Is our association effectively utilizing our membership data?

Every association has, at the very least, basic information about the association members that includes their type of membership and their contact information. Many associations have far more information about their members, including such wide ranging items as how long they have been association members, if they specialize or have favorite areas of focus, and when what they have purchased from the association over the years.

Despite having this information, many associations don’t make full use of it. As a result, the associations miss the opportunity to improve member services, find like-minded non-members, and increase membership levels.

Even if your association has only basic information about your members, you can begin to look for trends that may help you identify other likely association candidates. For example, does your association have a strong level of membership – disproportionate to the level of population – in particular geographic areas? Can you theorize why that may be true and use that information to gain more members in similar areas?

If your association has more member information available, can you see trends in that data? For example, do your members tend to focus on particular specialties? Why might that be? If there is special appeal to that specialty, can you find others in that specialty who are not members? Or can you provide greater emphasis on that specialty in your marketing materials?

The above examples may be irrelevant to your particular association based on your specific membership requirements, interests and structures, but the need to analyze that data is not. In many associations, the problem is not the lack of data, but the lack of regularly reviewing the data in search of trends that can assist in developing new member benefits and recruiting members.

Is your association database full of useful information or rather sparse? Do you regularly review the data for trends and changes in your membership?

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