The Membership Economy (Robbie Kellman Baxter)
Few marketing books focus exclusively on membership systems. And me being a marketing manager at a membership organisation, I couldn’t download this one fast enough!
The book certainly widened my view on a ‘traditional’ membership organisation as it used technology examples (premium vs freemium) and examples like the CrossFit phenomenon. I would have loved to see some more practical frameworks of membership journeys and life cycle from this book – and on that note if you are looking for a good one then I really like Marketing General Inc’s membership framework.
The basic principle from this book can be applied (I believe) to any organisation or company because it all boils down to this simple truth:
“The Membership Economy is all about putting the customer at the center of the business model rather than the product or the transaction.”
More from the membership economy –
(headings = mine, all quotes directly from the book)
Why belonging really matters
“Each of us yearns for the tribe: for the affiliations that will support us, protect us, define us, help us make sense of a complex and overwhelming world.”
What membership really is
“I define membership as the state of being formally engaged with an organization or group on an ongoing basis.”
Membership companies are winning
“Organizations that build their businesses around people’s needs to belong, to be connected, and to be admired, that are focused on relationships over products, are winning in today’s economy.”
Think you don’t need research because Steve Jobs didn’t? Wrong
“Thinking that you can be the next Steve Jobs and simply “know” what customers need is like saying you’re going to drop out of college and start a company because that’s what Steve Jobs did.”
How to drive CrossFit like loyalty
“Companies like CrossFit follow three rules to drive loyalty: Make it easy. Make it personal. Get members involved.”
Get into content marketing
“Free content, or “content marketing,” is the practice of providing some free information as a means of building awareness and credibility with prospective members.”
Why the first month is important
“They know that the first 30 days are the most important for building behaviors and habits.”
Can you create an institute?
“Consider building your membership around an “institute” you build—an institute, after all, is simply a research organization. Or a lab—testing things is good too. People crave the certainty of validated methodologies.”