How do you set your AMC apart from the competition? By giving your clients access to exciting capabilities that not every AMC offers. We’ll share two smart tech additions you can easily scale to all your associations -- and offer tips to make them stand out in your proposal.
When it comes to technology, most AMCs provide an association management system (AMS) to their clients. There’s no shortage of options on the market - and many of them have robust platforms to manage almost every aspect of an association.
But when every association management company has an AMS, your potential clients may see them as very similar. If the AMS offers the same set of features as your competitor, they might simply check it off their list when they’re reviewing proposals. “OK, they’ve got membership software that meets our needs.”
Unfortunately, it’s not always a differentiator. Or not as much as you’d think. It’s an expected part of the package.
So that begs the question: what technology should you add to capture their attention?
Let’s look at two smart tech additions that will clearly demonstrate that your AMC offers associations more bang for their buck.
1. Data Analytics Platform
According to a recent report by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), data analytics is one of the six “drivers of change” most likely to have the biggest impact on associations in the near future.
Most association leaders know the importance of making data-driven decisions, but they view data analytics as too expensive or complicated. So they use siloed reports from their mish-mash of technology solutions to make semi-informed decisions.
This is your opportunity.
Other AMCs may consolidate some of their data into their association management software, but still not have the ability to analyze all the data or offer easy-to-understand, actionable insights.
The Solution - Data Analytics Platform
Technology companies have recognized the growing need for associations and other nonprofits to leverage their data for decision-making. Two products have risen to the top of the list: Acumen by Association Analytics and Nucleus by Gravitate Solutions.
While there are certainly differences between the two products, they both essentially consolidate an association’s data from multiple platforms and allow the average association staff (not a data scientist!) to produce answers to an association’s toughest questions.
As an example, Nucleus offers this customer experience, “The member engagement feature made selecting a new board member easier than ever before. By zeroing in on our most actively engaged candidates from across all our systems, we were able to streamline our selection process.”
How to Position Your Data Analytics Platform
1. Share association trends and best practices from trusted sources - The ASAE Foundation recently launched “ForesightWorks” to help members navigate the changing association landscape. In their first set of Action Briefs, they discussed data analytics. The brief advised association leaders to:
Inventory and improve the current integrity of your data and management processes
Acquire data analytics proficiency
Use data to inform your strategy and business decisions
Clarify privacy and data management policies and practice
2. Demonstrate the value of data analytics with real-life scenarios - Association Analytics has numerous case studies that help association leaders understand the benefits of data analytics in relatable, practical terms. You may also want to share their data maturity assessment.
Flexible Application Platform
Even though top-of-the-line association management systems have lots of bells and whistles, they’re often lacking when it moves beyond membership, events, and content management.
But as any association leader knows, there are plenty of other important functions that are still being managed with multiple spreadsheets even with the best AMS.
Namely, the management of scholarships, awards, grants, internships, certifications, and accreditations.
These are multi-step processes that benefit from a more specialized type of platform - one that’s designed for three users - the applicant, reviewer, and staff member.
Zengine by WizeHive is ideal for association management companies. You probably already have multiple association clients with one or more of these processes.
Perhaps you manage a trade association with an accreditation program. Or a professional society with two certifications and a scholarship program. And what about that education group that distributes grant money? Not to mention that nearly every association has annual awards.
While these programs are different, they need the same set of tools, but with total flexibility in how they’re configured:
Online application or portal
Reviewer assignments and data access
Tracking and collaboration tools
Zengine offers all of the above, plus it integrates with 1000+ other business applications, making it easy for your AMC to leverage for any of your association clients.
How to Position Your Application Management Software
Explain how this will reduce staff hours - With an application management system, you can reduce member inquiries about the application, constant follow up with reviewers, and time spent preparing reports. Your AMC is more efficient and you can offer a better pricing model for your client.
Describe the improved member experience - Applicants will have a user-friendly interface and receive automated reminders and updates. They can access all their information in one place and contact the team right from their portal. This will encourage more participation and confidence in the association’s programs.
Talk about reviewer tools - Associations rely on volunteer members to judge scholarship applications, evaluate certification essays, or select an award winner. With an application management system, they can access a branded portal. Our unique side-by-side layout lets the reviewer see and score the application at the same time. Association leaders will appreciate the ease of involvement, keeping them on board for these crucial projects.
Successful association management companies are constantly looking for ways to provide more value to their associations. With the addition of a data integration platform and an application management system, you’ll demonstrate your commitment to a strong, lasting partnership.