MGI Tipster Volume 9, Issue 9

September 23, 2010   |   Vol. 9   |   Issue 9

Awareness: Step One in the MGI Membership Lifecycle Marketing Model

The MGI Membership Lifecycle

The MGI Membership Lifecycle enables organizations to adopt a comprehensive, integrated approach to membership marketing. The Lifecycle has five steps: Awareness, Recruitment, Engagement, Renewal, and Reinstatement.

In last month’s MGI Tipster we reviewed each of the steps. See Issue 8 Volume 9 on our website This month we examine Awareness.

Awareness Step

Awareness…when prospects first discover you.

Before organizations can develop awareness among their constituencsies, they must have a strong sense of self-awareness—understanding clearly who they are and knowing their value proposition. Many groups are very good at establishing a tagline or logo and they execute their marketing plan well. But few appear to have thought through their brand story.

For centuries our ancestors have shared stories, tales that have served to establish and carry cultures from generation to generation. Stories weave communities and cultures together. Similarly, organizations should have a clearly articulated story that supports their value proposition in the most memorable way and serves as the keystone of the branding strategy.

Testing share of mind

Share of mind means establishing a degree of brand recognition with the target audience. Prospects must know something about the organization before they are likely to choose to become members or customers.

It is important to recognize whether share of mind awareness is at a high enough level to support a recruitment campaign. To find out, test market to likely prospects and if returns are acceptable there is sufficient awareness to take the next step. If not, it may be wise to first build greater awareness before investing funds in recruiting members or selling products.

Building share of mind

MGI uses online tools to trade "content for contact," so instead of selling memberships, prospects are pushed to discover the organization by the content it provides.

When prospective members access content they consider valuable, they then are asked to opt-in for further contact from the organization. They are then cultivated and given the opportunity to join the association to take advantage of the full range of products and services.

Membership content can include:

  • Co-registration submissions
  • Ad networks
  • Online press releases
  • Article submissions
  • Blogs
  • Social media ads
  • Affinity media
  • Search engine and content advertising

Building the relationship

The relationship between the organization and opted-in prospects strengthens as resources are delivered that they value. The relationship grows over time to the point where membership becomes almost a natural consequence of the prospect’s growing rapport and affinity with the association.

This strategy also enables membership organizations to open a new communications channel allowing potential members to choose for themselves how quickly they wish to build their relationship with the association.

Web and database tagging allows results to be monitored and optimized to make the migration to full membership simple and easy.

Next: Recruitment…when prospects choose to try you.

Associations cannot grow without recruiting new members and customers. In the next issue of the MGI Tipster we will examine five fundamental marketing disciplines that must be put in place to ensure that recruitment programs are successful.

If you would like to learn more about the MGI Membership Lifecycle and how it can help your organization grow, telephone Rick Whelan at 703-739-1000 or email him at

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