, you have a treasure trove for both marketers and customer service. Your members have a much more satisfying experience dealing with your organization since the person on the other end of the telephone or your member service portal has access to the whole story. This revolutionizes a member’s experience.
See the survey results here: http://www.foliomag.com/lacking-systems-collaboration-association-media-groups-miss-opportunities