Dan Trefethen, Candidate for Treasurer – Question #2
The top two takeaways from the Alignment research:
1) Our association name doesn't resonate with our target audience.
This means we are faced with either mounting a large educational campaign to relate our name with our services (which is the approach SLA has taken in the past), or changing our name to something that leverages our ability to transmit our value to those who would employ us. A name change is not a panacea. Either way we have to educate our target audience about what we bring to the table.
2) We should talk about the value we bring to our users, not the tasks we perform.
This one is illuminating, because we have always been task-oriented and have spoken of our abilities in that way. However, it is clear that our users don't necessarily make the connection we make intuitively, in translating our tasks into valuable services that improve productivity and lead to better decision-making. We need to speak in ways that directly describe the value we provide and the way we can improve the bottom line. That's the language that management speaks, and we have to reflect that.
The Alignment research is intelligence which we now have to translate into action. In a curious way, we now have a role reversal – we are the consumers of the intelligence who now have to decide on a course of action. Normally we provide intelligence to others. In this case, Fleischman-Hillard acted as "special librarians" to us, bringing us the research we need to move forward.
First, we have to absorb the intelligence as an association. That's what President Zamora means when she describes "Alignment Ambassadors". Then, once our membership has absorbed the research, we need to move forward on the two fronts that I described at the beginning of this message. A name change combined with a strategically focused message campaign will begin to reposition us for success in our second century.
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