What The Next Generation of Members Want to Hear from Your Association

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The data is clear: most associations have not yet figured out how to appeal to younger professionals in their industry. And that’s a big risk with millennials set to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025. To attract the next generation of members, associations must prioritize authentic, two-way communication and collaboration. 

We asked association marketing experts, Colby Horton and Frank Humada from Association Briefings, to share insights with us around what the next generation wants from associations and how to position your organization to attract and retain them. Here are the highlights: 

What do younger professionals need from associations?

In this clip, Colby Horton explains the things that are most important to younger professionals. By understanding these factors and designing content that speaks to them, associations can more effectively reach this audience. 

He said: “They certainly want an authentic voice. They certainly want to be involved in the community in gathering and networking… And young professionals are joining associations to be involved in a purpose. So, if the content doesn't go along with each of those three things, then the factory, as you called it, isn't doing its job.”

TikTok has exploded in popularity. Is this channel critical for engaging younger professionals?

TikTok has exploded onto the screen, with authentic, down-to-earth video content accelerating it’s growth and rise as the most engaging social media platform. But rushing to create a TikTok strategy is not the right fit for every association. 

In this clip, Colby said: “I can start this one. I think the most important thing, especially when it comes to something like TikTok and jumping into, new shiny things that are out there is again, you have to talk to the members, right? 

You have to get together a group of young professionals and you have to say, "Hey A, does TikTok work for our association? And if it does, how do we do it? What is it that we need to do here?" And the answer is going to be different from association to association. A medical association on TikTok is much more of a stretch than an interior design or a student medical association or something like that. 

So, I really think it's: if we're going to jump into this, we have to have a strategy and who better to define that strategy than a young professional or a group of young professionals telling us how it fits into what our association does? 

We can't just jump into TikTok because everyone's jumping into TikTok because it may not be the best social channel for the association. And that's okay.”

We know personalization is important to Millennials and Gen Z. But what does personalization actually mean? 

In this clip, Frank Humada shares the effectiveness of personalization when done the right way. What’s the right way to personalize communication touchpoints for younger professionals? Hint: it’s more than including a First Name token in an email. 

Frank said: “So, it could be based around content preferences. So, let's say it's a newsletter, for example. And you have different items in there. So, based on what the subscriber wants to see, depending on what their member type is, different things should be sent to them based on those preferences set by the user or the association.”


For more insights on attracting the next generation of association members, access the free on-demand replay of our conversation with Frank Humada and Colby Horton.

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