I had the good fortune last month to attend the ASVMAE ThinkWorks meeting in Denver. In case you wondering, ASVMAE stands for American Society of Veterinary Medical Association Executives (a mouthful!). This is a great group of association management professionals from veterinary medical associations around the country. What I learned at this engaging presentation has shaped how we communicate with the various segments of our membership. Not only does our association have generational differences, but we have various practice types as well – i.e. small animal practitioners, equine veterinarians, food animal veterinarians – you get the picture!
So what did we do? Here is a brief snapshot of the takeaways:
Our thought-leader for the weekend covered how to message your association (or veterinary practice), what are website best practices, and what do the changing generations portend for our communication and marketing work. After 10 pages of notes, I came away with several key observations.
What is our “why” proposition? What is the why of the IVMA? Why do we exist? I tried to answer this by saying what I believe – that if the IVMA didn’t exist, where would Indiana veterinarians connect and engage? Where would the heart and soul of your profession exist? Sure there are lots of options, but we want IVMA to be your “partner” for life along the path of your veterinary career. IVMA is in your backyard – we get why it’s important that you have a successful and profitable career. It is a responsibility I take very seriously. Maybe it’s a purpose IVMA doesn’t always communicate well, but we are working on that by providing member testimonials. Hello? Ask our members why they belong!
What do the generations tell us about communicating with each other? A lot. I am a Baby Boomer – my sons are Millennials. Boy do we look at the world differently. Well guess what – so do our association members (and so do your clients)! IVMA has to deliver our “why” proposition to everyone on the spectrum. This is the best way for IVMA to be your “partner” in your professional career. I look forward to this challenge. Our target right now is dissecting the information on our website into these targeted groups. Next up will be targeted email communications to these groups as well.
Is perception reality? First impressions matter. We learned that your website (veterinary practice or VMA) is a window into the world and culture of your practice (or association). Websites still remain the gateway of connection. Is it beautiful, simple and effective? Does it provide a call to action for the reader? A little time and review here could garner you more new clients for your practice.
So far, our members have been very receptive to how we are communicating with them. This will always remain a work in progress, but the lens to our members has crystallized.
Is your value proposition clearly defined and communicated throughout your organization?