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3 Digital Trends Associations Should Consider in 2020

2020 is already off to a roaring start! Shortly into a new year, we always try to take inventory by evaluating trends spearheaded by our customers and share our thoughts. As you get rolling to execute on the previous year's planning and strategy, those first few weeks after the new year seem to be a sprint, with barely a moment to breathe. So take a few minutes here to digest some bigger picture, longer-term goals while the meat of the year is still in front of you. For associations and mission-based organizations, the three topics below aren't necessarily new or ground-breaking ideas, rather expectations from the communities they serve with tangible roads to achieve.

Investing in Ecommerce Experience

If you haven't explored or implemented it already, an ecommerce feature on your website is a must-have for your organization. We have seen trends of younger people joining organizations at a lower rate than previously, so how can you make up for those revenues? We actually spent some time on this topic, you can check that out here: Ecommerce Tips to Boost Non Dues Revenue

The main takeaway from this is to start small and expand from there. It can likely be overwhelming to try and figure out what, how and where to make products or services available for your organization. But with appropriate planning and strategy, including purposeful design (we'll get to that later), this seemingly enormous task can be tackled.

Cross-Functional Personalization

It is no secret that Netflix and Amazon have taken control of how we interact with websites and content. Both sites deliver exactly what you are looking for quickly, succinctly, and often, before you even know that's what you want. So how can associations learn from these digital titans? Personalize at every opportunity.

Whether it be your member portal on the website or email communications about the latest event, conveying that you as an organization know, understand, and appreciate your member or prospective member through personalization goes a long way. Achieving this is actually less daunting than you think. With a technology strategy, integrating all of your front and back end business systems - AMS, Website, Community, LMS - you're able to gather a fuller picture of your members to deliver on your personalization goals.

Accessibility Centered Design

This is less a trend than what should be a best practice. The world is more digital than before, which makes it our responsibility to make it accessible and usable for everyone. That is why we have been banging on the drum about Web Accessibility for years at this point. Did you know that roughly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from a disability that affects their ability to digest a website and its content? That means it is likely your membership and prospective membership populations fit that trend as well.

If you haven't thought about it already, it is worth evaluating where your site and digital properties would score on an accessibility test. Are colors too similar? Do you have captions on videos? These questions can help you begin on your journey to a more accessible site for all users.

With nearly the full year left, it is time to attack some of these challenges and turn them into wins for your organization. If you’re in need of a technology partner, we’d love to work with you.

Steven LaGow is on the Partnerships team as the Regional Partner Marketing Manager based out of Washington DC, specifically focused on the association and nonprofit markets. Having worked with these organizations for the last 5 years, he is committed to helping Associations and Nonprofits focus on their missions and providing their members and constituents the best possible web experience.

In his free time, he loves attending Washington Nationals games, watching Manchester United, and all kinds of live music. 

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