A roadmap for membership renewal

Guy Turton, Director, Morris Hargreaves McIntyre

Photo by Mike Cassidy on Unsplash

Springtime is a critical season for many cultural and heritage attractions, particularly those with outdoor and family offers.

Packed with public holidays, daffodils and new beginnings, it’s usually among the most densely visited periods of the whole year.

A critical time for renewals

But, for the second year running, audience access during this critical period will be significantly suppressed by Covid-19.

For some attractions, membership renewals took a big hit in 2020. Now in 2021, after a full 12 months of extremely limited visits with no certain end in sight, how many hitherto loyal members are assessing whether or not to continue their support?

And how can membership organisations persuade them to stay?

Check your proposition

We populate the map using four axes; how these interact reveals six proposition dimensions. But there’s an easy way to use the map in-house: gather your team together and reflect on the six questions below. Then plot each aspect of your offer on the map. This will help to clarify the renewal ‘recipe’ you are all working towards.

The MHM Membership Proposition Map. Six squares with four quadrants in each to plot your offer against. The squares are entitled Relationship; Customisation; Relevance; Exchange; Delivery; and Value for Money.
The MHM Membership Proposition Map. Six squares with four quadrants in each to plot your offer against. The squares are entitled Relationship; Customisation; Relevance; Exchange; Delivery; and Value for Money.
The MHM Membership Proposition Map

1. What relationship do we promise?

2. How customisable is the product?

3. Where is the relevance?

4. What exchange do we expect?

5. (How) do we deliver?

6. Are we value for money?

Navigating your Proposition Map

Compare your offer

Check your offer aligns with your members’ needs

For example, whilst we might think we’re offering ‘No Brainer’ value, members might see it as ‘Limited’; we might think our relationship is a ‘Patron’ but they feel more like a ‘Client’, etc.

Member insight can reveal the misalignment between your ambition and the member experience, as well as the member preference. Addressing these gaps will reinforce your members’ loyalty to you.

Of course, on its own, the Proposition Map isn’t going to reverse falling membership rates. But it is a pretty good starting point to ensure your offer and communications are in harmony with your members’ motivations.

To see the impact of membership alignment see:

How the Glyndebourne Opera bridged its youth membership gap;

The London Library’s hugely successful (and brave) new membership strategy;

Tyne & Wear Archive and Museum’s innovative community membership scheme in the North East of England.

If you need help, ask for it

Please get in touch at membership@mhminsight.com.

Strategy & insight consultants for charities, culture and heritage organizations of all sizes. Vision-led, insight-driven, audience-focused.

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