In order to effectively engage your members, one must incorporate the most current trends and technologies to their communication strategies. Among those current trends of 2014 is the growing use of mobile devices. Due to the several advancements in technology, the increase in mobile adoption has also increased the opportunity to utilize the mobile medium to reach audiences. Similarly, it has given associations a new means to connect with their members.
Mobile utilization is a great way to better serve your members through tools and services that work to meet the individual needs of members. For example, your association may leverage mobile technology for advocacy, education, member communication and engagement activities.
ISAE member, Results at Hand Software, has developed an informative whitepaper on this topic titled Strategic Mobile Trends for Associations in 2014 and Beyond. Within the report, relevant mobile tools and trends are explained for associations to use and achieve effective engagement with their constituents. Three of these listed trends are stand-outs for action this year: responsive design, mobile apps, and event apps as a service.
Responsive design refers to a site or apps’ ability to visually adapt to any screen size and orientation. With the diversity of user devices accessing the internet, responsive design is a must. By using this technology, instead of building separate experiences for each media type, one code base is built that responds to the device being used, offering an optimized experience.
Enhancing your website to accommodate mobile experiences is a great way to start getting involved with the mobile trend. However, don’t stop there! While that is an important foundation, it may not be enough to keep your members engaged. Nielsen Holdings reports that:
“Between July 2011 and July 2012, mobile web users grew at 82 percent… but mobile app users grew 85 percent. Further, by the beginning of 2013, people were spending over 80 percent of their mobile time using apps. Anyone limiting themselves to an in-browser mobile advertising model is finding its customer for just a fraction of their mobile-screen time” (Nielsen: Getting Started with Mobile: What Marketers Need to Know).
This concept can also be applied to associations or any organization seeking engagement with mobile users for an extended amount of their mobile-screen time. Mobile apps offer improved user engagement and are now often expected by mobile users. According to Compuware, 85% of users prefer mobile apps over mobile websites and are perceived as more convenient, faster, and easier to browse.
Event Apps as a Service
A common trend among associations is to utilize mobile applications to create guides for events, such as conferences. The “event as an app” model alleviates the need for resident mobile technology knowledge or resources on the part of the association. Additionally, the use of event apps reduces the printing costs for events and increase engagement, as attendees of an event can interact with the information most relevant to them. Communication between attendees can also be increased through the integration of social media, audience response polling, and surveying.
Take Away Points
Responsive design, mobile apps, and event apps as a service are all relevant mobile trends for associations. Tools like mobile and event apps are great resources for member engagement and communication while responsive design ensures easy mobile navigation for users.
To learn more about all of these useful mobile trends and to share your own plans, go towww.resultsathand.com/mobile2014.
So only one question remains: have you included mobile as a part of your 2014 member communication strategy?
*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Indiana Society of Association Executives (ISAE).