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The Marketing Book Podcast: "The Membership Economy" by Robbie Kellman Baxter

The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue by Robbie Kellman Baxter


Robbie Kellman Baxter created the popular business term "Membership Economy."

She is the founder of Peninsula Strategies, a strategy consulting firm. Her clients have included large organizations like Netflix, SurveyMonkey and Yahoo!, as well as smaller venture-backed startups. Over the course of her career, Robbie has worked in or consulted to clients in more than twenty industries.

Before starting Peninsula Strategies in 2001, Robbie served as a New York City Urban Fellow, a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton, and a Silicon Valley product marketer.

Robbie has been quoted in or written articles for major media outlets, including CNN, Consumer Reports, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

She has an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.


NBC Bay Area Interview on The Membership Economy


The Host's Perspective:

There's a cultural transformation that's going on that is shifting us from an economy based on ownership to one based on access.

For instance, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, software subscriptions and so on.

As I was reading this book I realized that I'm accessing products through at least 30 different subscriptions (maybe more). And while the examples I just gave are somewhat techie examples there are lots of low tech (or no-tech organizations) that are selling memberships to customers which helps even out their cash flow and provides predictable, recurring revenue.

In the book, Robbie walks you through all the specific strategies and tactics that different types of membership organizations use She explains WHAT to do - and what NOT to do. For many business owners this book will be one of those "forehead slap" books where you say "of course, why aren't we trying that!" The thing that I really enjoyed learning about is how when an organization goes to a membership model they are forced to pay attention to their customers to continuously refine and improve their product.

And that's why membership based organizations end up having better products and happier customers because in this approach it's not just about making the initial sale, but about keeping the customer as long as possible.



Listen to the interview:  


Show Notes

Only the Paranoid Survive: How to Exploit the Crisis Points That Challenge Every Company by Andrew S. Grove

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley (Marketing Book Podcast interview)

The Science of Social: Beyond Hype, Likes & Followers by Michael Wu

Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal (Marketing Book Podcast interview)

Marketing Above the Noise: Achieve Strategic Advantage with Marketing that Matters by Linda Popky

Seth Godin

HubSpot Marketing Blog 

The Customer Experience Matrix - David Raab

The Membership Economy: Find Your Super Users, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue by Robbie Kellman Baxter

The Membership Economy (Book Website)

Peninsula Strategies

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Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.

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