The critical role personalization plays in member engagement and loyalty

Members expect a personalized experience with your association. And, they value different benefits through each stage of their career. Here are three ways to give them the experience they expect.

We’ve all come to expect highly personalized online experiences like those of Amazon and Netflix. As for-profit companies provide increasingly personalized interactions, your members expect the same in more areas of their lives – including their experience with your association.

The Community Brands Digital Evolution Study underscores the importance of personalization. The findings show that members are interested in receiving personalized content from their associations. Seventy-nine percent say it is very or somewhat important that their organization provide targeted, valuable content.

A deeper dive shows that members are most interested in targeted recommendations on continuing education and specific programs that align with their interests. Interestingly, those in early career stages are more open to a range of targeted outreach.

With these ideas in mind, here are three ways to provide a personalized member experience throughout your members’ career journey.

Consider what your members want.

It’s important to understand what your members are seeking. As part of the Member Education and Career Development Report, Community Brands found a shift in why individuals join member-based organizations within their industry. In the past, members felt a sense of professional responsibility to join. Today, many seek a place where they can network with other individuals while growing and developing their careers in various ways. In fact, fifty-one percent of members surveyed say they joined their current organizations for benefits such as continuing education and networking.

Another report by Community Brands, the Member Engagement Study, found generational differences indicating that members may value different benefits early in their careers than they do in the middle and latter stages of their careers.

So while members typically join an association to develop and grow their careers, they get value from the organizations to which they belong in different ways along their career journey. As you think about your members, consider what they’re doing and what value your association can provide them in each phase of their careers.

TIP: Take a deeper dive into what members want and need at every stage of their career. Watch the on-demand webinar Members for Life: Fueling the Journey from Student to Retiree.

Collect and use member data to deliver a more targeted, personalized experience.

The Digital Evolution Study shows that few associations target information and content to members based on their preferences. In fact, only 18 percent of those working at professional membership organizations (“Pros”) say they personalize the content members see. This points to an opportunity for associations to catch up with member expectations.

Use your association management software (AMS) to collect and analyze data about your members’ career stages, interests, and behaviors to provide them with the personalized benefits they’re seeking. For example, based on your members’ interests and preferences, recommend new industry reports or new services offered by your organization that will help them in their specific career stage.

TIP: Built on the Salesforce CRM platform, Nimble AMS offers multiple ways to personalize the member experience through targeted online community content, recommendations for job opportunities, personalized event registration paths, and more. You can also leverage member data and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities available through Salesforce Einstein to make predictions and deliver recommended content.

Let your members know their data is safe.

The Digital Evolution Study indicates that 71 percent of members of professional associations say they worry about data privacy and security. On the bright side, this concern doesn’t prevent most of them from sharing information if they feel it’s secure and/or for their benefit.  

Moving your member data and management into an AMS system puts all of your member data in one, secure place. There are many AMS solutions in the marketplace today, with varying levels of data protection. So, be sure your AMS vendor values security and offers the following functionality to protect your member data and reduce risk: 

  • Transparency into security and performance status
  • Best practices for data security to prevent unauthorized access
  • Comprehensive user permissions to restrict access to only those who should have it
  • Data recovery to safeguard your data from data storage errors, catastrophic failures, and everything in between
  • Compliance certifications to validate security

Once your member data is secure, make sure your members know you have data security precautions in place. Explain how the information you collect will be used for a better and more personalized experience, and your members in turn are more likely to trust you. That trust will then translate into a better member experience and, ultimately, greater member loyalty.

TIP: Learn how Nimble AMS protects your member data. Read the toolkit, Protect Your Member Data, Reduce Risk, and Ensure System Performance: 7 things every modern association should look for in an AMS system

Showing your members that your association understands, and is keeping up with, their expectations is a great way to develop loyal members throughout every stage of their career and their membership with your organization.

Learn more about why Nimble AMS is the most in-demand AMS built on the Salesforce CRM platform.