The Doctor Is In: How Sequence Helped the AMA Achieve Exponential Member Growth

Membership Growth
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The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a crisis. Membership growth remained stagnant, starkly contrasting the booming medical field around it. This flatline threatened not just their financial stability but, more importantly, their ability to effectively advocate for physicians. The AMA, a pillar of the healthcare industry for over 170 years, was losing its relevance. 

New doctors weren’t joining, and existing members were questioning the value of their membership. The AMA’s voice, once a powerful force shaping healthcare policy and supporting physician needs, was muted. This decline threatened its ability to fulfill its mission of advocating for the medical profession.

The Diagnosis: A Disconnect Between Members and Value

The problem wasn’t a lack of value. The AMA has a long and distinguished history of fighting tirelessly for better patient care and doctor’s rights. They advocate for essential issues like fair physician compensation, improved working conditions, and advancements in medical research. However, their message wasn’t resonating with their target audience. Here’s a breakdown of the critical membership growth challenges they faced:

    • New Physician Disconnect: Younger doctors entering the field weren’t familiar with the AMA’s work. They may not have understood the organization’s history or the full range of benefits it offered, leading to a feeling of disconnect and a lack of incentive to join.
    • Questioning Value: Existing members, unaware of the AMA’s ongoing efforts, may have questioned the value proposition of their membership. Some doctors might have felt their dues weren’t justified without a clear understanding of the AMA’s impact on their daily practice.
    • Inward Focus: The AMA’s messaging might have inadvertently focused too much on itself rather than highlighting the tangible benefits it offered to doctors. This inward-looking approach failed to connect with physicians on a personal level and address their specific needs.

The Cure: A Physician-Centric "Digital Reboot"

That’s where Sequence came in. We partnered with Membership SVP Todd Unger, a dynamic change agent, to help the AMA to launch a “Digital Reboot,” a comprehensive strategy designed to reignite membership growth and address the core challenges identified in our research – a communication gap and lack of awareness. Our multifaceted approach included:

    • Understanding the Root Cause: We conducted in-depth research to pinpoint the specific reasons behind the AMA’s membership challenges, uncovering a need for greater visibility and a stronger connection to the day-to-day impact of physicians.

    • “Members Move Medicine” Campaign: At the heart of the strategy was this powerful campaign, placing doctors at the center stage and celebrating their work. It featured:

      • Compelling Narratives: We shared the inspiring stories of real doctors, highlighting the profound impact they have on patients and the healthcare system.
      • Powerful Visuals: Striking imagery was paired with these stories, further emphasizing the AMA’s role as a fierce ally and unwavering advocate for physicians.
      • Proof Points: Clear, concise statements highlighted the AMA’s often-underappreciated but vital contributions to advancing medicine.
    • Digital Activation: This campaign extended to the digital realm, with engaging content designed to draw physicians to the AMA website and facilitate seamless online enrollment.

    • Addressing Specific Challenges: The “Digital Reboot” wasn’t just about broad appeal. We developed targeted strategies to improve member retention and increase enrollment among younger physicians, ensuring long-term sustainability.

The Prescription for A Thriving Medical Association

The “Digital Reboot” strategy we implemented for the AMA yielded impressive membership growth results:

    • Membership Growth Tripled: Within just one year, the AMA saw a staggering 300% increase in membership.
    • Young Doctors on Board: The campaign effectively attracted the next generation of medical professionals, with a significant surge in young doctor enrollment.
    • Engagement Soared: Doctors became more involved, showcasing the effectiveness of the doctor-centric approach. Increased member interest and participation revitalized the AMA community.
    • Health System Success: The “Health System Membership” program became a major growth driver, offering valuable solutions for healthcare systems.
    • Award-Winning Campaign: The “Members Move Medicine” campaign resonated deeply, garnering critical acclaim and winning multiple awards in the marketing industry.

The AMA’s transformation was nothing short of remarkable. Doctors who previously felt disconnected now felt valued and understood. The AMA’s messaging resonated, and it was seen once again as a powerful advocate for physicians’ needs. This wasn’t just a short-term boost; it revitalized the AMA, ensuring it remains a vibrant force shaping the future of healthcare for years to come.

Takeaway for Membership Growth

This case study is more than just a story about tripling membership growth. It’s a powerful testament to the transformative impact of audience-centric strategies. By taking the time to understand the AMA’s core audience – physicians – and their evolving needs, we were able to craft a message that resonated deeply. Compelling narratives showcasing real doctors and the impact of their work fostered a sense of connection and value. Leveraging digital tools effectively allowed us to reach physicians where they are and translate that connection into action. 

Ultimately, by putting doctors at the forefront and demonstrating the AMA’s unwavering commitment to their success, we weren’t just securing the association’s future but reaffirming its vital role in shaping a healthier tomorrow. This case study serves as a blueprint for any organization seeking to reignite membership growth and strengthen its connection with its core audience.

To read more about how Sequence drives membership growth, please see: The Membership Multiplier: How Sequence Consulting Helped the Executives Club Double Down on Growth 

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