How can your organisation increase member value through personalisation?
Guest blog by Garry Ford, Account Director at Latcham Direct, one of the UK’s leading providers of data, digital, print, marketing and fulfilment services.
Latcham Direct are a proud Gold Sponsor at this year’s memcom 2020 blended conference.
Member value has never been a hotter topic within membership organisations, and with good reason. Increasingly, membership organisations are recognising the importance of nurturing and retaining their relationships with existing members and reducing member churn – not just pursuing new members. Perceptions of membership organisations and the value that they offer to their membership, are shifting, so to remain relevant, membership organisations must adapt.
Relationships with members can be developed through demonstrating member value – the unique offerings that your member organisation can offer to its members. Whether this is leveraging your sector-specific knowledge and expertise to offer training, classes, and accreditations or developing new products and services tailored to your membership, organisations should constantly be looking for ways to add value for their members.
You may think it’s obvious what adding value looks like for your organisation, but there is one area that is often overlooked when considering member value – personalisation.
The more you know about your members, the more relevant products and services you will be able to offer. What you send to your members should have value and relevance to that member. For that to be the case, you need to know what’s important to your members, what they are passionate about and what they value. To get that kind of insight on your members, you need well-curated data, and to offer true value to your members, you need to use that data wisely.
According to a Digital Evolution Study by Community Brands, 79% of members say it is very or somewhat important that their organisation provide targeted, valuable content but only 18% of membership professionals say they personalise the content members see.(1)
This demonstrates a huge gap between membership expectations and reality, and a clear area where membership organisations can rise to meet member expectations.
Every point of contact with your organisation is an opportunity to get to know your member better: from sign-up, attending events and conferences, purchases etc. This knowledge can be used to hyper-personalise communications with members, not only offering them content specific to their needs and interests, but going the extra mile to wow and delight. Literature sent out by your organisation can be tailored to their location, with imagery taken from places they have visited, or different offerings from your member organisation can be shown to your member based on their purchase history.
Latcham Direct has previously personalised member communications right down to details such as favourite flower. When rich CRM data meets rich personalisation, member communications can acquire significantly enhanced value to your members, and one communication can contain numerous instances of this level of personalisation, resulting in something of high relevance to the individual member.
Others have written about the role of digital content personalisation for membership organisations. This is important – member experience should be personalised throughout their journey – but the fact that material is written about digital personalisation and little is written about print personalisation suggests that maybe this area is focused on because digital personalisation is considered simpler. It’s easy to see why: dynamic content can be easier to implement on a screen than in print, but this doesn’t mean that print personalisation has to be hard, and it can be implemented with as much creativity, sophistication and ease as digital personalisation.
Use your imagination…
With the right data and technology, member communications can be tailored around your members in imaginative and highly individual ways.
“Collecting information for personalisation is about an exchange of value between the organisation and the individual. To successfully collect information to help you personalise content the individual needs to understand the value they’re getting back from giving you that information”-Influence Online (2)
Strategic and intelligent deployment of member data in your print communication with your members means that you can send them material which is not just relevant to them, but which evokes places and recalls experiences that resonate with them.
At Latcham Direct, we have executed print member campaigns that go far beyond simple personalisation. Using the rich content that your member organisation supplies from your CRM, we can use this to personalise text, image and colour in your member communications.
This means each document printed can be unique to that person. The imagery in the document can reflect the preferences, purchase history, demographics and tastes of the person holding it.
““If members don’t perceive, feel, understand, and get excited about the value your organisation brings then they’ll be less likely to join, renew or upgrade.”-Research by Design (3)
Hyper-personalisation can result in communications that are unique to each member. Almost anything is possible. To achieve personalisation of this richness you will need data of equal richness, and if your organisation takes the time and effort to curate this data, the ramifications for member value and retention are great. Hyper-personalisation is within your member organisation’s reach. With the right partnerships, technology and strategy, member organisations have a fantastic opportunity to reach their members and increase member value in creative and imaginative ways which resonate with them.
To find out more about Latcham Direct’s personalised digital marketing services, have a look at their Digital Marketing Solutions.
- Nimble AMS Digital Evolution Study-Insights on the Past, Present and Future of Member Expectations and Association Technology https://www.nimbleams.com/resources/whitepapers/digital-evolution-study/
- Influence Online-Improving Digital Content Personalisation for Membership Organisations. https://influenceonline.co.uk/2015/04/08/improving-digital-content-personalisation-membership-organisations/
- Research by Design-8 Ways to Check Whether Your Member Value Proposition is Fit-For-Purpose. https://www.researchbydesign.co.uk/showcase/blog/8-ways-to-check-whether-your-member-value-proposition-is-fit-for-purpose/