Keep Monitoring your Membership Details
Check the registration figures over the last 12-24 months. Do the numbers differ for different age groups? Have the numbers fallen? Is it gender differentiated? Is it geographic?
Research your local area for institutions, schools, organisations, sporting grounds and other facilities that may support your club. This will give you general data on age groups, education, marital status, income and interests within the local area.
New Research – Ideas for your Club
Find out why current members joined your club, what do they love, hate, have to offer want to see improved. People join or not join for all sorts of reasons – social activities, the facilities, close to university or transport etc. if you have lapsed members, find out why members don’t renew their registration.
Research other Clubs
Talk to neighbouring clubs and recreation centres about their membership base. Your association may also have information about members in different areas of the state and nationally. Market research helps define your target market. Target markets are essentially groups of people with common characteristics. Some simple ways target markets could be defined include residential address, sex, age group, occupation, education and interests.
How you position your club’s image and what it offers is important when targeting a potential customer or sponsor or producing an event.
Where your club stands compared to your competitors also helps a target market understand and appreciate the value and choice offered.
For example a person looking for a week night tennis competition will compare a club’s location, facilities, costs, reputation and time commitment with others in the area.
Here are some questions to ask to help position your club:
- How does your club compare with other organisations?
- What makes your club different from other clubs?
- What are parents looking for in an activity?
- What do participants want in an event?
- What would a potential sponsor look for?
- Does your sport have the right image to recruit new members?
One club that has lead the AFL in each regard with membership is the Collingwood footy club. Yes they have had a large following to start from but the lesson here is that they have worked hard to understand exactly how and why their supporters follow their club. The membership packages they have developed reflect a targeted approach to their customers. – Understand your market, what they love and put together a package that feeds and flourishes for both parties under those conditions.
Database is crucial – contact and communication drives the fan engagement that drives these membership factors. Collingwood collected hundreds of thousands of names during their grand final week, placing every supporters name on their banner, this collected database crucial to their membership drive.