Technology surrounds us everyday. Most of it is even beneficial. :-)
It seems like just about everything is now being hosted in "the cloud" or turned into "as a service."
There is even a company called Dollar Shave Club that recently began delivering razors to your door each month - for a low monthly fee, of course. Razors As A Service - what's next?
Over the last 10 years or so, association management software and membership database software have followed this trend so association executives and their members can access data anytime, from anywhere, without the expense of maintaining servers and software in their office.
I think this is great of course (especially since WebLink offers web-based membership management software), but I'm more interested in what associations DO with their membership data.
If your business association or chamber of commerce is using your membership management software to just do the basics - such as storing members' contact information, creating invoices, managing events and running some reports - you're missing a great opportunity to truly strengthen your organization.
First, by using member segmentation for better communications. I've mentioned this topic before and it still remains one of the most powerful ways you can communicate with your members.
By slicing your members into different segments when communicating with them, you can deliver more relevant communications and better demonstrate the value you provide. Some possible segments include:
- Employee count
- Business category
- Interests (collected through your website or membership application)
- Dues amount
- Length of membership
- Previous event attendance
How can you tailor your messages to these segments - and others - so those members receive very relevant communcations that make them realize the value your association provides? When members perceive more value, they are more likely to renew. And, they are more likely to refer other businesses to join your association.
Second, how can you use your membership data to predict how members - and prospects - might behave in the future?
Your association management software should allow you to easily view data about the lifetime value of each member. That is, how much revenue has come from that member - both dues and non-dues - over the lifetime of their membership. Having that data and combining it with employee count, business category and other factors lets you gain tremendous insight into how valuable other members and future members might be to your organization.
Armed with new-found member intelligence, you can make strategic decisions about your membership recruitment and retention efforts based on the members you can serve most effectively and the members who provide the most value to your organization.
You're not paying for your association management software just to put information IN IT everyday. You use association management software to get information OUT so you can make better decisions and provide better benefits to members.
Are you getting the most out of your membership data?