Segmentation has long been a buzz word in membership and marketing departments, and with data mining and engagement scoring tools readily available there’s no reason this shouldn’t be on your 2017 strategy list.
But segmentation is only as good as its relevance to your association, so I urge you to focus on evaluating the right segments to analyze. Tools will help identify patterns that you may not have recognized.
For example, if you enter a large data set containing both member information and engagement values, the tool might discover a correlation between member age and level of engagement, or perhaps geographic location and engagement, which you may not have thought to analyze initially. Let’s explore some examples of segments worth looking at.
1) Geographic Region
This is an area that many associations spend less time thinking about today with the Internet and social media blurring the boundaries. However, don’t forgot to analyze engagement by geographic region, you may learn some interesting things. This particularly impacts events, but it can affect a wide array of other things. For example, online chats and webinars can be less successful if you run them in a time zone that isn’t aligned with your members’ preferences. Depending on the nature of your membership, you might uncover some very interesting facts about how you increase member engagement by geographic region.
Age is a demographic that often determines how members engage, and it definitely influences their interests. If you are aiming to engage more of your members with educational content and finding you are having a hard time getting attention from mid-career members and beyond, an engagement score might help you understand that experienced professionals crave different content than younger professionals.
3) Years in Profession
In some ways this is correlated to age, but it’s important to not confuse the two. Some people enter a profession earlier or later in life relative to others, due to family circumstances, military service, second careers, or any number of other factors. For this reason, distinguishing between “years in the profession” and “average membership age” is crucial for individual-member associations.
4) Organization Size (Revenue/Employees, Etc.)
For company members, this is a key segment to analyze. Any member-based organization that considers the company a member should use several factors for analysis, including the company’s revenue, its number of employees, its number of offices, its international scope (if applicable), and its ownership structure (public, private, etc.). These factors can dramatically alter the organization’s priorities and affect how the association drives engagement in order to provide value to the company.
Also remember organizations are just a mass of individuals with their own engagement scores, so be sure to track company-wide engagement using individual CES too.
5) Member Type
Most organizations have several categories of member type and member status. In individual member organizations, these are often indicative of the level of membership the person has attained based on achievement in the industry or whatever the association’s focus is. For company-based members, this can reflect things such as industry sector, company size, and so on.
Also, member classes in some associations reflect distinctions such as industry partners (who wish to market to the general members) compared to members who are from the industry.
All of these attributes are potential segments to consider analyzing when you evaluate your engagement statistics to increase member engagement.
So what’s next? Once you’ve analyzed the data, how to you put it to use? Find out when you download the full Scoring Member Engagement eBook series.