Your Association and AI: The Story You Need to Be Ready For

The AI revolution is upon us. Everyone is talking about how AI can perform basic writing tasks, filter and summarize content, and comb through research at lightning speed. At Rottman Creative, we’re at the forefront, using it every day to turbocharge productivity. But before we lean too far into the wind of AI enthusiasm, let’s get real about the implications for your association.

The Allure and the Alarm Bells of AI

Listen, the benefits are clear: AI will continue to evolve at an unbelievable pace. But here’s the buzzkill: within five years, AI’s relentless improvement will create a massive engagement crisis for associations. We’re talking about an AI smart enough to pinpoint people’s pain points and deliver jaw-dropping value—often for free. It isn’t just about cool tech; it’s about the obliteration of traditional value models.

Here’s the million-dollar question: Why should anyone fork out membership fees when they can access a universe of AI-driven value for nothing?

Finding the “Almost”

Yes, AI is formidable, but let’s cut to the chase. It can’t give you everything. The golden nugget your association needs to grab is within that elusive “almost.” While AI dominates in content generation, data analysis, and ideation, there are realms it can’t touch—yet. Advocacy and real, soul-stirring community lie beyond its reach. Your mission? Turn these intangible assets into your association’s fortress.

But more than that, you’ve got to nail down how to communicate this value to your members—sharply, succinctly, and compellingly. It’s here that the failure or success of your association’s future hangs in the balance.

Lessons from Past Non-Disruptors

You might think, “Here we go with another tech panic.” And you know what? You’re right to a degree. Apps and social media were hailed as member engagement godsends, and yes, they had their moments, but they didn’t shift the tectonic plates. Conference apps? Usually downloaded in a panicked hurry. Social media? More emails are sent today than ever before, proving its “email-killer” moniker wrong.

AI, however, is different. It’s generative, evolving, and human-driven. So, here’s your wakeup call: “We’ve been around forever” is not a strategy. Adapt or perish.

Blueprint for Battles Ahead

First, own it. This isn’t sci-fi scare tactics. This is the here and now: AI is happening. It’s not about relinquishing control to robots; it’s about harnessing solutions. You’ve got a window to leverage this.

Next, get your value proposition tight. Research and anecdotal evidence tell us most associations flap about like a fish out of water when asked about their unique value. Nail it down. Your value proposition is your silver bullet against AI encroachment—what you provide that AI can’t usurp.

Now, let’s fix those emails. You’re drowning your audience. Emphasize relational emails over transactional drivel. We talk about this in another blog—dive in deep there.

The Strategic Moat

Prepare to construct your “strategic moat.” AI isn’t about taking over; it’s an enabler. Use AI to amplify what makes your association irreplaceable—your brand, your collective voice, your tight-knit community.

By embracing AI while doubling down on human elements that AI can’t replicate, you create a robust, defensible space around your association—a strategic moat that competitors struggle to cross. Strengthen your story, build your community, and clarify your advocacy. These are your pillars. Your move.

Let’s get tactical—time to bolster your foundation while thinking strategically:

Overhaul your user interface. Think clean, intuitive, and lightning-fast. Simplicity trumps an over-designed labyrinth.

Dive deep into understanding your members. How are they engaging with your content? What platforms and formats do they flock to? Data here is worth its weight in gold.

Reformulate your content around your ironclad value proposition. Make it scannable, digestible, and impactful. Your content should shout your unique value in every pixel.

Recognize the seismic shifts in event registration behavior. Enter The 40-Day Dash—our tailored program acknowledging the last-minute registration frenzy. Get ahead of this curve and you won’t just survive; you’ll thrive.

The Here and Now

As we stare down the barrel of 2024—a year rife with potential turmoil from a presidential election to the specter of recession—understand that it’s just a chapter, not the final word. Don’t let the year’s unique challenges paralyze your vision. Yes, expect some turbulence. Yes, your numbers might dip. But keep your sights locked on the future transformations necessary for enduring success.

Future-Proof Your Association

Prepare today for the AI-fueled tomorrow. At Rottman Creative, we’re not just reacting to AI’s disruption; we’re actively sculpting the future landscape. Ready to elevate your strategic game plan?

Let’s co-create—it’s time to define what makes you irreplaceable. Let’s get to work and carve the heck out of that “almost”.


Contact us today.

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