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Community Technology Scorecard: How well does your platform meet members' needs?

Community Technology Scorecard: How well does your platform meet members' needs?

You know your association's success depends on keeping pace with member expectations, but something might be holding you back: your legacy community technology. In many cases, the dynamic experience your members seek can't be created on traditional community software.

As you evolve your strategy to meet members' needs, selecting the right online community platform can help you transform the member experience. With the right platform and partner, you can reach new levels of growth, revenue, and engagement.

Understanding your members' needs

The first step in evaluating and selecting an online community platform is understanding your members' needs. You may be clear on your association's priorities, but how well do you know what your members want?

Forj's 2023 State of MX Research looked at members' primary reasons for joining and staying with their associations. Two years in a row, the top reason respondents gave was "to connect with other members/professionals like me." This demonstrates that members are eager for opportunities to connect and learn. They're seeking vibrant communities of practice

No matter their motivations and priorities, one thing is clear: Members decide to join or renew based on the value your association provides. Every day, multiple times a day, your members make micro-decisions about whether and how to engage in your online community, and their choices are based on their experience. With the right technology, that experience is firmly within your control.

How well does your community platform meet your members' needs?

The second step in evaluating and selecting an online community platform is assessing your ability to fulfill members' expectations. Today's professionals want:

  1. Speed and ease. In the age of instant gratification, members are used to getting what they want when they want it—and they expect the same ease and accessibility from your online community. For both staff and members, the user-friendliness of a platform can make or break the experience. Does your platform offer a simple design, intuitive navigation, and features that keep members coming back?
  2. A personalized experience. It's no surprise that many people see personalization as table stakes. Think of the recommendations you're served when watching Netflix, listening to Spotify, or shopping on Amazon. The modern member wants an experience tailored to their specific needs and preferences. Does your platform enable a customized community experience?
  3. A different definition of a "social network." The next generation of members may not belong to Facebook, but they value a social network's core benefits: opportunities to connect, collaborate, and learn from others. Network-oriented members value the relationships they form through their associations and see the benefit of social learning. Does your platform empower members to connect and learn?

A vibrant, thriving community is built on a modern platform that delivers ease, personalization, and meaningful connections. Selecting the right technology and engaging a strategic partner can help you:

  • Increase your reach and attract new members.
  • Boost retention by enhancing the value of membership.
  • Create unlimited opportunities for engagement, collaboration, and networking.
  • Streamline your tech stack to reduce time, effort, and costs.
  • Showcase your ability to deliver the experience members really want.

Ready to uncover how well your technology meets members' needs? Use our Community Tech Scorecard to determine where your association stands.

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