Marketing Boot Camp: Competencies for Savvy Association Leaders June 14, 2001 American Society of Association Executives
Product/Service Strategy:Offers You Can't Refuse Kevin Whorton Vice President, Marketing and Retailer Relations ChainDrugStore.net
What We'll Discuss • Product/Service Marketing Goals • Feeding/Drawing from Brands • Customer Service • Product Development • Strategy • Evaluation
Things that should generate revenue: Membership Education Trade shows Publications Services Things that don't (directly): Advocacy Prestige Public awareness Community Web/e-commerce Networking How We Define "Product/Service" • Anything you develop and communicate
General Marketing Goals • Financial • Market penetration • Total sales units • New customers/users • Share of wallet • Measurable levels of member satisfaction • Customer satisfaction
What You Want Your Customer to Experience • Awareness • Need broad knowledge, understanding • 'Impulse buys' rare for association products • Adoption • Sales fulfill value proposition--services don't add value unless they are used • Positive perception • Sales experience, post-sales evaluation of product/service enhances overall standing • Enhance likelihood of repeat sales .. customer retention.
Feeding/Drawingfrom Brands • Building a brand • Benefiting from the brand • "Your calling card": • awareness that means something • Expectations and comfort • Ability to charge more • Greater loyalty/less defection
Volvo Pringles Cuisinart Dell Computers Mummy Returns Ford Explorer AOL Amazon Annual Congress Journal of ABC 1999 Standards and Guidelines Associate membership Technician Training Manual Brands & Image
Personal Aspects • In addition to product, goals People, and community, count Who created the product Who do you interact with to buy, learn more (customer service) Word of mouth from peers who either recommend or discourage your offer Links to other product/services Responsiveness, relationship building
New Product Development • Sources of ideas • Development process • Inclusion of customers • Structured feasibility • Evaluation • No amount of promotion will cure a bad product
Product/Service Lines • How do you review the collective results of • … your product development • … your marketing • … the economy • … customer memory • (20 years of new initiatives) • … word of mouth
New Formats and New Positioning • Achieving indispensability • Truly new e-services • Charging for free things • Offering fee based services in bundles or for 'FREE' • New bundles • Repackaging for new markets
Your Offers • Bundling • Introductory offers • "Free" (bundled with membership) • Penetration pricing • Fixed non-negotiable pricing • Volume discounts • Continuity: one-time purchase vs. subscriptions with renewals
Ingredients of the Offer • Quantity: one or multiple • Price: price points, discounts for first-timers, pre-publication, etc. • Time: limited offers, urgency • Call to action: "Ask for the vote" • Multiple channels--more info at www, call or visit … • Post-sale: guarantees, returns, expected delivery
Varying the Offer • Offers varying by ability/willingness to pay • Strong database marketing program • Need stored knowledge of individual customers • Experience with price and offer testing/results • Right vehicle: direct mail, targeted email, fax • Ability to manage the process: vendor or internal • Why? Customers vary by background Differing price points and desired features Your need to sell varies with time: meet milestones or exhaust old inventory
Evaluation: Grading on a Curve • Associations vary greatly: • Trade vs. professional, different missions • Competitive position/penetration • Size and nature of your market • Infrastructure: technical, staff, business processes • Historical position/image within industry • Revenue base--may or may not support investment • Market's ability/willingness to pay • Degree of competition: publishers, shows, dot-coms • "One size doesn't fit all" • Take a process orientation
Evaluate Your Results • Your financial and sales results • How clearly do you demonstrate a value proposition • Acquisition and retention • Clarity of communications • Frequency and targets of communications Track demographics of newly acquired vs. long-time customers (aggregates can mask changes) How you answer competition: know their messages, their offers, tactical responses
Evaluate Your Tactics How often do new buyers, members come to you, versus you finding them How much marketing is "push" vs. "pull" To what degree do you segment vs. untargeted mass communications? Do you vary level of effort according to probable value of customer? Can you? Do you measure value of acquired customers: direct and indirect revenue
Cultural Issues • Who feeds your strategy • Entrepreneurial plus responsive • Revenue generating vs. "for profit" • Who designs, creates, promotes, fulfills your products • Internal vs. external • Teams vs. one "skunk works"
Annual Plans/Bigger Picture Factoring in the economy, business environment, strategic plans, other major initiatives:
Associations Say … “The focus on member services has moved toward servicing the significant players in the market to ensure that they remain satisfied with association products, services, and response to their issues.” "We've also eliminated a lot of peripheral service areas and concentrated on our core competency development." "More industry share in fewer member hands—smaller committees, less demand for social activities, meetings shorter and at more convenient locations, on-line and e-services are expanding."
New Services and New Offers • Bundle of products--"corporate" NACDS • One big product--distinct from NACDS, commercial, and Internet based
Different Strategies/ Same Association • Low frills, business service • Intentional austerity. • Retailer focused--brand within the NACDS "brand." • Business programs primarily--sometimes undifferentiated commodities. • High ticket, visibility • Unique community. Primarily manufacturer focused--pharmaceutical and CPGs • One unique product, distinct image.
Staying in the "Drivers' Seat" Defining your products and services Avoiding complacency Market dominance isn't a license for unresponsiveness