A vital question for associations to ask themselves - what are you doing to attract Millennials?
Millennials are the largest single generation by nearly 15 million people. As the demographic makes up 50% of today’s workforce, it only makes sense associations would do more to bring them onboard. There's a lot to gain by capturing the Millennial dollar.
Associations can often find themselves stuck using outdated technology and lacking modernization. When that’s the case, there isn’t a great deal of value being presented to potential younger members. While the association may be relevant to them, justifying a membership with inconvenient access to content, fellow members and events is not going to happen. Millennials are mobile. Their phones are checked an average of 150 times per day and are never out of reach. Their approval and willingness to engage with any business is heavily reliant on how that business is effectively utilizing mobile and, more specifically, apps. Overtime apps have become powerful determinants of success. Millennials view businesses with weak or nonexistent apps much less successful than those with well-operating mobile technology.
Whether it’s ordering food or their favorite products and services, Millennials flock to the convenience of mobile apps. The ability to bypass lines as well as shop for, sign up for or schedule anything right from their couch or on the go are perks they've grown accustomed to. Anything less is deemed difficult and antiquated. They will not go to a website to participate in forums on a frequent basis, set up their profiles in a timely manner, or consistently check for membership updates and events. The user experience is slow and clunky. Even if they're mobile-friendly, websites do not offer the level of integration and engagement opportunities that native apps offer. From a website you can not deploy push notifications or gather the same kind of detailed data apps collect for enhancing their own experiences. Even the ways in which websites vs. apps are opened largely contribute to their divide. When you open a website on your phone, you have to go through your browser app (like a middleman). In contrast, when you open an app, you directly tap on its icon. Its instant access influences a greater number of visits and allows an association’s branding to be front and center on the mobile screen Millennials are always being drawn to. The best way to evaluate the difference between the two is this - websites are for attention while apps are for retention.
For your association to thrive long-term, it’s important to grow your Millennial member base. They bring a set of fresh eyes to your organizational strategies or processes that may have barriers being continuously overlooked. This app-centric generation is about heightened communication and connection. They constantly consume content and share it with others. It’s all because they’ve been given the right platforms to do so and have fully adapted to them. If your association can offer the kind of platform they’ve come to expect and understand, the membership then feels worth their investment and commitment. If you can consistently engage with them through a dedicated, native app, you’ve got their attention for the long haul.