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Supporting the growth aspirations of a national professional association

Supporting the growth aspirations of a national professional association

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The Marine Biological Association (MBA) is a learned society dedicated to promoting research into our oceans and the life they support, providing a voice for the marine biological community in over 40 countries.

Designing and modernising the member experience

Since 1884 the MBA has been at the forefront of marine biology discovery and knowledge exchange. It wanted to maintain and grow its influence and as part of that, grow its membership from 2,000 to 10,000 by 2034. To achieve this, it needed a strategy to improve and modernise its member experience and increase members. The MBA engaged Nous to develop a new membership growth strategy and implementation plan.

A new membership value proposition to deliver growth

We helped the MBA design and deliver a compelling new member experience. Informed by data analysis, consultations and global best practice in membership management, we designed a new membership value proposition.

Nous was an excellent team to work with and incredibly responsive and adaptable to our (at times) nebulous criteria. It was a tight deadline and I was impressed such a comprehensive report was delivered on time, with alterations and edits right up to the presentation deadlines (at our request). I would love to work with them again.

Professor Willie Wilson, Director, The Marine Biological Association.

We assessed the value delivered by the professional association and compared it with similar organisations, and worked with internal and external stakeholders to stress-test the scale and feasibility of membership ambitions.

We devised a new membership offer with refreshed member categories and benefits that will enable the association to deliver on its strategic ambitions. We also developed a detailed implementation plan that focused on establishing the operating model, ways-of-working and the investment required to realise the new strategy.

Transformation from a traditional learned society to a modern professional association

The MBA has committed to implementing the new membership strategy and detailed roadmap. This will require a structured, phased approach to improving the member experience; which will be underpinned by regular communication, sustained investment over the next few years, strategic leadership, and new technologies and processes. As a result of our engagement, the MBA is modernising its processes and ways-of-working to deliver a slick member experience, most effectively using staff time and resources.

What you can learn from the MBA

  • Members have different needs and expectations, which must be reflected in a personalised member experience.
  • Membership is strategic and underpinned by administrative capability: a skilled leader with transformation experience should be supported by strong systems and technical capability.
  • Technology, including customer relationship management data and automated communications, supports a consistent member experience.
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