Announcing an Entirely New Methodology for Member Research

Smooth The Path

The associations with high member engagement know their members well. In fact, you might work at one of these member engagement unicorns. Do staff regularly conduct member research? Are listening tours, welcome calls, or member interviews on your list of to-dos? When testing new benefits, do you ask for member feedback? But member insights are hard to come by. You may have noticed that fewer members are answering your surveys.

The Marketing of Marketing is not Telling Us The Whole Story About Member Research

SocialFish

And we focus far more on data and surveys than we do on qualitative market research. Technology promises to give us unprecedented access to our members’ hearts and minds but does it really deliver? When you first step into a marketing role at an organization with few member insights, start with the data. Perhaps you have the tools to segment your audience to figure out who the organization’s biggest champion is, or the biggest user, or most profitable member group.

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Helping Members Answer the Questions that Matter Most

Smooth The Path

There’s an interesting dance that happens with member research. We ask the questions we think we want to know the answers to but members see those questions and find they would rather answer some other more important questions. Online surveys don’t allow and don’t prompt members to add important questions and then answer them. Qualitative member research methods do. These new questions always yield super insightful results.

Our Point of View is Not Our Members’ Point of View

Smooth The Path

Our members may think membership is priced too high because of its impact on their budget or personal wallet. If members bought all the benefits a la carte, they would pay twice as much. But, our members may not see any value because the association is not solving the problem they have right now. Members see three precious days out of the office, away from their families. Is your staff’s point of view the same as your members?

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How to Leverage Your Association’s Super-Members

Smooth The Path

The trouble with association boards is they tend to be populated with super-members. Super-members are members who are so engaged, so seasoned, so advanced in the profession or industry they are not like most members. If your board members fit this profile, they are not good candidates for focus groups to determine the member experience. They no longer think or behave like most members, certainly not new members.

Mind the Member Gap

Smooth The Path

When I talk to relatively new members there is almost always a 3-5 year gap between when the member started in the profession or industry and when they actually became a member of the association. This is why younger members don’t join our association: Awareness – They don’t know about the association. Value – They know about the association and they know it is for them but they just don’t see the value of being a member.

How Are Associations Using Twitter?

SocialFish

While all of these things are important for our members to know perhaps pushing all of the time is not so engaging. Instead of just pushing messages through Twitter here are some other ways to use this social media channel that may help you serve your members. Watch key industry hashtags and look for often talked about challenges and goals. Watch key influencers and learn more about the industry. Build relationships with members, vendors and industry influencers.