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How diverse is your product palette?
17 November 2014, by , in Executive, Marketing, No comments

Over two decades ago, I worked for a small trade association whose primary product was a very large trade show put on every two years. The association itself had been around for over 100 years, and the trade show was in the top 50 in the US in terms of square footage.

And yet, ten years ago, the association disappeared, absorbed by a larger trade show, the victim of severe industry consolidation. But consolidation wasn’t the only problem the association had. Another problem was that it really didn’t offer much other than the trade show. Oh sure, we had committees and events and other common association activities. But none of these were very strong products on their own. And so, ultimately, the association died.

When you look at your association, how diverse is your offering of products and services? One of the benefits of a good association management system is that you can learn a lot about your members’ and customers’ needs, and you can provide them with additional value through better products and services. But you need to HAVE products and services, in order to make the data useful.

Ask yourself: Is your association product mix like a light switch or a rheostat? A light switch turns on and off, but a rheostat allows you to adjust your lighting in a variety of ways. If you only have one primary product, your members can turn you off in an instant. Don’t let this happen to you.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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