Love them or hate them, databases and CRM (customer relationship management) tools can be the best thing for making sure you are spending the best effort in the right places in order to sustain and grow your organisation.
Do you know who your most valuable members and contributors – or which activities bring in the best return? Which membership group or donor group brings in the best results? For a membership-based organisation, it is also important to weigh this information against which segment will provide the best growth in the future i.e. youth groups or emerging trade/interest areas. It is therefore critical that any organisation has a clear picture of this information in one place, not spread across a multitude of sources.

As reported recently in an article from MGI tipster, the first task is to ensure that your database accurately reflects:up-to-date member profiles using recency, frequency, and monetary value—analysis across membership, conference, and product databases. Some things to consider are:

  • Clusters within databases that rank members or donors from best to those at-risk
  • Member rankings by potential to generate revenue
  • Average lifetime value of donors and members
  • Meaningful relationships linking member and donor characteristics to revenue generation
  • Spending patterns both in total and by member and donor segments

Then it is possible to reward, or have more frequent contact with those members who show loyalty, treating them differently to encourage them to be advocates for your organisation. How can you encourage these potential advocates to engage with members who may be more apathetic? And, how to you reward them for doing so?

And as MGI tipster suggests… ‘Once an association has identified “best” members, it should examine behavior to find common group characteristics that set this group apart. Then, use this knowledge to seek out new prospects that fit that profile.” We also suggest this be balanced with a clear understanding of what that potential member ‘looks’ like. A fun and very effective way of doing this is to creating a ‘persona’ around the ideal prospect, who are they, where are they, what language do they use etc.
There is likely also the be a membership lifecycle – so mapping this out can be very beneficial to targeting programmes to the right segments, instead of multiple offerings across all segments which can be potentially overwhelming.

The Importance of Data Analytics

Do you know …

  • Who are your most valuable members and customers?
  • Which engagement activities are tied to higher renewal rates?
  • Your renewal rates by member type, segment, and tenure?

Would you like answers but can’t get them because data is spread across databases and formats? Well, you are not alone. Your first task is to review, condition, organise, and connect files using relational databases. Once completed, data analytics becomes a very real and important management opportunity.

Data analytics begets business intelligence

Data analytics is the process of collecting information and applying proper analysis so that it reveals new insights that we call business intelligence. In the case of association member development, business intelligence is used to develop a crisper and more useful picture of the characteristics of those who interact with the organisation. That is essential data when optimizing membership marketing programs and designing engagement programmes that are best suited to the members.

Understand where you are to plan where you want to go

Data analytics can be used to uncover the predictive indicators needed to accelerate membership growth and product sales. Knowing the demographic and behavioral characteristics of an organisation’s most valued members and customers enables association marketers to identify stronger prospects early on, recognise engagement needs by specific variables, and improve retention programs to keep more members year after year.

The first step toward improved recruitment is building up-to-date member profiles using recency, frequency, and monetary value—analysis across membership, conference, and product databases. This identifies:

  • Clusters within databases that rank members and customers from best to those at-risk
  • Customer rankings by potential to generate revenue
  • Average lifetime value of customers and members
  • Meaningful relationships linking member and customer characteristics to revenue generation
  • Spending patterns both in total and by member and customer segments

Start digging … you may be surprised by what you find

One organisation discovered a member who was spending more than $500,000 a year on products, but was being treated the same way as someone who bought a $10 report. Experiences such as this beg the questions:

  • Should a staffer be dedicated to this member or their organisation as a concierge level service?
  • What are additional product needs?
  • Why does this member buy? What is your value proposition—through their eyes?
  • And finally, should there be an acquisition strategy that targets prospects that have the potential to become such revenue gold mines?

Put your knowledge to good use

Once an association has identified “best” members, it should examine behaviour to find common group characteristics that set this group apart. Then, use this knowledge to seek out new prospects that fit that profile. Understanding who top customers are can be leveraged in several ways:

  • If revenue growth is a target, one may plan highly targeted acquisition campaigns that would seek out only prospects that are the most likely to become an organization’s best revenue-generating members. In this scenario, the return on investment will be maximized, as only potentially profitable members will be acquired.
  • If member growth is a target, cut out the bottom-of-the-barrel prospects that are least likely to respond. The dollars saved can be returned to the acquisition bucket to mail more of the better prospects more frequently. In other words, the less revenue-generating potential a prospect has, the less money should be spent to acquire him or her.

Consolidate and integrate

Associations that have identified their best customers often fail to examine the big picture; that is, how to best integrate all membership, product sales, conference marketing, training, webinars, magazine subscriptions, and so forth.

Data analytics gives associations the capability to convert information into actionable knowledge. Membership, product sales, and conference marketing divisions should not be treated as separate revenue sources. Instead, members and customers should be monitored as they go through the association’s programs at every stage of the Membership Lifecycle. Integrating all available information through data analytics is a reliable way to identify the true problems and opportunities within an organization.

Facebooktwitterlinkedinmail