Daily Buzz: Don’t Ask Members What They Want
Instead ask them what they consider their most important goals
What do your members want? You could ask them, sure—but real innovation comes from solving problems members don’t realize exist yet.
“We didn’t all know we wanted to be able to carry thousands of songs around in our pockets until [Apple] showed us the iPod,” Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CEO of Spark Consulting, said in an interview with Association Success. “Before that, we all thought that our Walkman and our Discman were awesome and the end-all, be-all of audio technology.”
When associations ask what members want, it puts the onus on members to solve problems, Engel argued. Instead, asking questions such as, “What are your most important goals in your profession or industry that you’re having trouble achieving? And/or what are the problems you’re having on a day-to-day process that you can’t seem to solve?” creates an opportunity for associations to provide more value.
“It’s incumbent on the association to look at that information and say, 'OK, how do we solve these problems?' 'How do we help them achieve these goals?'” Engel said. “Stage one is figuring out what’s really going on with people. Stage two is looking at, 'OK, are we actually helping them achieve those goals and solve those problems?'”
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