Daily Buzz: Predicting Future Success

You can’t forecast the future, but you can use past data to paint a picture of what’s to come. Also: Engage members to keep them around.

You can’t use a crystal ball to forecast the future success of your association—but you can use predictive analysis to get insight into what that might look like.

Predictive analysis takes past data and crunches the numbers to pinpoint the trends and patterns that might carry through your organization for the next few days, weeks, or months.

“Based on the data you collect, you can make educated assumptions on your association’s membership, revenue streams, event attendance, and anything else you track analytics on,” says Audra Hopkins in a post on the Web Scribble blog.

That said, relying too heavily on numerical data can skew the results. For example, if you’re trying to predict the success of a new conference, you can’t just look at past attendee ticket sales, apply the same strategies that it took to get there, and expect the same numbers. Sure, the meeting might have garnered great ticket sales—but if guests didn’t find the event to be worth the price, they might not be keen to purchase a ticket for future meetings.

The key is to balance those analytics with observational data. “If you also include observations like attendee satisfaction and engagement, you could pick up the slack left behind within your predictive model,” Hopkins says.

Finding that balance will differ from organization to organization, so test out a few different models to pinpoint the right combination of numerical and observational data that gives you the clearest view into the future.

Engage or Bust

Nearly 37 percent of association members didn’t renew because they experienced a lack of engagement from their organization, according to Marketing General, Inc’s 2018 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report.

Let that sink in. More than one third of members left their associations because they weren’t providing value to them.

These days, in this “engagement economy,” you have to create opportunities for people to participate with all you have to offer in order to keep members. For many organizations, that starts with personalization.

“The road to engagement is paved with personalized experience,” says Mitch Eisen in a post for the Higher Logic blog. And in order to personalize the member experience, you need data. Eisen says that the first step is to talk directly to your members and monitor their online activity, from which you can segment your audience and begin to create a personalized experience that will keep them engaged—and renewing their memberships for next year.

Other Links of Note

Break your routine, sometimes. At Copyblogger, Loryn Cole makes the case that taking an unstructured break from your routine is a great way to figure out whether your routine actually works.

A marketing strategy that only promotes itself won’t generate leads or encourage growth. Tucker Ferwerda details in a post for Entrepreneur three signs that you’re performing “ego marketing.”

Is your organization Team Microsoft? Here’s what you can expect from the Microsoft Surface event tomorrow, from The Verge.

(Mary Wandler/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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