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Membership and Non-profit Trends for 2013

Happy New Year!  We hope 2013 is a fulfilling, successful year for all of our blog readers and their organizations.

Rather than making our own predictions for 2013, we decided to offer a round-up of trends and predictions  from a number of non-profit, association, marketing and event experts.

Non-profit Trends:

Here are highlights of three posts that offer non-profit predictions and trends for 2013.

Nancy Schwartz (Getting Attention) suggests that as you prepare for 2013 and “finalize your next 90 days ... make sure you’re working from the latest in practice-based marketing research.”  To help, Nancy takes a look at HubSpot’s 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 & Beyond, and offers up some “must-dos for your 2013 marketing success.” Here are Nancy’s 5 predictions for non-profits:
  • Prediction #1: Know Thy Supporters Becomes Your Mantra: Push your organization beyond demographics to shape a unified view of your supporters behavior in a way that is easily accessed, evaluated and acted on. ...

  • Prediction #2: Relevance Rules: Context is everything, and you’ll need to do better this year in shaping content to your supporters’ history of actions, interests and anything else you can learn about them. ...

  • Prediction #3: So Speak Like  a Human: Personalized means person-to-person. ...
  • Prediction #4: The More Relevant Your Content, The Greater Probability You’ll Be Found Online: Till now, effective search engine optimization (SEO) was all about knowing the tricks of the trade.
    Instead, focus less about having the right H1 tag or the right keywords on the page and more about creating  high-quality, original content that is hungrily consumed and shared.
  • Prediction #5: Set-In-Stone Campaigns Fade Out—Real-Time Marketing Swoops In: ...

    ...“The old model of marketing built on [your organization's] timeline doesn’t work so well, but after decades of ‘campaigns’ planned way in advance, it’s difficult for marketers to change to a mindset based on speed. Clearly, the opportunities to grow your business in 2013 and beyond mean real time is key.

If you’d like to check out all of Nancy Schwartz’s predictions for 2013, check out her blog post here: 2013 Nonprofit Marketing Trends That Affect You - Part 1

Hubspot’s 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 & Beyond: 

As Nancy Schwartz’s post notes, Hubspot offered up 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions - including some new trends as well as predictions about changes to current marketing practices. 
For example, Prediction #12 suggests, “email is not dead. And it won’t be in 2013, either (as much as some of us would like it to). in fact, email will continue to be an important part of the marketing mix. However; how it will be used, is what will change. Marketing emails will become less “batch and blast” and instead more personalized, relevant and targeted based on real-time data.”

I also took note of their Prediction #5 - Social Media Gets Integrated, along with #15 about Content Creation. They suggest, “Content is king, whether you like it or not. Creating more and more content will be among the top priorities for marketing teams in 2013. In addition to the increase in allocating budget to content creation, we’ll find increasingly more curation services and “content marketplaces” that will help marketers deliver more in a content-heavy world.”

You can check out the entire 27 page PDF here: Hubspot’s 20 Marketing Trends & Predictions for 2013 & Beyond.

Nell Edgington (Social Velocity) suggests that "the nonprofit sector is changing in some exciting ways" and identifies the following 5 trends to watch in 2013:

  1. More Demand for OutcomesThe biggest trend I see is a growing demand for nonprofits to 1) articulate what results they hope their work with achieve and 2) track whether those results are actually happening. Nonprofits have long discussed the outputs of their work: # of people served, # of services provided. ...
  2. Decreasing Emphasis on Nonprofit “Overhead”:  The bane of the nonprofit sector is the meaningless and destructive public perception that you can separate nonprofit programs from the administrative costs ...But the good news is that more and more people are coming to realize that you can’t just invest in programs without the staff, infrastructure and fundraising to make those programs happen. ...
  3. More Advocacy for the Sector as a Whole:  The nonprofit sector has long been a fractured grouping of organizations of various sizes, business models, and issue areas. It has been almost impossible to organize the disparate sector to fight for better government regulations, improved public perception, more funding. But that tide is starting to turn. …
  4. Savvier Donors:  Because nonprofits are getting more savvy, donors are as well. In addition to an increasing demand for proof of outcomes, donors are slowly starting to understand the difference between two kinds of money in the sector: revenue and capital. ...
  5. Increased Efforts to Rate and Compare Nonprofits:  As nonprofit outcomes are increasingly in demand, donors become savvier, and the “nonprofit overhead” distinction diminishes, we will increasingly evaluate nonprofits based on the results they achieve, not on how they spend their money. ...

You can read Nell Edgington's entire post - here: 5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2013. 

Association / Membership Trends

Chloe Thompson (Associations Now) suggests: “From social media to big data, the individual played a major role in association membership in 2012.One man can move a mountain, as the saying goes. So can one member move your association to greater heights?” Thompson takes a “look back at the trends that defined 2012 on an individual scale”  to help organizations make plans for 2013 and here are excerpts from her suggestions:
Social Media
Social media’s boom highlights the power of the individual: Get one person to like your brand, and, inevitably, others will follow. All year, associations have been told to act like human beings, not corporate megaphones—and it seems they’re listening. ...
But, as Marketing General Inc.’s 2012 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report points out, a more old-school approach to marketing is still the king: Email remains the most widely used marketing channel, with 94 percent of associations using it to build awareness, compared to 71 percent using presences on social media channels—proving that the one-on-one connection that email provides supersedes even a robust social media campaign.

Loyalty Counts
Call it groupthink, call it whatever you’d like. People like belonging to something, whether it’s a group of friends or a tight-knit organization. But to keep people around, there’s need for incentives. Rewarding your most loyal members with benefits like exclusive content or early-bird pricing on an annual conference can go a long way in making members stay put.

Member Data
Knowing who your members are matters more than ever. It helps them feel like they have a relationship with you.

You can read the entire Associations Now post  here: The Power of One:  How 2012 Reshaped Association Membership

Event Trends:

Julius Solaris (Event Manager Blog) offers a  Slideshare presentation as well as a blog post outlining the 10 trends he’s identified that will affect events in 2013.  Here are his 10 trend topic categories - but you can read the entire post for details about the trends and technology that will impact your events next year here: 10 Event Trends for 2013.
    1. Sponsor Marketplaces
    2. Curation and Display
    3. Photo Booths
    4. Smart Badges
    5. Event Reviews
    6. Eliminating the Middleman
    7. Smart Dashboards
    8. Crowdsourced Speakers
    9. Cities as Playgrounds
    10. Crowdfunding

Marketing Predictions

Jay Baer (Convince & Convert) offers an infographic that outlines the  25 Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013 from marketing and social media experts (including Baer). These were compiled by ExactTarget for their ebook – The 25 Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013.

While I can’t list all 25, here are a few of the predictions that caught my eye that might impact non-profits and membership organizations:
  • 1. Big Data Breakthroughs
  • 2. Viral Breathes Its Last
  • 6. The Year of the First Impression (the changing email landscape)
  • 17. Beneath the Surface: Storytelling
  • 21. Rise of the Chief Content Officer

You can check out the entire infographic of all 25 predictions in Jay Baer's post here: 25 Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013

We hope you find these trends and predictions helpful as you finalize your 2013 plans.

Image source:  New Year 2013 sign, courtesy of BigStockPhoto.com.

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