Case Study: AARP’s Non-Dues Startup Soars to $43 Million

association revenue
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AARP, the biggest global association, has experienced great financial success through its revenue offerings outside of membership fees. Their exceptional products, services, and discounts have provided immense value to their members and formed strong partnerships with affinity providers. AARP predicted gradual, consistent growth in their affinity business, AARP Services, but saw limited new and exciting expansion opportunities.

Corporations have approached AARP for their expertise in understanding older consumers for many years. AARP knows more than anyone else about people over 50, thanks to decades of exclusive research and America’s largest database of individuals aged 50 and above.

Creating high-value products for the 50+ market has brought them great success. Many corporations wanted to tap into their expertise, but AARP lacked a means to provide it. There would be a remarkable opportunity if they could offer marketing insights and expertise to businesses while staying true to their mission of improving lives as people age. 

However, the challenge lay in identifying a suitable model and building a persuasive business case to justify a substantial investment in a new business area. This was necessary to expand their market influence and boost association revenue.

We could have never done it without Sequence Consulting.

Innovation for Explosive association revenue Growth

Sequence, led by AARP Services CEO Larry Flanagan, developed a comprehensive business plan from scratch. With over a decade of trusted advisory work for AARP and a wealth of experience in for-profit startups and service-oriented businesses, Sequence was well-equipped to identify the opportunity and devise a winning strategy. 

Leveraging AARP’s extensive research, data analytics, and product development and marketing expertise, the concept was to establish a marketing services agency catering to major corporations in the 50+ marketplace. This unique agency would provide corporate marketers with invaluable insights and specialized knowledge to create and market products that meet the needs and desires of the 50+ consumer base. By tapping into AARP’s resources, the agency aimed to offer a level of expertise unmatched by any other organization. The ultimate goal was to drive association revenue through this innovative approach.

We aimed to create a foolproof business plan to demonstrate the revenue potential, prove AARP’s success, and justify investing in the association’s revenue opportunity.

Leveraging our extensive experience, we utilized our research and planning tools to assess the market size, analyze competitors, understand target customers, and identify a significant and attainable opportunity. It was clear that they had a competitive edge. Careful consideration and planning were crucial for a successful go-to-market strategy, and our corporate development and marketing background, spanning both for-profit and non-profit sectors, proved invaluable in this endeavor.

In addition to conducting market research, we crafted comprehensive financial projections and operational strategies to secure funding to kickstart and grow a fresh venture that would bring substantial association revenue for AARP.

As a result, we developed an impressive and persuasive business plan of exceptional caliber, instilling confidence in potential investors. In this instance, AARP’s Board was convinced and approved a multi-million dollar investment in this promising startup initiative.


Success: From Launch to $47 Million in Three Years

AARP launched Influent50, an agency under AARP Services dedicated to providing comprehensive marketing services exclusively for the 50+ market. They formed an exceptional team of data scientists, strategists, and creative professionals who were granted exclusive access to AARP’s intellectual property while upholding member privacy.

As a result, this team had a unique ability to identify, understand, and effectively engage with consumers aged 50 and above, setting them apart from other marketing firms in the country.

Their outstanding capabilities quickly attracted major corporations, such as Citibank, New York Life, Hartford, and many others, seeking assistance in developing and promoting products tailored to the needs of the 50+ market.

By leveraging AARP’s knowledge and resources, Influent50 achieved tremendous results, contributing significantly to association revenue.

Association Growth Takeaways

AARP’s non-dues startup, Influent50, has proven to be an outstanding success, generating a remarkable $43 million in revenue. This achievement can be attributed to Sequence’s expertise in developing a comprehensive business plan tailored to AARP’s needs. 

Leveraging their extensive experience in for-profit startups and service-oriented businesses, Sequence identified the opportunity and devised a winning strategy. The impressive results of Influent50 demonstrate its significant contribution to AARP’s overall revenue and underline the importance of a well-thought-out business plan and leveraging trusted advisors for success.

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