Blog
16th June 2021

When the B2B media and events world was first plunged into the unknown at the start of the global pandemic, many ‘pivots to digital’ focused on creating or strengthening a membership proposition, typically something ‘high value’ (£500+ per user per annum). 

This was a perfectly logical move to make considering the more stable, predictable, recurring revenues that memberships promise. 

And we all know that this is the holy grail of business valuations: 3+ years of healthy, consistently growing membership revenues – fed by both retention (and ideally annual upsell in volume of users and average order value), and a steady stream of newly acquired, good quality members. This is what gets the investors lining up and paying handsomely.  

At this moment it time, we believe it’s important to take a very sober look at what has really happened over the last 18 months or so. Since January/February 2020, business owners faced the catastrophe of live event revenues falling away – knowing full well that digital alternatives were likely to generate a fraction of the revenue. 

Generally speaking, those with relatively established membership products and/or digital subscriptions already in the market saw higher demand for these services. As live events weren’t running (and it took a while for digital events to emerge as reasonable alternatives), their members/subscribers started looking to these offerings to meet their knowledge and networking needs. 

And many that did not already have a membership proposition started working hard and fast to create one. 

But, as organisations in both of these situations will know, creating and establishing a successful membership model requires significant investment and takes time. A reasonable payoff is often only realised 5+ years after the first version of the membership offering was launched. 

And what most successful, profitable membership service owners will know, is that a smart, strategic marketing effort, fully integrated with leading and supporting the sales function, is essential.  

In the early stages, many put most of their marketing dollars into a shiny new piece of martech, seeing this as a ‘silver bullet’ solution to make their membership marketing somehow magically work well with limited marketing resources. This is one of the biggest, most costly mistakes we see made – again, and again. 

What should come first is a robust and well thought through marketing strategy. This should be aligned with and built to fully support your business, product development and sales strategies.

So, where should the marketing strategy start? It should always start with the ‘Control’ part of the SOSTACⓇ model that MPG recommends marketing leaders follow when building a marketing strategy. SOSTACⓇ stands for:

S = Situational Analysis
O = Objectives
S = Strategy
T = Tactics
A = Action (operational plan)
C = Control 

Even though C is the last letter in the SOSTAC acronym, it should come first in your process when developing and implementing a winning membership marketing strategy. Why? Because you need to know how you’re going to measure success, and how your marketing investments are going to help you achieve this success.

If you don’t have the right KPIs, people, systems and processes in place to measure your growth – and where this growth is coming from – how will you be able to prove to your potential investors that you have a strong, predictable and growing membership revenue stream?

Put this measurement system in place at the start of your membership journey, and you will have all the analytics you need to tell your growth story for investors in 3 years time.

This data is what gives you strong visibility of how your membership is actually performing, what is holding you back, and what is driving growth. It’s essential for making good decisions that will enable you to make the right investments and build that ‘holy grail’ membership proposition that will make your business so attractive to investors. 

Focusing on measuring membership marketing success from the very beginning will also ensure your marketing and sales are integrated from the start. Marketing and sales KPIs need to be completely joined up. 

MPG has been working with B2B membership-focused organisations since we launched in 2014, and in all that time the following KPIs have proven to be invaluable in how businesses build a strong marketing and sales function, and how this translates into business value. 

Member acquisition – strategic KPIs for membership marketing & sales

Your key metrics should be focused around:

  • Database
  • Sales & Marketing Qualified Leads
  • Sales & Sales Cycle
  • Revenue
  • Yield

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE FULL STRATEGIC KPIS

Member retention – strategic KPIs for membership marketing & sales

Your key metrics should be focused around:

  • Onboarding
  • Engagement Scoring
  • Sales
  • Renewal cycle

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF THE FULL STRATEGIC KPIS

If you already have a membership model in play, it’s not too late to add these KPIs to your existing workflow and business reporting!

Nailing down KPIs and knowing how you will measure and analyse these regularly for good decision making is just the starting point. 

In the coming weeks, we will be publishing a series of blogs about:

  • The ideal member retention process: how to retain members before you start acquiring them – your retention efforts must start the day they sign up for membership. 
  • The ideal member acquisition process: how to build a marketing and sales funnel that becomes a powerful feeder of new business to achieve strong membership growth over an extended period of time. 
  • The best way to build events (in all forms) into your membership offering: to achieve strong member retention rates and to act as a growth engine for membership acquisitions. 

If you’re aiming to build a strong membership offering and you have not already signed up to MPG Insights – now is a good time! Subscribe here to get an email in your inbox every time we publish a new blog like this one, or create another resource (e.g. webinar or report) that you will benefit from. 

 


Is growing membership revenue a strategic focus for your business? 

Team MPG creates and executes on robust membership marketing strategies that support both acquisition and retention growth. Find out more about our approach – get in touch

 


MPG delivered a great series of tailored marketing workshops for the team at China Britain Business Council. This training helped us formulate our membership growth strategy and gave us some very useful, practical guidance on improving our digital marketing and sales tactics.”

Claire Urry, Executive Director, China-Britain Business Council

Building a winning B2B membership model: where your marketing should start

Blog
16th June 2021

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STRATEGIC MARKETING & SALES KPIS

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