The Importance of Member Awareness
by Dr. William Ivers
As I explained in a previous article (A Hidden Source of Club Revenue), the primary value of a website is its ability to increase Member Awareness, which results in increased participation and member engagement, in turn leading to the famous "3 R's" – Revenue, Retention and Recruitment.
Sometimes when I am talking with a General Manager about the additional participation obtained through improved member awareness, I sense skepticism. Perhaps the GM is thinking about how much it cost the club the prior year to hire a new chef and how long it took to achieve a mere 3% increase in dining. How could a trivial expenditure improving member awareness have an immediate and significant impact on revenue?
The GM is right – it costs a lot of money, time and effort to increase the quality of the club experience enough to attract additional member usage. My point is that the club has already made those large expenditures, they just are not getting the full benefit due to lack of member awareness.
Potential Member Usage
Imagine how much member usage the club would experience if every member had full knowledge of all the club facilities and services, and further, that every member was reminded of these services just prior to deciding what to do with their free time. This would be the "Potential Member Usage" the club would achieve given perfect member awareness. This Potential Member Usage level is represented by the complete blue pie in the sidebar to the right.
Now we all know that club communication is not perfect, so we can expect less Member Usage, depending on the level of member awareness achieved by the club – the three blue pieces of pie show the amount of Potential Member Usage that is converted to Actual Usage depending on how successful the communication effort is at increasing member awareness.
Pre-Paid Member Usage
Note that the club has already paid the big dollars to create the full Potential Member Usage pie – the club hired the chef and redecorated the ballroom and built the fitness center. But it is that trivial little communication budget that will determine whether the club converts the lion's share of the Potential Member Usage to Actual Usage.