At McKinley, we often talk about the tremendous value of longitudinal research. Indeed, we try to continually remind ourselves (and our clients) that while taking a one-time snapshot of member perception is certainly valuable, expanding the research discipline to track key data over time opens up a whole new window on market intelligence and strategic decision making.
Nowhere can we see this more clearly than in our recently released 2012 Economic Impact on Associations (EIA) Study. Marking the fifth installment in our ongoing benchmarking series, the 2012 EIA study provides a glimpse at the current perceptions within our sector as well as clear illustrations of the type of trend data that becomes so valuable in looking at the impact of changes over time.
The good news we saw emerging in last year’s study is evident again, with an even more optimistic viewpoint for the year ahead. While the overall 5-year net membership trends have dipped due to the impact of the recession, retention remains strong with most associations maintaining or improving their retention rates. Respondents are also looking forward to ramping up new investments and hiring in the near term and, overall, 83% of respondents are very or somewhat optimistic about the year ahead. How is 2012 looking for your association?