“Keeping up” Top of Mind for Association Sector

by: Isabelle Perreault

Written by Arianne Mulaire and Isabelle Perreault

Stratford Managers Corporation conducted an inaugural Digital Maturity Assessment™ of the association sector as part of the 2016 Engaging Associations Forum held in Ottawa on July 20-21st 2016.

Acquiring the right skills, being able to “keep up” with the fast pace of technology and aligning initiatives across the organization were cited as the top challenges by leaders in the association sector.

Other highlights:

  • The majority (55%) of associations say there is a basic digital strategy in place with some executive support however only 7% indicate that there is an integrated vision for how digital technology will support the mission of the organization moving forth.
  • As anticipated, member engagement was identified as a high priority for all associations and member data/insight was identified as a major enabler of that engagement. As such, 42% have some kind of platform in place to capture member data; while 23% are not capturing any data at all.
  •  Associations are starting to understand and be better equipped to manage the member journey with 47% stating that it is appearing in strategic plans but 34% concede that the member experience is inconsistent between on and off line channels.

The top Barriers to adoption for associations are very similar to those being reported for small to medium businesses across all industries in Canada: Time, money, fear and resistance, opportunity cost and difficulty in articulating the benefits.

To view the full results as well as the key building blocks to improve digital readiness as presented at the Engaging Associations Conference, please click here.

The assessment was completed by over 45 associations from various sectors (the majority were professional and trade associations) varying in sizes. See the full results for a breakdown of respondents.

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