Your members’ first experience with your association will likely be online. This critical first impression will determine if they see enough value in your membership offerings. Once they become members, they will prioritize digital sources to find your association’s latest news and information, education opportunities, job searches, upcoming events, and more.
While ‘online’ is one place, the content and information your members are looking for reside on different digital platforms: your association management system (AMS), your learning management system (LMS), your community, job boards, marketing automation platforms, and of course your website—and that is just naming a few!
So, how can associations keep members engaged in this network of systems and provide a holistic member experience?
The center of an association’s digital ecosystem will often be its association management system (AMS). The AMS houses the association’s data and can integrate all ecosystem’s components, which allows this system the ability to follow the member lifecycle and show valuable data on each customer interaction, all located in one place, making it easy for association staff to understand their value proposition.
The AMS becomes a member’s go-to resource to help them reach their goals within the association, whether to increase their industry knowledge, further or change a career, or simply continue receiving their required continuing education credits. The AMS maintains a record of all the members’ interactions with the association.
Through integrations within your association’s digital ecosystem, your AMS can serve as the starting point for a member by highlighting jobs, serving up content based on individual member needs and wants, providing opportunities for events, networking, learning, and so much more.
As mentioned above, integrations allow your AMS to serve as the starting point for your members. To provide a seamless experience and keep your members engaged it’s important they can easily move from one platform to another without remembering a plethora of website URLs and passwords. Integrations are where a true digital ecosystem is created.
Today, integrations are typically an expectation rather than a “nice-to-have.” However, that doesn’t mean all your systems can and will integrate seamlessly or easily. When you evaluate all your digital solutions, make sure you understand how they work together, and if they don’t, what is their potential to work together? Be sure to keep this in mind when looking at new platforms as well.
Having integrated systems not only allows for the end-user experience to be seamless when going from one platform to another, it can also allow them to interact with multiple platforms at once. For example, integrating your LMS with your community can allow for deeper discussions around courses and promote more peer-to-peer and social learning than just completing a course within an LMS. When courses are completed, users can display certificates and badges within their community profile, and all activity can be written back to the central database of record, the AMS.
One example of this is Blue Sky eLearn and Impexium’s client, the Society of Research Administrators Interational (SRA International). SRA International has a full integration between their Impexium AMS and their Path LMS™. This includes:
While their members may often begin their journey on the SRA-branded Impexium login page, they can easily utilize SSO to head over to Path LMS for webinars, micro-credentialing, certificate programs, and a variety of other opportunities for continuing education credits. With their micro-credentialing program, digital badges are awarded, utilizing an integration between Path LMS and a badging system, which can then be shared within the SRA International member community.
While the end users’ experience is essential, plenty is going on in the backend of your digital ecosystem that can be vital to your organization’s success. Each system you’re using collects different tidbits of data that can then be analyzed.
As mentioned earlier, integrations are the first step when networking your digital solutions—but what you do with those integrations is also important. Being able to write back different data sets to one central digital location can make it easier for you to have a 50,000-foot view of your members and what they are doing. Where are they going? What content are they consuming? What are they completely ignoring?
Armed with data and analytics tools, you can now make educated decisions—and those decisions could be to increase the content created on popular topics, adjust pricing, bundle items together, have promotions, make updates to different sites to push people towards one thing or another, what you should be marketing to whom, and so much more.
If built properly and leveraged correctly, taking a holistic approach can help an association in its quest to generate more non-dues revenue, retain existing members, and recruit new members. Using the data from an AMS can help market various member benefits and promote new opportunities by tailoring that data to members, non-members, suppliers, and creating unique experiences via newsletters and event invitations, to name a few.
Start creating a seamless digital ecosystem today with Impexium AMS and Blue Sky eLearn’s Path LMS. Click here to watch a demo of how our integration works with Impexium.
Blue Sky eLearn delivers world-class eLearning experiences and virtual events supported by the top LMS for associations and non-profits: Path LMS.
Path LMS is an award-winning platform that allows you to manage, monetize, and deliver your learning content. A robust yet easy-to-use solution, Path LMS empowers organizations to create engaging learning experiences that make it easy for professionals to advance their careers.