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As inflation bites, UK membership organisations lean more heavily on digital platforms

MemberWise survey reveals Umbraco as most popular CMS used to create digital experiences for UK membership and association sector

     – Umbraco gains top spot for second year running-

Open-source .Net content management system (CMS) provider, Umbraco, has been cited as the primary platform used by medium and large membership organisations to develop websites and digital experiences that help them to retain and attract new members and grow revenue.

The findings have been shared in the MemberWise Digital Excellence Report 2023/2024 and are based on responses to a statistically significant survey of the UK membership and association sector. The survey seeks to discover the key priorities, challenges, strategies, and technology investments being made in the sector.

MemberWise represents 8,000 professionals working for over 2,500 UK membership organisations and associations, including the British Computing Society, Institution of Engineering and Technology, and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The MemberWise Digital Excellence Report 2023/2024 notes that many membership organisations have maintained fee levels, despite rising costs. As a result, their major priority is to acquire new members.

A lot of membership bodies have not increased fees in line with inflation. To survive, they need to grow, and this has to be done via a solid online presence and optimised new member acquisition and retention,” observes report author, Richard Gott, MemberWise Network Founder and Chair. “It is important for membership bodies to offer a value-driven and engaging online member experience, which is wh we focus on websites, CMS and digital agency performance within the report.”

This is the second year in a row that Umbraco has been the web content management system most frequently named when medium and large membership organisations were polled on their selected CMS.

Increasing numbers of membership bodies are investing in new industry-standard platforms that go beyond traditional CRM for managing membership subscription renewals. We are also seeing membership organisations and associations adopt more sophisticated content management systems to optimise online member journeys, engagement, purchases, and experiences,” says Richard Gott.

Key findings from the MemberWise Digital Excellence Report 2023/2024 include:

  • New member acquisition is now the key priority for membership organisations, along with growing revenue from non-subscription activities, such as conferences and continuous professional development.
  • Umbraco is the CMS most-commonly used by medium and large membership organisations that are earning between £1.5million to over £3million revenue from their membership.
  • 30% of membership organisations polled proactively refresh website content to retain and attract new members.
  • Since the last report, 8% more large membership organisations reported that they rely on their CMS to automate processes.
  • 48% are using their CMS to measure online engagement, an 11% increase since the last Digital Excellence Report
  • 56% of organisations polled believe that mobile apps increase member engagement

We are delighted to see that the majority of medium and large membership organisations are choosing the Umbraco CMS to support their member acquisition, engagement and revenue growth,” says Mike Pedersen, Umbraco UK Partner Manager. “This is testament to our digital agency partners, such as Novicell, Cantarus, and FelineSoft, who are heavily involved with implementing membership organisations’ digital strategies, using a platform that provides the flexibility to integrate additional technologies, when required, while providing an intuitive experience for content editors.”