It’s helpful to think of developing rich member insight in layers. How rich the insight is depends on what layers of information you have collected and the depth of the information. I like to visualize three layers of member insight:
1. Demographics – these are all the easily quantifiable categories what we can assign each member to by industry, title, rank, gender, age, income, location, etc. Knowing this information can help you visualize who the bulk of your members are i.e. 70% are women age 50-55 who are directors of their department and have 2-5 direct reports. These women make $75,000 on average and have been in this profession for 15+ years.
2. Psychographics – this is a way to further segment your membership by belief, attitude and opinion. Psychographic profiles can be very unique to each association. You may find that you have early technology catalysts as well as begrudging technology adopters. You may find a group of members that are innovative and forward-thinking while the other group is more reactionary. Knowing these profiles can help your association develop products and programs that serve each segment or it may help you to figure out which profiles to focus on. Are there segments that will advance the industry or profession more?
3. Motivations – this final layer is tricky because getting at underlaying motivations is hard. I may say to you that it is important to engage more fully in social media and content marketing but not tell you that this is unlikely because my boss or board doesn’t see this as a key priority. What is motiving members to buy, join, engage or volunteer? What is preventing them from buying, joining, engaging and volunteering? Why align with your association?
Too often we stop at the relatively easy to get demographic data. Understand the psychographic segments and member motivations as well and you can stay relevant by offering the right services at the right time to the right members.