How membership organisations will survive the great-divide (and thrive in 2021)

by Nik Maguire

In order for your membership to thrive and not just survive in 2021, you have to be on the right side of the new great-divide!

Polarization is the overwhelming consequence of Covid-19 on business, retail and membership organizations.

You can't pick up (or more specifically, view on your phone) a newspaper without reading a headline such as:

"Winners and losers on the high street""2020's biggest winners and losers in automotive""The greatest wealth transfer in history"
From steaming vs cinemas to Zoom vs office space, the rapid polarization is effecting every market sector and especially impacting membership organizations!

Why membership organizations?

This great-divide shows that relevancy, convenience and value are the new lines of demarcation between success and failure in this 'new normal.'

As Cineworld appoints restructuring experts believing it's 'no time to die', Disney+ are bypassing cinemas altogether and going 'straight to stream' with new film releases.

This has resulted in Disney+ subscriptions growing to 75 million in the first year since launch.

It's not only the lockdowns that are keeping cinemagoers at home, it's relevancy, convenience and the value they get from watching the latest blockbuster at home.  

Likewise, as traditional retailers struggled in 2020 with the UK seeing 17,000 shops close.  On the other side of the great-divide, Amazon and the eCommerce world were seeing record years with Amazons Prime Membership increasing by 33% in Q3 2020 alone.

Now 1 in 3 Americans is an Amazon Prime member with over 100 million members worldwide each typically spending $1000 a year!

No matter what the ethical arguments may be about Amazons rapid land grab.  Consumers are happier to pay £95.88 a year for membership to Prime (to mainly get free delivery) rather than drive to the high street (assuming they could) to shop! 

Prime is just more relevant and convenient than the high street.

The Power of Connecting People 

Likewise, there are 6,700 gyms in the UK.  Footfall has dropped by almost 80% and memberships are in rapid decline.  Yet across the great-divide, Joe Wicks MBE (The Body Coach) had 700,000 households join him for his first online PE session using Youtube.

Increasing his Youtube subscribers to 2.6 million which is equivalent to 25% of the entire UK gym membership.  Joe said:

"I wanted to bring the nation together while they were apart, bringing families the joy of working-out together when they most needed it... It just shows you the power of technology for connecting people."

And perhaps herein lies the "secret sauce" in this Covid-created-chasm... the 'underlying technologies'.  Could Disney+ exist without broadband? Could Amazon exist without secure online payments? Online Gyms without Youtube? 

The 'winners' not only provide value, relevance and convenience but they achieve this through technology!...

  • Want to increase contact with your remote workforce? Use Zoom.
  • Want to know if 'Qapik' is a word you can use in Scrabble? Ask Alexa.
  • Want technology to reverse declining memberships? Use Folio.

Delivering value, relevance and convenience to your members.

It's the member organizations who adopt effective technology that can bring more value to their communities that will be on the right side of this Covid-chasm.

With mobile wallets, members can remove the need for physical cards, store payment and ID data and benefit from fast and relevant communications with your organisation. 

This new technology will provide your members with a relevant and convenient channel of communication with you, bypassing email, direct mail and even events.

The great-divide is here.  The pandemic has accelerated technology adoption like never before and that adoption is creating winners and losers.

The power to harness mobile wallet technology and transform your relationship with membership exists today!  At Folio we believe that secure, effective relationships are the key to survival and using mobile wallet technology can provide your organisation with that critical relationship advantage.

To learn more about Folio and take a FREE trial for 1000 members, click below.

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