What is the unique value in a member services organisation?

When asked this question, a lot of people will say ‘brand’, ‘history’ or ‘heritage’. Some will even say ‘our people’, ‘our passion’ or ‘our purpose’.

Although you could argue there is truth in all of the above, where is the real value in a member services organisation, and how is it unlocked?

In my experience, the biggest asset in most membership organisations is:

  1. Their capacity to produce unique Intellectual Property (IP) through conferences, events, panel discussions, industry interviews, research, expert opinion etc.
  2. A qualified, preferably well-segmented database of past, present and prospective members

The commercial opportunity exists by being able to transact one (IP) with the other (membership). Additional commercial value can be derived from licencing, sponsorship and media partners, however past, present and prospective members are the core business – and the only reason why sponsors or media partners are interested in the first place.

I would love to hear your thoughts.


Michael Field, Managing Director for Michael Field Pty Ltd.


2 thoughts on “What is the unique value in a member services organisation?

  1. Hi Michael,

    Different people will seek different values from member services organizations. The majority of members will want a return on their investment (membership fee) in the form of transactions. This is the networks, conferences, services etc you mentioned. The next group will want the transactional value but will also value the brand especially if to obtain membership of the brand it involves personal commitment and effort. The third group will not only want the transactions and brand but also strong input into how the organization is governed and in some cases managed. These are the people who want on the Board often on a volunteer basis.
    All member services organizations need to create an organizational structure and culture that will supply value to a myriad of members all seeking different values.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>