One of the biggest challenges for organizations, associations and other groups is keeping members interested. To address this issue, many organizations rely on the repetition of their message, mantra or objective. But repetition isn’t the best way to keep your members engaged. Over time, they will become bored with the same message and slowly drop away. So keep reading to discover what you can do besides repetition to keep your members interested and active.
Memory Depends on Repetition
By repeated exposure to an idea, people can strengthen the memory associated with it. However, if you don’t semi-frequently repeat it, you will forget it. Repetition is the building block of education and advertising. However, despite all that, repetition will not keep people interested in your ideas.
The Downside of Repetition is Stagnation
Consider your average hobbyist association. Their members share a common interest. That is the one guarantee for all members. But only focusing on that one interest doesn’t mean your members will stay consistently engaged. Eventually, they will get bored with the information offered to them.
Rhythm is More Important Than Repetition
Rhythm is defined as a combination of elements repeated, but with variations. Variations in your messages are important. They can reach a greater swath of your members than a narrow focus. Also, they unearth hidden commonalities between members. Also, if they generate excitement, they keep the organization from getting stale and can attract members, especially younger members.
Identify the Pattern
There must be consistency in your message, so identifying any overarching patterns is key. What is it that you can always agree is important to your members? In many ways, this is similar to the core purpose of an association or company. The pattern of information, content and communication that you can identify as the group bedrock forms the basis of the “rhythm” your members experience.
From a technological perspective, you can even use software that aids in this task. It can collect and synthesize all the information you have stored and use it to form associations that are human-readable and understandable.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
John Lydgate, a protege of Geoffrey Chaucer, author of The Canterbury Tales, memorialized the following saying, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” It is a Sisyphean task to have no errors in your content, especially if your organization is trying to change it up.
Contrary to what you may believe, these missteps are as equally important as the successes. Your members provide feedback that can guide your organization to better serve them. That’s a key ingredient to a successful association. So if you make a few mistakes along the way, share them with your members and ask for suggestions. Get them involved by giving them a voice.
Plan for Change
In the end, this approach will cause your organization to change over time. So, how will you approach and embrace that change? It may require updating old content or even getting rid of your organization’s previous work to fit with what needs to happen in the present. Again, using data analysis tools is extremely helpful in achieving that goal.
Cutting edge tools are now using AI to read and collect your data for you, leaving you with a simple way to understand the outcome. Companies like Anodot and Databricks, the creators of Adobe Spark, are the first wave of what will eventually become the industry standard.