that would demonstratively annotate a direct correlation between number of events to members gained and the cost benefit analysis associated with that data. I think a reasonable approach to take from the anecdotal information we are currently garner- ing from these events is to under- stand that we have a lot of members coming to the organization that need a platform to ‘engage’ with the organi- zation. If the new member is not engaged in that first twelve-month membership cycle, there is a reason- able expectation that the member will walk away from the organization.”

IAN SCHMEISSER: “Regarding the twelve-month free membership pro- gram facilitated by the purchase of a new BMW Motorcycle, what did the MOA do to reach out to and attempt to engage and retain those new members?”

TED MOYER: “The free membership program was not an automatic enrol- ment program. BMW North America would send those new owners a free membership card embedded in mar- keting material that was mailed to the customer. It was incumbent upon the new motorcycle owner to fill it out and drop that membership card in the mail. “This overall structure is problem-

atic in that it is a “voluntary” reply. It only applies to customers that want to take advantage of this program. If they do reply, and are then placed in our membership database they fall into the same profile of engagement as any other member at that point, regardless of how the member was enrolled originally. “To answer your question directly,

our engagement with these new members is very little honestly. We recognize that we can do better at catching people in that first year of

102 BMW OWNERS NEWS October 2017

membership and improving how often we ‘touch’ them and how and where we engage that new member. We currently don’t have a good process or plan for that.

BOB ALDRIDGE: “I’ve recently joined the AAA, and in doing so, as a new member within the first three months I have received several letters and publications from the organization, including a letter from the president of AAA.… Wwe recog- nize that to engage the new MOA member with this depth it would require a resource allocation we currently do not have budgeted.

IAN SCHMEISSER: “Email letters and digi- tal correspondence to the new members would cut costs.”

BOB ALDRIDGE: “The market research indicates that the direct mail option still holds a viable piece in the retention of new customers. I’m not disagreeing with you regarding the email notification as a less expensive option that might yield results. We don’t struggle with how to do it or how to implement these options; we struggle with allocating resources for these pro- grams, even the email notification requires the resources to capture that information gained and follow up with and continue to engage with the member on a personal basis.”

TED MOYER: “One of the problems we experience is we miss the personalization in the process. We have an organization, and I’ve used this analogy before: it’s like putting a group of Ford 4x4 truck owners in the same room as a group of Ford Shelby GT 350 owners and expecting that they would be excited about the same form of contacts, ‘touch points’ and materials pre- sented; it’s just not the case. We lack that personalization to be able to go through and break down membership on a per- sonal basis. Membership cards, welcome kits, etc. are currently generic across the organization regardless of the experience

you are looking for. Where we are lacking is understanding what it is that you the mem- ber want to get from us and then providing that individually tailored experience for that individual member.

IAN SCHMEISSER: “I understand you have put in place the tools to do that now. I’m liking what I’m seeing in theat membership management system.”

BOB ALDRIDGE: “Unfortunately, having the system in place and fully functional is slower than we would like, but it is coming along.”

Another member present addresses the board with a comment and questions: “I came because I thought this meeting was something else, but now that I’m here, I find this quite interesting. I’m a first-year BMW MOA member, this is my first BMW MOA rally…I joined the MOA and I love the magazine…regarding emails for notifi- cations, I think it is the wrong way to go because everybody does it. I like the direct mailings. What I am trying to find now that I have joined a national organization is what’s local to me? What is available for me to attend locally?”

BOB ALDRIDGE: “That is exactly what we are talking about here: Being able to con- nect new members geographically and demographically to their local riding com- munity. If you look at the history of the organization, it grew out of local charter clubs. There were clubs, before there was a national organization. Through the 70s 80s and 90s the MOA grew through this organic structure of local charter clubs feeding the national organization. Over time, due to technological and societal forces we are seeing that model shift some- what. Like yourself, we have riders joining the national organization, the MOA with- out connecting to the structure of a local organization to engage the new member. This is what we are currently struggling with. How do we do that? How do we


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