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Challenges and Great Ideas for 2015

What happens when 40 strategic marketers enter a room? Brilliant ideas emerge!

I recently attended a gathering of some of the region’s leading association and nonprofit executives and staff. We discussed the key challenges we face and the outlook for 2015. Good news! As strategic marketers working to achieve and exceed our goals, we have a wealth of knowledge and ideas to share!

Many of us struggle with data management. We worry about devising a revenue model to attract Millennials. We grapple with campaigns featuring traditional and new media channels, including mobile.

When we asked our participants to complete a short pre-meeting survey, they cited their top five marketing challenges as:

  1. Leveraging data for optimal engagement (38%)
  2. Bettering ability to measure effectiveness (23%)
  3. Generating better content (15%)
  4. Generating non-dues income (15%)
  5. Understanding readers’/members’/advisers’ needs (8%)

What’s One Solution?

Participants see value in an interactive DMAW “Association Marketing Day” conference where we can all hear best practices and innovative techniques to drive engagement and revenue. At the meeting, colleagues clearly told us that case studies and actionable takeaways are the most important tools in effective learning.

Attendees also said association and nonprofit marketers are open to best practices from the “the outside.” We’re eager to learn from strategic marketers in the commercial arena who can offer fresh ideas for increasing recruitment, retention, conference attendance, and more. Sound exciting?

There’s More

Two more major topics generated great energy and enthusiasm: first, the need to increase non-dues revenue; and, second, a call to break down silos within our organizations to increase revenue streams across the board. Sound impossible? Not if we can offer potential breakout sessions at a conference focused on strategies for communicating effectively with C-Suite executives, led by C-Suite executives themselves!

It seems we’re all looking for ways to test new initiatives for sustainable models that can lead our organizations firmly into the future—and that demands active buy-in from senior leadership. Does this seem impossible? Not for this brain-trust gathering that convened with a positive spirit. Our time together was productive and fun.

Do you have ideas for shaping an exceptional marketing conference for you and your colleagues? If so, don’t hesitate to network and glean an idea or two, all while volunteering with this exceptional work group to impact and shape Association Marketing Day in 2015.

I’m in. What about you?

Linda Gill Anderson serves as the membership marketing manager for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In this new position for the association, she focuses on direct member service retention and recruitment, as well as implementing new strategies and programs that add value and increase membership. Reach her at