How to engage your members in today’s hyper personalized world

Grace Gardner, Marketing & Lead Generation Manager, Community Brands

February 3, 2020

To engage today’s members, personalization is no longer a nice-to-have. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Consumer (and member) demands for personalization are at all-time highs. Here are four ideas to help you engage your members with the personalized experience they’ve come to expect.

Have you noticed what a personalized world we live in? We’ve all come to expect highly targeted experiences like those from leading companies like Amazon and Netflix. We want companies to address us by name in the communications they send us. We want recommendations and offers based on our specific interests and preferences.

Considering today’s consumer expectations, it’s not too surprising that the Association of National Advertisers voted “personalization” the marketing word of the year for 2019. It’s a hot topic in the world of marketing and customer experience.
If you don’t think the demand for personalization applies to associations, think again. Your members are no exception in our hyper personalized world.

In fact, in the Community Brands Digital Evolution Study, 65 percent of members say they are interested in personalization, with 79 percent saying it’s very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content. The same study shows that only 18 percent of those working at professional membership organizations say they personalize the content members see.

How to engage your members in today’s hyper personalized world

These findings leave little doubt about it: It’s time for associations to catch up with member expectations.
Need some inspiration to get started? Here are four ideas for how to deliver a more personalized and engaging experience for your members:

1.Consider the member journey.

Your members’ needs and expectations evolve as they move through their careers and their membership with your organization. Think about how your members’ needs and expectations change through the member journey.

Creating member journey maps is a good place to start. Journey maps are outlines of each step of a member experience that illustrate the member experience – from their first interaction and subsequent engagement to (you hope) a lifelong relationship.

TIP: Learn more about how to deliver an engaging member experience from recruitment to renewal, for students to retirees – and everything in between. Read the guide, Supporting the Lifetime Member Journey.

2.Collect and use data to meet your members’ needs.

Leverage your association management system (AMS) and other tools to gather useful data and send targeted, relevant messages to members based on their interests and needs throughout the member journey. For example, use data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with things like recommendations for new industry reports or new services offered by your organization that will help them in their specific career stage.

TECH TIP: With Aptify AMS, you can capture and track member information in a single database.

3.Respect data privacy and be transparent.

According to the Digital Evolution Study, 71 percent of members of professional associations say they worry about data privacy and security. However, this concern doesn’t prevent most of them from sharing information if they feel it’s secure and/or for their benefit.

Moving your member data and management into the right AMS system puts your member data in one, secure place. Be sure your AMS offers the following functionality to protect your member data and reduce risk:

  • Transparency into security and performance status
  • Best practices for data security, such as multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access and tokenization for credit card payments
  • Data recovery to safeguard your data from data storage errors, catastrophic failures, and everything in between
  • Compliance certifications to validate security

It’s also important to let your members know you have data privacy and security standards in place. Explain how the information you collect will be used for a better and more personalized experience, and your members are more likely to trust you. That trust will then lead to a better, more engaging member experience.

4.Provide a connected experience.

Take personalization to the next level by connecting your AMS with your online career center and learning management system (LMS). By integrating these systems, you can provide engaging member experiences, including:

  • Sending automated emails that acknowledge what steps learners have completed, and then recommending next steps toward certification or credentialing.
  • Allowing members and non-members to opt in to receive intelligent job recommendations based on their AMS member profile data, such as job title and location, so they can passively search for new career opportunities.
  • Creating a shopping experience through e-commerce integration that allows members to purchase your association’s learning products from your association’s e-commerce store or LMS storefront. A full view of your members’ purchase history lives in your AMS.

TECH TIP: Aptify AMS is part of the integrated software suite for associations by Community Brands that includes solutions for membership management, learning management, and career center. They work even better together to help you support the a complete, personalized, and connected member experience.

Take the next step
Learn more about the importance of personalization for associations and how to get started using it to deliver a great member experience. Join the webinar, Personalization 101: Turning Member Expectations into Reality.

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