The 2018 MemberWise Digital Excellence Conference

This year, as MemberWise Network members, 4 Roads attended Digital Excellence, the digitally-focused membership conference from the MemberWise network.

James Browne, Business Development Director at 4 Roads attended the conference and here he shares his takeaways in this blog post.

4 Roads attended the 2018 MemberWise Digital Excellence Conference 

The Digital Excellence Conference is the UK’s largest membership focused national conference for membership organisations and associations.

During the day multiple sessions were delivered by many different membership and association professionals and experts who covered critical industry topics. Having attended, 4 Roads were able to realise real value from our MemberWise Network membership.

During the Welcome and introduction by Richard Gott, Memberwise Network Chair, the Digital Excellence report was shared.

This report is developed off the back of a survey of 350 managers and directors within the sector and is used to give a helpful insight into the direction the membership and association sector is taking with regards to their digital investments.

It was quite alarming to hear that 25% of organisations are very likely to replace their Customer Relationship Management systems in order to achieve a level of functionality that gets them to a point where this meeting members’ expectations.

This will mainly benefit Microsoft Dynamics partners who hold the largest share of the CRM/AMS sector with a market share of 23%.

What was of particular interest to 4 Roads was the high expectations of website offerings. This year the strongest priority that was identified was an optimised online journey that saves time (88%) followed by an interactive and engaging experience (85%) a high-level of self-service options (80%) and then a personalised experience (78%).

Another interesting area that the report identified was the use of blogs has increased by nearly 20% in the last year and content sharing via social media channels has increased by 12%. What 4 Roads would have been interested to know is how user-generated content effects the overall content and communication mix.

We’re pleased to see that there is likely to be continued adoption of chatbots. What’s clear is personalised experiences is the holy grail for the membership and association sector but it’s not being realised by many organisations yet. At the moment only, a basic level of personalisation is being achieved including name and members grade.

What is clear is that if membership and association sector are going to get personalisation right, they will need a good and effective content management system (CMS). WordPress is the most widely used across the sector (23%) and 4 Roads has direct experience of using it on several projects. Other CMS which 4 Roads have expertise in are Umbraco (8%) and Sitecore (5%).

The next conference is on 2 May 2019, so if you haven’t already, save the date!

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