At one point, artificial intelligence (AI) sounded like something from a science fiction novel. But today, it’s changing the way we interact with organizations in our everyday lives. Leading companies like Amazon and Netflix use AI and predictive analytics technology to connect with consumers and provide the highly personalized experiences we’ve all come to expect.
According to research firm IDC, more than $50 billion was expected to be invested in AI systems globally in 2020, up from $37.5 billion in 2019. By 2024, worldwide spending on AI is expected to reach $110 billion.
Associations and artificial intelligence
While this level of investment might seem out of reach for associations, AI technologies have started to catch the attention of associations.
According to the Community Brands Digital Evolution Study, those working at professional membership organizations indicate that AI is an emerging area for technology investment at the associations where they work. Four percent say they have invested in AI technology, and 15 percent plan to invest.
The great news is that AI is achievable, and it’s something that can help your association do things like:
- Improve renewal rates – Using AI, you can use data about past behaviors to predict if a member is unlikely to renew, and then intervene before losing the membership.
- Plan your next event – Predictive analytics in AI can help you plan your next event by leveraging historical engagement data to make predictions about your next conference or event. You can determine expected registrations based on historical member activity, making it easier to anticipate attendance and associated event logistics.
- Provide better service – You can automate aspects of member service, such as answering/assisting with common questions via a chatbot to provide immediate response 24/7, freeing up staff to help with more complex inquiries.
Artificial intelligence success story
Learn how the Marine Corps Association & Foundation retained 25% more members using artificial intelligence and Nimble AMS.
How to get started with your AI and predictive analytics journey
Today, AI is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-do for associations. Your members expect the same type of experience with your association that they now get from for-profit companies.
So, how do you get started with AI? Here are three ways to get going with your association’s AI and predictive analytics journey:
Think about your organization’s goals.
Preparing for artificial intelligence means thinking about what problems you’re trying to solve and what questions you’re trying to answer. For example: Who is at risk for non-renewal? Why are renewals down? If you know the answers to these questions, you can begin to address them proactively.
A real-world example: Another article about AI on this blog explains how an association is using artificial intelligence to increase member retention by identifying individuals likely to lapse. When an at-risk member is discovered, team members are automatically presented with actionable steps they can take to encourage the member to renew.
Review what data is collected and how it will be used.
Data drives AI. If your organization is like many, you have a lot of data that is incomplete or not used in any way. For each piece of data in your association management software (AMS) system, determine if it is still valid (for example, do you really need to know each member’s birthday?) and how it will be used. Archive or delete the data based upon this assessment so that the data remaining is relevant and current.
Trying a few small projects is a great way to get started with AI because it helps you learn what works and what doesn’t. Here are some ideas:
- Use predictive analytics to determine which members are most likely to attend a particular course or certification that your organization offers. Then, set up a two-to-three email automated campaign to promote those offerings to those members.
- As members get closer to their renewal date, use predictive analytics to uncover which members are at risk of lapsing, and then send them an automated, personalized renewal email series to remind them of benefits they’ve taken advantage of, remind them of benefits that they haven’t taken advantage of (but still have time to), and let them know about upcoming events and opportunities they’ll miss if they don’t renew.
- If you don’t have an IT team that can experiment with AI, tap your AMS vendor for help. For example, Nimble AMS has AI technology built in, and the Nimble AMS team can help you use AI to achieve your goals.
Get started on your AI journey
Nimble AMS makes it easy for associations to get started with artificial intelligence. Powered by Salesforce Einstein AI technology, Nimble AMS helps associations predict and respond to what members need, want, and expect. Many Nimble AMS customers are starting to use Salesforce Prediction Builder, which enables true point-and-click AI.
AI will continue to evolve and become more of a driver of our everyday experiences. The time is now to understand it, explore its applications, and get started with it. Read the guide, What Every Association Should Know About Artificial Intelligence, for more insights into AI and how your association can get going with it now.