April 20, 2017
Technology has made collecting data a breeze. If your organization uses association management software with strong integration capabilities, it’s even easier. The key is turning that information into insight. Insight into member data can mean the difference between maintaining the status quo and truly delivering a valuable member experience. Every membership registration, merchandise purchase, CEU credit, event registration, and member profile can tell you something about your members. So what should you be looking for?
Quite possibly the most basic level of data, member demographic data can offer an interesting perspective. What is the demographic makeup of your membership base? Is your organization local or do your members spread the country? Are your members mostly baby boomers, millennials, or a healthy mix? Do you have predominantly male or female members? This information can help your team determine a variety of things from the best place to host an event to the best way to communicate with your members.
Retaining members is critical to an association’s success therefore it is helpful to determine what makes a member renew. What do renewing members have in common? Do they partake in similar programs? Have they enabled auto-renewal in your AMS? Do you notice an uptick in renewal when you send notices via email instead of by mail? If your association is able to pinpoint commonalities between folks that choose to renew, you can continue and improve those practices.
If growth is on your organization’s radar, you should take a deeper look into recruitment trends. This is in the same vein as retention - find what attracts new members in order to continue and improve those practices. What events yield new memberships? How many new members come from referral programs? Does your organization ask new members why they chose to join and, if so, do any particular reasons stand above the pack?
Because events are a major revenue generator for many associations, analytical insight is paramount when planning them. Who is most likely to attend? What session topics do attendees want? What percentage of attendees registered with early bird versus regular pricing? Is there a trend among the attendees like job title or organization type? Use event data that is already available to you to develop a dynamic event that your attendees will love.
The average membership age can tell you a lot about the value that you provide your members. If membership in your organization is standard for your industry, you may have many legacy members. If that’s not the case for your organization, look at the data. How long do your members stay members? Does one membership type keep members longer than another? These metrics will allow you to recognize legacy members in addition to improving programs that promote retention.
If you want to learn more about how to access all of this data, check out our post, "Put Your Data to Work."