SPONSORED ARTICLE FROM REDACTIVE MEDIA GROUP
Professional body finances are in rude health, a position endorsed by PARN’s Financial Benchmarking Report. The sector has grown membership numbers and converted a cumulative deficit to a healthy surplus (at 16% margin, no less) in just three economically troubled years.
You’re obviously doing plenty right. But how much more untapped revenue is your professional body sitting on? How much is tied up in your crown jewels, your membership, just waiting to be freed?
Professional bodies work in niche sectors. Niche is targeted. Advertisers like ‘targeted’. Professional bodies have captive, loyal audiences and membership data that are hugely valuable to commercial third parties.
For years, suppliers have reached your members in the form of advertising or sponsorship, principally on the pages of your membership magazine. And whilst some sectors are holding up relatively well here – it’s imperative that your offering evolves to maintain and grow your income.
How confident are you that you are adapting your offer enough into growing digital revenues to replace the decline in print?
Sophisticated marketers demand measurable results, proven ROI and they want it now. The former series display advertiser is becoming adept at communicating its messages through digital media and they have a thirst for leads or ‘big data’.
So, how can you meet this demand?
1. Your members almost certainly compete with one another for business and are prepared to spend money in doing so. Are you monetising competition amongst your members or are you allowing somebody else to cash in on your members’ marketing budgets?
RICS and ICAEW are seeking to ‘own’ this space with their consumer-facing online directories (Find a Surveyor & Find a Chartered Accountant respectively) and are allowing those members who are prepared to pay for an enhanced presence to rank highest in search results.
2. Are you providing digital media channels for big spending marketers to share their content with your members in return for members’ contact details?
The Chartered Institute of Marketing’s The Marketer magazine has grown its advertising revenues by 150% in three years. Print now represents only 15% of total revenues. This exponential growth has been achieved by providing channels for third parties to engage members with content (webinars, white paper/report downloads, joint research studies and more) which enables the ‘advertiser’ to be positioned as a thought leader and at the same time capture data or ‘generate leads’.
3. Do you have a sophisticated searchable jobs site which is connected to your organisation’s careers/education/training offering?
Many professional bodies are doing this well and are reaping the rewards; they have profitable careers guides which promote their professions and membership of their organisations; they have profitable jobs sites taking advantage of available technologies and they hire experts who are well connected in the recruitment world.
So, ask yourself this...
- Are you truly maximising the revenue potential from your membership?
- Are your digital revenues growing rapidly?
- Are you providing plenty of ‘lead generation’ activities, alongside your traditional print, digital advertising and events opportunities?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, it’s time to unlock the crown jewels, or talk to a partner that can.
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Redactive Media Group is a proud supporter of the Professional Body Sector Reviews 2013 & 2014