The co-op movement faces the twin challenges of poor financial strength and an ‘old-fashioned’ image. We make little use of mobile, apps and social media. With 6,000 different co-ops, the movement needs a more coherent and co-ordinated online presence and marketing approach.
My proposal is for the movement to work together and develop an online marketing approach and software solution (email, web, app, phone) so we can bring together and distribute news, stories and material to reinvigorate our image, engage our members and the public.
There should be a focus on driving revenue, creating a surplus for the movement.
How? – By working together and investing in modern technology to develop an integrated software platform and analytics for use by member societies. Member societies could then use this to share and distribute material and messages across a variety of channels (email, web, app, phone) to their own members. This could also (by negotiation) be used to offer opportunities for sending targeted communications to other societies members within the co-operative movement. Lastly, simple yet sophisticated co-branding and approach to content will be required.
To implement such a system (which exists and is proven) such as www.myinfonet.co.uk members would need to work together and make an up-front investment.
Members would, as a minimum, be willing to share content/information and integrate into any existing communications technology so they could display content that is centrally provided.
Members would also need to agree key principles for use of data and editorial control over contributed content (very fast and there is a full information/work flow system).
The first step could be for co-ops to trial a system, using it for a one-off initiative.
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