In early 2010, the Pensacola, Florida chapter of the America Business Women’s Association (ABWA) the incoming leadership team — shown in the photograph — decided to create a tactical marketing plan with a goal of increasing the chapter’s membership by the end of the calendar year.
Using the Team Powered Success model, the six member team participated via conference calls and email to evaluate their chapter’s needs and develop a tactical marketing plan with three primary components: 1) a 60-second “elevator” speech, 2) a process for lead generation and 3) a process for inviting and hosting prospective members.
Using facilitation and consensus building, the team brainstormed to identify the benefits members receive from active participation in the chapter. The consensus was that the Pensacola chapter is a fun, diverse, talented, spirited, non-judgmental group of women. The chapter excels at finding excellent speakers who share innovative and functional ideas to improve both our businesses and ourselves. The chapter is perceived as a safe and supportive environment. And chapter members can access external networking opportunities via affiliations.
The leadership team agreed that when the marketing plan would include SMART goals –specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely — of registering two new members each month. The team also created three primary components within the plan to help each current member attract candidates. The three components are: the Elevator Speech, Lead Generation and a Monthly Meeting Checklist.
The leadership team also realized that the chapter must be proactive when it comes to promoting itself to members of the target market. For the Pensacola chapter, the leadership team identified a six step checklist with lead generation tactics designed to create interest in our chapter among area businesswomen. These six lead generation tactics permit the chapter to use existing or easy-to-access resources and are low cost or no cost.
With the basic marketing plan written and approved, the leadership team agreed that revising the chapter’s monthly meeting process was crucial to increasing and sustaining chapter membership. To that end, the team created a meeting checklist whereby each guest is treated in the same professional manner during her visit and each chapter member knows the process can “step in” when needed. The meeting process is separated into Before, During and After a Meeting.
For example, before a monthly meeting, a current member will be assigned to actively (personally, by phone or in person) and systematically contact previous guests and prospects to invite them to come to the next meeting and to join as a member. During a monthly meeting, a guest will be seated with a member mentor and receive an updated membership packet. In addition, the meetings themselves will be have clear agendas with specific time constraints and will promote the chapter’s traditions and rituals so that guests are very clear about what makes it distinct, if not unique!
A Plan for the Team
For a number of years, the chapter had no formal plan for building its membership and no procedures for addressing the issue. When the leadership team approached Team Powered Success for its assistance, they were told our program not only would help them create a basic marketing plan but also learn tools to help them navigate the stages of team development. Ω
Bob McCarthy is editor of the E-Team Journal. For more information about the Pensacola Chapter, visit www.abwapensacola.org.