A strong focus on analytics data can help your association figure out where to focus its energies.
Keeping data safe is only part of the job. Making use of that data and learning from it—via business intelligence or analytics techniques—has also become important. “We have powerful analytics that help us decide what products to develop and where to slow down,” says Sullivan.
Analytics help us decide what products to develop and where to slow down.
Sogueco says associations can take advantage of any contact that comes in through a website or by email. For example, if a nonmember asks for a list of the organization’s local events, it can provide that information and offer a discount if the person fills out a registration form or pays for a membership. Once the association has a new member on the books, it can continue to make offers that deepen his or her engagement.
“You have to be proactive with this data and ask who your best members are and what makes them tick,” Sogueco says. “Some buy a product. Some attend a meeting or a convention every year. You should have that info, and [also] know how to convert a nonmember into a member.”
Once information is collected, Birch says he worries about integrating data from different software platforms to make it truly useful—for example, how to use it to identify the right incentives to offer to different types of members when marketing a conference. “The challenge is not about what is new in technology, but about how to take advantage of what is available as a mature technology today,” he says.