Monday Buzz: Quantitative Needs Qualitative

Why your membership research needs to go beyond the survey. Also: CarMax’s clever response to a viral video.

Surveys remain a powerful tool for gathering information about your members. They provide demographic data, direction for new program initiatives, and insight into membership behaviors. But survey data alone can only reveal so much.

In a recent blog post, UK-based Ashridge Communications argues that if you really want to understand your members, quantitative data sources like surveys must be paired with qualitative approaches. “Qualitative insight is essential to help you understand the detail of how and the reasons why audiences exhibit the observed behaviours and attitudes,” writes Emma Thompson.

Focus groups and telephone interviews are great examples of qualitative methodologies. “By taking the right approach to gathering more detailed insight, you’re not only obtaining a richer understanding of motivations and reasons why, you’re also actively demonstrating the organisation’s interest in its members’ points of view and working more collaboratively—which in itself brings huge benefits,” Thompson writes.

This strategy applies beyond membership: A Facebook executive recently suggested a similar approach for handling diversity issues.

Get Creative

Here’s a little out-of-the-box marketing inspiration to start off your week.

A California man created a funny, professional-quality video to help sell his fiancée’s 1996 Honda Accord on eBay, and it became a huge hit on social media. CarMax, an online used-car retailer, saw an opportunity to hitch a wagon to that star, SFGate reports.

CarMax responded with its own humorous video offering $20,000 for the car (including $5,000 for the cat that appears in the ad), generating positive press and a lot of social media goodwill (and proving that even a used car can benefit from good marketing).

If you find creative work that’s relevant to your association, consider how you might respond in inventive ways.

Other Links of Note

After your fundraising campaign is finished, what’s next? The agency Achieve recommends five things you definitely should not do.

With remote work on the rise, organizations are challenged to develop the right internal culture. CMSWire shares a few ways to think about the digital workplace.

Overhead isn’t the most glamorous motivation for fundraising, but it’s still necessary. Get Fully Funded shares a few best practices for raising money for these fundamental costs.

(weily10/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Raegan Johnson

By Raegan Johnson

Raegan Johnson is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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