Pinxter Digital CEO Sergei Dubograev identifies 8 predictions for the future of associations and the changes in the market they’ll want to anticipate.
1. Paying through mobile:
The days of typing in a credit card, especially through a website, are dying. 95% of association dues will be paid via mobile by 2023, not a computer. Popular ordering apps like that of Starbucks, Chipotle and Panera have been conditioning people to expect one-touch payments using their finger (and even their face now). It’s becoming the standard.
2. Being there, but not being there:
There are 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year. All are opportunities to engage your members. Incorporating live streaming, forums and virtual meetings are needed for members to interact beyond just events twice a year. Also, by simply having the app icon on their phone, the association is continually looked to for their expertise in the industry, not Google search.
3. Your database will replace your AMS:
The center of an association’s ecosystem will transition to its database. This then allows the AMS to become more powerful. Your AMS will be able to better adapt, create more integrations and modules, and not be dependent on itself for developing new features. Instead, that will be driven by the database.
4. Millennials - you need them:
Millennials choose their brands, services, organizations, etc. very wisely and are slow to change due to loyalty as long as value is continuously provided. Instead of relying on an internal team to decide what’s best for this demographic, associations need to begin really analyzing younger members’ social habits and focusing on the question - "How are they connecting?" Only 15-20% of associations will adapt to this technological change.
5. Emails are fading:
By 2023 people under the age of 35 will not open your email … at all. With messaging apps, social networks and group chats, the idea of email is dying. While you may think this is an overly-progressive statement, I challenge you to look at your email open rates of the youngest members in your association year after year. Your message needs to be delivered in the context and channels of their choosing, not yours.
6. AI will beat out VR and AR:
VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality) are fun but there are almost no real practical uses for them within the average association. The utilization of AI (artificial intelligence) will allow your association to automate the deployment of content and communication most relevant to your members. From this, targeted campaigns can be developed with a click of a button. AI may sound scary, but it’s already an easy integration into today’s tech. In 2023 it will be the most powerful tool.
7. Impressions will die, engagement will reign:
For a decade the entire market has been sold impressions left and right. Impressions only represent the amount of views a piece of content receives. In the grand scheme of things, they’re only offering a very small portion of what you need. If 1,000 people opened an email sent out to 2,000 and only 2 of those recipients actually engaged with it by clicking a link, what do those impressions do for you? Not much. Engagement scores are critical to understanding what people are actually doing when they see content and how they are using it. This is the information needed to create better results and experiences.
8. New money flooding in = rapid consolidation:
Any nonprofit market in need of catching up can easily be mapped through comparison of for-profit markets. New technology is introduced, investments come, acquisitions take place, and the market grows. There won’t be a linear growth in the next 5 years but instead that of a hockey stick curve as payment platforms emerge, new technology continues, and larger companies enter the space.