PIMA Does It All

Can we update our website and association management system at the same time? That’s a question many associations are asking these days as they strive to provide members with the latest and greatest of everything, anticipate needs and demonstrate value. It’s a question the Professional Insurance Marketing Association (PIMA) asked – and answered – with a resounding yes.

How did PIMA tackle these two, big issues simultaneously? And what was the secret to its success? Here’s a recap of PIMA’s experience – and a couple of lessons the association learned along the way.

Background

Among its 120 corporate members, PIMA counts the leading brokers/ distributors/administrators, product manufacturers/underwriters and direct marketers of insurance programs and related affinity benefits and services. With its 40th anniversary on the horizon, PIMA leadership was considering a re-branding to: respond to the evolving composition of its industry and its members; to strengthen the organization’s and its members’ marketplace position; and to enrich thought leadership and continue to position members for the future, in addition to other goals. In short, PIMA wanted to retain its reputation as the association of choice for benefits & direct marketing organizations that operate in the affinity space.

Was there a way to introduce a new brand – and new technology – and integrate it with an existing website?

With these factors and its upcoming annual meeting, PIMA decided to update its AMS and its new website…at the same time. PIMA is not a volume-based association and members didn’t typically visit the website frequently. What better way to encourage members to test drive the new website – and its behind-the-scenes AMS system — than to tie these initiatives to annual meeting registration. Combining these elements demonstrated PIMA’s commitment to a comprehensive and sophisticated branding approach at multiple member touch points.

The Plan

The project involved updating the PIMA website so that it was a mobile-friendly, content management-driven modern site using all of the latest web design usability standards to reflect its new branding. It also involved introducing a new association management system (AMS), updating the site for member searches, meeting registration, and profile updates including a photo upload (an enhanced PIMA member directory will be available later this year). The site would also incorporate the latest SEO techniques reflecting a key word analysis. And to top it off, the new site would integrate with social media.

Given all of these goals, what made the project unique was doing all of it between PIMA’s summer conference and in advance of its Annual Meeting registration. And Mother Nature had a hand in the process, too: during launch week, Hurricane Sandy forced PIMA’s CEO and many of its members out of commission!

The Result

PIMA launched its new brand, transitioned to a behind-the-scenes AMS system that enhanced the member conference registration experience, all helping to increase registration by more than 30 percent. Earlier, when PIMA launched a website without a new AMS system, members had multiple questions over several weeks. Integrating the launch minimized the questions and maximized positive feedback from members. PIMA looked better all the way around – from the back-end database system to the homepage.

Other secondary benefits of the project included an opportunity to revisit and streamline business processes and update the member and prospect database.