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Breaking Down the 'STEPPS' Framework

While association marketing has always had its challenges, this last year most associations

Turning your followers and members into advocates is the Holy Grail of association marketing. It can be challenging, but incredibly impactful if achieved.

Over the next few weeks, we will explore the STEPPS framework – an evidence based framework pioneered by Jonah Berger, professor of Marketing at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and best-selling author. It’s used in viral marketing to help you craft messages that will convert your existing members and followers into advocates, while encouraging new audiences to take action and convert. You can use any one of the steps in the framework, but it’s most impactful if you combine them all.


Follow along as we breakdown the STEPPS framework, and let us know how you will use the STEPPS Framework to inspire, excite and empower your members to become advocates of your association and ultimately help it grow.


The STEPPS Framework

S- Social Currency

T-Triggers and,

E- Emotions

P- Public and

P- Practical

S- Stories


S- Social Currency

If you want to turn your members in brand advocates and share the value of your association, start by leveraging the concept of Social Currency. Humans are social creatures and we thrive on sharing ideas and content that help us stand out. If we can provide our members content that they want to share, they will. This digital “word-of-mouth” sharing is shown to be incredibly impactful – we trust our friends and colleagues much more than we trust brands.


So, how do we as association marketers leverage the concept of Social Currency?

In 3 simple steps:


Make your members feel like insiders!

Spend time with your team and board brainstorming on what you can create and share that can make your members feel like “insiders” – in the know and with access to select information that others do not have. The more we can make our members feel in the know and with access to scarce information, the more they will want to share that status.


Highlight your organization’s inner remarkability!

Spend time with your team and board to brainstorm on what you can develop that truly and authentically highlights your organization’s inner remarkability.

- What is the one thing that makes your organization remarkable?

- What makes it surprising

- What makes it interesting


Don’t tell them- Show them!

Figure out the BEST, most impactful way to show them. Don’t tell them about it.

- If possible use video to capture attention and help your message and value come alive.


So, how will you leverage the concept of Social Currency in your marketing strategy and tactics to help your organization grow? Let us know, and as always reach out if you need any support. Our talented team of association marketers is here to help.


See you for our next Marketing Monday next week as we continue to breakdown the STEPPS framework!


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