In my last post I mentioned how important it is for associations to be member-centric and put the members at the heart of what you do.
To help everyone in your association better understand who members are, it is a good idea to build a profile of the different types of members that you have. These types could reflect a ‘typical’ member in a membership category that you have defined. Or you could profile a type of member defined by their wants and needs, demographic profiles, behaviours or levels of involvement. You will probably fine the latter approach to segmenting your membership may help you better understand them. It could profile a person or an organisation.
Here are a few of my favourites I found on the web to help get you get the picture of what you could end up with:
- Sport England have done excellent work putting people into one of 19 different segments
- Profiles of people from different Asian countries from SwitchAisa
So what might you want to put into your profile?
- A photo or illustration of this member – why not give them a pseudonym that helps members remember their behaviour e.g. Visible Achievers, Comfortable Mid-Lifers, Career Climbers, etc.?
- Their demographic profile – age
- Their background
- Their relative importance to the association – % of your membership, % of your income that they generate, % of this group that could be in membership who are in membership (your realistic market penetration), % of association resource that they consume, is they are growing or declining in importance to your association, future predictions of growth/decline
- Who do they join? What attracts them?
- Why do they stay in membership?
- What journey they are on? What stage have they reached? What is the next stage? Where they have come from?
- What interests them?
- What aspirations do they have?
- What motivates them? What frustrates them?
- How do they like to find out about things?
- How do they like to communicate?
- What are they discussing? What words and phrases do they use?
- What questions are they likely to have?
- Likely role and job title?
- Who influences them? What media do they read?
Build a profile that helps you understand them. Ask others in the association and supportive members to contribute to your understanding.
Now consider some of the key decisions you make and important communications you send out from their perspective. How will they interpret your actions and messages?
Failure to get to grips with segmentation can lead to many problems – so make this work a priority for the membership team.