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Tech Innovation in the Post-COVID World

Are you still using ALL the same technology that you did in January 2020? 

Of course not.

COVID-19 forced you to change, and you did a great job given the circumstances. But now you need to make sure you have the RIGHT technology for the future…not just the one you were forced to use.

Reactive Chaos 

During the pandemic, we were all required to use new technologies.  Some were easy transitions like Zoom. Others were more difficult like virtual event platforms. You may have grabbed one from a partner or vendor or did a quick google search to get something in place before your Annual Meeting.

Or, maybe you called five or so vendors, but only a couple called you back, one of which was already booked over capacity the same week as your event. So you picked the only option on your list. Then you started building out the virtual event for your conference, now just two months away.

Your attendees and sponsors were in a similar boat. Before the start of 2020, maybe only 5% of them had ever attended a virtual event. So the majority had no clue what to do or expect.

Everyone got a “pass” for their first event and a much-deserved pat on the back for pulling some content together in time for the event. But by the time Fall 2020 meetings rolled around, there was a shift in mentality for all parties involved. 

Now, fast forward to the present.

Lessons Learned

As the association executive hosting these meetings, you’ve probably produced one or two virtual events by this point. And you’ve probably attended around five virtual meetings, give or take. So NOW you know what you like and need out of these online events…and what you can do without.

You may be doing what you’ve always done when evaluating new technologies – asking for demos and running through your list of questions to ensure the platform you go with for your next event fulfills at least 95% of your needs. If you switch virtual event technologies and your next event goes off without a hitch, then everyone is happy with your decision. Great. Otherwise, what a waste, right?

Accelerated Intelligence

Now how about your other platforms, services, and technologies? Are they equipped to usher in the value your members expect over the next few years? Or are you forced to combine duplicate products? And what about your legacy systems and AMS? Do they need to integrate with newer systems? Or is it time to re-evaluate your entire MarTech stack?

What about your time-to-insight and analytics capabilities? Have you moved from monologues to a modern, dialogue-driven approach to marketing? Or...have you still not adopted a real-time marketing automation strategy?

Different members want different information from your organization, at different times, via different platforms. If you want to provide the right information, to the right person, at the right time, on the right platform…then you’re going to have to make some changes.

Mapping the Journey

In 2022, you can no longer rely on email opens and click-through rates as metrics for success. It just isn’t cutting it anymore. Member personas are a good start, but you need a lot more insight to be effective going forward. If you want to deliver a digital experience that converts leads, accelerates revenue, and future-proofs your organization, you must uncover hidden frictions and opportunities in the user journey.

Serving up unparalleled digital experiences is contingent on your ability to analyze members’ behaviors and then tailor your content to the individual. Consider their email clicks, web page visits, downloads, and so on. What topics, types of content, and formats are they interested in? What digital channels do they use?

A central source that collects, processes, and analyzes a complete set of historical and real-time behavioral data is essential to providing the most effective content and digital experience for each individual.

Delivering Value at Scale

Designing modern, personalized experiences and purposeful interactions at scale is really only realistic through marketing automation.

The more you can automate your digital engagements, the more value you can give your members/non-members/sponsors/clients. With the right technology, you can see what your target audiences click, where they go, and what they do, even when you’re not looking.

Today’s digital landscape evolves too rapidly to know what you need to track and measure. Smart technology automatically gives you all the data. Not only do you get an immediate direction on where to look, but you can also accelerate decision-making and automatically personalize content delivery for the masses.

Providing value in the digital age and data economy requires us to elevate marketing analytics from reactive reporting to proactive insights. This level of marketing automation is how modern organizations are able to delight audiences at every stage of their journey.

Jeff Baker

Written by Jeff Baker

Jeff has been helping associations with their technology needs for over 21 years. The goal is always to find the right technology to help the association executive move their business forward. Sometimes it is creating efficiencies by leveraging marketing automation software and services. Other times it is utilizing AI to eliminate the pain and wasted staff hours creating e-newsletters. No matter what you’re your goals are for the future, I am here to help you get there.