By Guest Blogger:

Rachel Mitchell, Director

Your Favourite Story

Have you been tasked with your organisation’s Diversity and Inclusion initiative? Is it well underway, or are you just starting out? Either way, data will be key to planning and success.

First things first: what does your current membership look like? Do you know where it’s lacking in diversity? And what impact that is having on membership e.g. is it affecting Retention?

If you have a good bank of data to work with, great news, but be sure to check its validity (how old is it, and was it based on a decent sample of members?) and whether, in the age of GDPR, you have lawful grounds to use it!

If you need more data, consider whether to approach this via a one-off exercise, or by creating additional data capture opportunities whenever you are in contact with members. Of course you can do both, but the first option might be preferable if you need to quickly increase knowledge of your membership. So, if your organisation hasn’t surveyed its members in a while maybe it’s time to reach out to them?

Here are some ideas to guide your data collection:

  • Identify gaps in your membership data
  • Decide what you want to capture – focus!
  • Allow members to share feedback – include a text box with a generous character limit.
  • Last but not least, ensure you have a place to store the data. A past client of ours could not easily make changes to their database and resorted to storing new data elsewhere. It was never fully integrated and fell out of use.

And when communicating with members:

  • Explain why you’re asking for this data
  • Provide reassurance about how you’ll use – and protect – this data

Remember that the objective is to improve what you know about your members in order to better serve them. Increased knowledge will help you create more member value; engaged members will stay with you for longer. Be realistic about what percentage will respond positively to your request for more personal information; also be aware that some types of data will be seen as more sensitive than others, so you won’t get everything you ask for.

Once you have the new data it’s time to start putting it to work! Answer these 4 questions about your organisation’s membership:

  1. Where are we now? (where do we have, or lack, diversity?)
  2. Where do we want to be? (which areas need addressing most and what are our targets?)
  3. How will we get there? (what activities will help us reach our goals?)
  4. How will we know when we’ve arrived? (what will we measure and when?)

Use these answers to fuel your membership acquisition activity. This will hopefully lead you in some new and exciting directions – maybe video ads, channels you have not tried before, or content marketing. Whatever you do, be sure to have a robust campaign analytics plan so you can track progress against your goals. This should include:

  • Well-defined target audience(s)
  • Clear objectives (awareness, acquisition, event attendance, etc.) and associated KPIs
  • Check that your web analytics setup will allow you to track “latent conversions”. You might not get results straight away so take a long view of your results
  • Strong naming conventions – you want your analytics reports to be easy to interpret e.g. “LinkedIn Lead Generation Q3 2019 – Students”
  • Build segments within your analytics tool so you can filter your reports
  • Create a reporting dashboard to track progress against your goals, using analytics data as well as other sources

Finally remember to report back to your members! What has the organisation learned from the information they shared? How has it been used to increase membership diversity and improve the experience?

Your Favourite Story is an independent agency specialising in strategy and analytics. Contact us if we can help you with your membership marketing initiatives.