Member Strategies For Lean Times

As was expected, and historically, during lean times, the first thing to go on is the PR/marketing and advertising, which is quite understandable from a corporate perspective.  But usually it does not last long, and those retread ideas – magazine ads, press trips, brochure refreshment, are put back in the budget as soon as one or two members join or rejoin.  The problem is, the peculiar issues of now, of a year from now and even two years from now.  It sounds as if the economy won’t self correct for at least a year, maybe more. Will it be another Year Of Living Dangerously?  Perhaps not, given some of the risky yet initially successful strategies that some clubs have implemented.

The most valuable asset in any club is not the real estate, but the membership.  People say that all the time, but in lean times, it is most crucial to know how to maintain a member equipoise, enhance the member loyalty, so that the members will truly feel they are part of a club who understands their needs and wants, and their desire of sanctuary as well as the creation of a legacy of fond memories to be passed to their children and grandchildren. To that end, member events have taken an important position in the new marketing structure of many clubs.  Having members meet and greet each other in the outdoor areas of art galleries, exceptional restaurants, and even at some of the homes, as well as clubs co-sponsoring symposia where high end executives gather, having client summits ,and expanding members advisory boards, all allow the member and the potential member to see how the other members live how they feel about the inner workings of the club, of the residences, of the club culture.

 It is also necessary to have a solid internet presence not only on the club website, but also on those websites that the potential purchaser will use to research your product – like Fractional Life.  1 billion people per day, it is said, log on to their computers, and surf.  It is crucial that some PR budget be paid to people who can update stories, press releases and webwork at least three times a week.  Keeping the brand fresh is as important as keeping it strong.

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