Membership is about what it can deliver (potentially)
In some organisations, I notice complacency, and / or ignoring what â€œcustomersâ€ want.
Itâ€™s easy for any organisation to get waylaid by its own needs and interests, rather than what they offer people (the â€œcustomerâ€).
Sometimes, organisations even make the customer wrong for not wanting what the organisation is promoting.Â The potential customer or member is not sufficiently committed, smart enough etc to know what is good for them!
Essentially, the organisation says itâ€™s them, NOT us.Â You especially see this approach in politics all the time.
Iâ€™m talking about any kind of â€œcustomersâ€, whether itâ€™s for products, services, memberships, leadership, Viagra or whatever.
I always like to start out training in selling, membership marketing or membership development with a discussion of â€œmarketing myopiaâ€ ... as described wonderfully by marketing guru Theodore Levitt in 1960 in the Harvard Business Review.Â He refers to organisations "focusing on products rather than customersâ€.
Levitt was also one of the first to pointedly say:Â â€œCustomers buy benefits not productsâ€.
He used the now famous illustration of how customers buy a drill not because they want a drill (except for a few tech types who get excited by tools).Â They buy a drill because they want a HOLE.
He described the situation as a myopic culture ... which in turn leads to complacency and a loss of sight of what customers want.
For example, in the case of organisations that have members, persons will take out a membership because of what the membership can potentially deliver to them... not because they are interested in the membership in itself, or even in the organisation...(including whatever may excite or interest the people who run the organisation, or who work there).