CADM Hopes to Ignite Engagement with New Positioning, Pricing Structure, By-Laws and Committees
CADM's 2015/2016 Board of Directors set out this past year with one goal - increase member engagement. Glenda Sharp sat down with Brad Schwab, CADM President and Chair of the Board, to understand the progress made over the past year and how CADM’s new positioning, pricing structure, by-laws and committees will help association members and ignite engagement.
Question [Sharp]: Why did the board focus on increasing member engagement vs. increasing membership?
Answer [Schwab]: Great first question Glenda. Increasing membership was of course where we started but we knew we needed to build a foundation for long-term growth. The goal of increasing membership was limiting us and keeping from thinking out of the box. We realized that a successful community is an engaged and collaborative community and we had to build an engaged community to have real long-term success. So we focused on increasing member engagement which changed our conversation from topics like membership pricing to why would companies and professionals want to engage with CADM. This was a game changer and freed us to think out of the box.
Question [Sharp]: So why would companies and professionals want to engage with CADM?
Answer [Schwab]: To be honest, when we first asked the question we were having a hard time answering it. We began to ask members, past members and non-members and realized that everyone was saying different things on the surface but if you boiled it down they all wanted to engage with CADM because they were passionate about one-to-one marketing and wanted to be involved in a collaborative and productive community where they could exchange ideas, build business relationships and help with their career growth. The key question then was, is CADM meeting the needs of our members?
Question [Sharp]: Is CADM meeting the needs of its members?
Answer [Schwab]: Ultimately, yes. CADM has great programs to help its member. Where we needed to improve was we needed to make it easier for people to understand who we are, why we exist and make it simpler to engage with us. This lead us down the path of re-positioning CADM to allow us to tell our story in a simpler way, updating our pricing structure to allow members and sponsors to engage with us the way they wanted, reinstating by-laws that outlined clear rules of engagement and establishing committees with clear definitions so it is easier for members to get involved.
Question [Sharp]: What is CADM’s new positioning? What were some of the challenges in developing the new positioning?
Answer [Schwab]: Well, I will start with answering your second question. The biggest challenge was what do we call ourselves? Are we direct marketers? Are we one-to-one marketers? Or response marketers? We couldn’t agree on a particular label but we could agree we all trying build one-to-one relationships with customers, we use multiple channels to drive a response with customers and prospects and we utilize databases and analytics to target, track and measure success. After lots of discussion and thinking we aligned on the following new positioning:
CADM – Chicago Multichannel Response Marketing Community
Ignition is our mission. As Chicago’s collaborative community for multichannel response marketers, CADM sparks ideas, business relationship and career growth.
Question [Sharp]: What can you tell members about the new pricing structure? What are the big differences from the previous price structure?
Answer [Schwab]: I am really excited about the new price structure because it was developed directly from our mission of increasing member engagement. We have some people nervous because one of the big differences is we now have a “Basic Member” price level which has no fee to become a member and has “Basic Advantages” which for example includes free content but does not include any programming free of charge and no voting rights. Where our “Premier Member” will pay a membership fee and receive “Premier Advantages” which includes no charge for certain programming, premier discounts on remaining programs and voting rights for example. This new price structure will allow for members to engage with CADM how it works best for them and will also always keep the organization focused on developing strong programming and content.
Question [Sharp]: How have the By-Laws changed?
Answer [Schwab]: The Board has revised the Bylaws to provide for our new positioning, membership levels and committees. The By-laws are published at cadm.org and I suggest that if you really want to understand CADM then take a few minutes and read the Bylaws.
Question [Sharp]: What can you tell us about the new committees?
Answer [Schwab]: To keep it simple, the biggest thing I want members to know about committees is we aligned all of the committees to a CADM offering and have defined their roles/responsibilities and defined how the committees are funded. It will be much easier for committees to operate moving forward.
Q It sounds like the board has worked hard to build a foundation for growth, is there anything else you would like to make sure the membership knows?
A I just want them to know we have worked hard and had a good time putting this foundation in place. There is still a lot of work to do, and there is not a better time to get involved with CADM. Be a part of springing CADM into its next 60 year run…you won’t regret it.