Do you feel like you are just not quite hitting the mark with members? Have you been asking them questions but not getting the answers you need? Have you acted based on the insights from a member survey or your data but did not get the positive results you expected?
To create a successful strategic plan, or marketing plan, or innovation plan we need answers from members. Answers to questions like: why did you join, why do you renew and what are you most worried about and why? These kinds of questions are best answered with a phone interview research methodology which is accurate, complete and actionable. Why does this method work so well? Through these conversations we clearly see and understand our members’ thoughts, feelings, worries, needs, wants and fears.
What can you learn from Member Engagement Research? Everything you need to create your strategy, marketing, and innovation plans.
Member Engagement Research Will Answer Your Questions
- Glimpse future trends
- Create your association’s vision
- Understand why members don’t renew
- Figure out how to attract members including younger members
- Supply your board accurate information to make strategic decisions
- Find out what the joining/registering/buying process is like and the associated barriers
- Learn about all the elements of engagement from the value members care about to the experiences members have when they interact with your association
- Learn about your association’s value trigger point before you develop a successful onboarding program
- Discover members’ thoughts about current offerings and how to make them better
- Uncover new benefit, product, service, content and event ideas
- Hear the voices of the innovators in your industry
- See where need gaps exist
- Amplify the value you create for members
- Learn how to speak your members’ language
- Find out how you compare to the competition
- Tell your brand story and attract your best members
- Develop a more effective website and digital presence
Member Engagement Research Process
#1 Define the goals of the research: I will guide you through a series of questions to ensure we develop the right research goals. What are your goals for this project? What are the goals of the association? What problems are challenging you? What will you do with the results of the research? Defining goals is the most critical step in the process because the goals drive everything that follows. Together we will set the research goals to get you the best possible outcome ensuring you have actionable insights you can immediately use.
#2 Conduct in-depth member interviews: After discussion guide approval I will hold 45-60 minute interviews, the duration depends on the schedule of the respondent, with 12 to 15 pre-recruited members per member segment. To get the most accurate results, I promise anonymity and it helps that I’m an unbiased 3rd party researcher.
#3 Complete a wide to specific results analysis: Collecting near-verbatim comments for each call produces pages and pages of valuable insights. I look for patterns in the responses and use these important patterns to refine follow-up questions as the interviews progress. This way I have the context needed to develop stories for you detailing what our members are living.
#4 Provide strategic and actionable consulting: Research reports tend to be around 50 pages including an overall executive summary, full near-verbatim responses organized by question with question summaries that highlight key insights. If you love the detail, you can immerse yourself in your member’s stories, professional challenges, and language. Or if you want to cut right to the most meaningful conclusions that will drive your strategy we can do that too. Together we’ll review the insights then discuss what the results mean. Depending on your goals we will develop an achievable action plan.
#5 Close the loop with respondents: Implicit in asking members for their thoughts, ideas, and opinions is the promise we are going to take action based on what we heard. Once we have had a chance to digest the insights and think about the implications a follow-up communication is delivered to each respondent as a thank you for their ideas and time.
Project Scope and Outcomes
Each project includes everything: from planning to recruitment, to interviews, to analysis, to reporting, to consulting, to respondent thank you’s. This type of member research is accurate, complete and actionable. It is designed to get the insights needed to improve member value as well as the member experience. It is intended to help you create the strategies you need to drive your association successfully forward.
Are you wondering if it is time to conduct research like this? Read more about the member insights process. Why is this method of research is perfect for many associations, not surveys or other types of member research? Because we association professionals need to answer why-type questions, not what-type questions.
- How a medium-sized national association used in-depth interviews to guide the organization’s strategic plan.
- AssociationsNow covered the process and outcomes of a member research project I conducted for CFMA in this article.
Do you wonder if this method of research is right for your research project’s goals or want to know more about the process, project details of this approach and how to get started, contact me.