In the fourth quarter of last year, Impexium hosted a series of focus group meetings with our customers to discuss their 2018 business goals (and ensure we are positioned to support them in achieving their goals). A few associations were in the middle of significantly restructuring their business model and looking to create new products and new sources of revenue, but the majority were making minor tweaks to their existing model. Regardless of the extent or depth of their initiatives, all recognized technology was integral to their productivity, profitability and the success of their overall operations.
What the association executives in attendance were looking for from their technology (with a focus on their association management solution) to support their 2018 goals could be summarized with the statement:
System efficiency improves productivity and predictability.
Efficiency: The “Do More with Less” mantra was mentioned often during our discussions. Association staff are increasingly expected to work smarter (not harder), to be more efficient and more productive in their day-to-day jobs as well as interactions with members and prospects. (And we agreed they needed an AMS to balance powerful functionality with a simple intuitive interface and workflow.)
Innovation: Analytics, artificial intelligence, big data, the latest social media app, mobile this and mobile that as well as countless other game changing technologies are quickly becoming integrated into our personal lives and our business. Impexium’s forward-thinking customers conveyed the challenge to stay innovative and to adopt technology that responds to and leverages the latest technology innovations, so they can stay competitive and relevant to existing and prospective members. (We agreed! This aspect of the conversation was invaluable for our roadmap.)
Predictability: Even the most successful associations can’t manage what they can’t predict-- and association technology is no different (Although one attendee mentioned Impexium’s Analyze & Visualize analytics suite provided “enough” predictability to contest this statement.). The executives in attendance demanded solutions (and technology partners) that offer “no surprises” in terms of costs associated with implementation, upgrades or maintenance as well as keeping up with the latest technology. The inherent benefits of a software-as-a-service business model and a frequent release cycle was one of the key reasons for the attendees move to Impexium. (We took note to be transparent and avoid the surprises that hindered use, adoption and ultimately the ROI associated with market’s dated legacy AMS solutions.)
It was great to see and hear how our customers are approaching and defining 2018’s objectives with such high expectations for their association specific technology (and the vendors that supply the technology). By embracing technologies that allowed them to focus on efficiency, stay current with the latest innovations and manage their costs (repeat no surprises!), our customers felt they positioned themselves for a successful 2018. We excited to work with all our customers to make 2018 the year of Membership Success.